March 10, 2019

  Content Warning: language, stereotypical hateful opinion of Thoreau   I saw an ad today that said “Get yourself a tampon stash that sparks joy,” which I thought was a fitting example of the Marie Kondo fever that’s been gripping the nation.  First came the adulation of her as the hero America needs, then the backlash cries of BURN HER AT THE STAKE SHE’S NOT GETTING OUR BOOKS (based on a misquoted meme), and then at last, the capitalistic opportunism... Read more

March 6, 2019

Grief. Source: Wikipedia Commons   Once, in trauma therapy last year, my counselor mentioned to me that I seemed to be grieving.   I don’t remember what I was discussing, but I remember feeling shocked and bemused at what she said. I didn’t think the emotions I was having were grief. I thought they were anger and irritation. But here’s the thing: anger and irritation are my go to emotions, you could say. When other emotions feel too threatening, the... Read more

February 28, 2019

  Trigger Warning: suicide . . . .   The neighbor upstairs killed herself last week. Or maybe it was the week before. When you’re depressed and your PTSD flares up at Christmas, the days blur together pretty clear. Or maybe she blurred ’em for me. She knows—it’s easier to cope that way sometimes. When her husband called to tell us, Adelina cried. I hadn’t seen her cry before. Well, maybe once, when a mother from the school died. Cancer.... Read more

February 15, 2019

This review by a guest contributor goes into details that are spoilers for the trilogy of movies “Unbreakable”, “Split”, and “Glass”, so consider this your SPOILER ALERT!     The Story Thus Far, True Believers… The quiet yet brilliant 2000 film Unbreakable was released in a cinematic time long before the grandeur of Avengers movies and the depth of Black Panther. Beautifully acted, it offered moviegoers a truly wonderful superhero film experience all wrapped about a very real family drama.... Read more

January 20, 2019

  On New Year’s Eve I spent some time reflecting, and I wrote my thoughts to a beloved friend who has become like a spiritual guide to me:   I’m wrestling with something. I went to Mass yesterday. I wanted to go, and my friend explicitly told me I didn’t have to go, which made it that I was able to go. I walked into St. Patrick’s parish in Edinburgh and smelled incense and saw the manger and felt at... Read more

January 14, 2019

    My mom and I were just discussing the bizarre crises of identity this whole Church Militant shit show has stirred up within us.   The thing you need to understand is, I was raised by a man who worshiped Michael Voris and CM. My father praised my writing even as he constantly tore me down. He tried to turn me into the disfigured, judgmental, hate-flinging kind of woman that Christine Niles is. As someone said recently, one of... Read more

January 13, 2019

  My freshman year at Franciscan University of Steubenville, I was required to read books that contained graphic sexual content, including graphic homosexual content.   I had never been exposed to such content in literature before. My father had decided that his children needed to be homeschooled so that we would be protected from content such as this, content that might destroy our innocence. I was raised with fear of the corrupting power of books with any kind of sexual... Read more

December 27, 2018

This isn’t what I thought I’d be publishing today.   I’d planned to publish the piece I wrote on Christmas Eve about the neighbor woman who died by suicide two weeks ago. Or my Christmas reflection on guilt, about the woman with the copper penny skin who I only gave 0.80€ to when I wanted to give her 5€, but wasn’t brave enough.   Instead I’m pondering a horribly difficult Christmas that was somehow filled with blessings. And contrary to... Read more

December 25, 2018

I’m not the first person that’s uttered the words, “It’s just not the same without you,” but it’s not. Christmas changed. We changed. You changed. Lights exchanged for dimmed corners. Different shaped firs in and out of old stands every December. Old decorations thrown away. Homemade projects long forgotten, rotting in a landfill. All of this flits in and out of my mind as the lights of this year’s tree flicker, making my eyes go in and out of focus.... Read more

December 2, 2018

  One of the most surprising things about living in a foreign country is how lonely it is.   I know, everyone says this. But I don’t think they said it to me. They told me how beautiful it is. It’s an adventure of a lifetime. They just want to go back, back to ancient cathedrals, castles of stone, café con leche. Wine.   And all that’s true, I’ve found. They weren’t lying.   But they don’t tell you that... Read more

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