Archive | Essays

Venus Retrograde Show and Tell (Yeah, I Should Take This One Down Immediately)

I won’t hear from my mother for months and honestly her silence is a relief. Her laundry lists of the salad bar she sampled, the vacations she took, are painful because there’s no sense of who she is writing to. Throughout my life if I have behaved as anything but her all-accepting, all-admiring audience and savior she has openly treated me as a pain in her ass.

Which is a lot of the time.

But she always manages to reach out when I’m at my rawest. She writes snailmails rather than emails or texts (she’d never call) because she does not want me to be able to easily reply. She wants to be able to say, look, I write my daughter letters, and she’s so awful she ignores them. But all she really does is write the equivalent of her name over and over in fancy cursive on the front and back side of a note card. She does not want to hear my response because my feelings about her–my feelings in general–are and have always been at best inconvenient.

I may sound cynical but that is why I don’t talk about her. Part of her brilliance is the victimhood she cultivates, even as she’s abused and neglected me in any way a parent can hurt their offspring. The bottom line: I seem strong. She seems weak. So there’s no question who the perpetrator could really be. Continue Reading →

My Venus Retrograde Revelation

You hit a point where a huge gap widens between you and your friends because they don’t understand why you keep going back.

How do you say what you know.

That there’s an even bigger gap beneath your feet that keeps widening when you try to step away.

That the hope that he’ll come correct is all that separates you from the little girl whose parents could abuse her physically sexually emotionally and then act like nothing had happened.

Because if you can’t rewrite the story then you’re still that little girl.

Because if your love means so little that he won’t change his ways when they’re hurting you, then you don’t matter at all.

“It’s not just an ego blow for you,” my therapist says slowly. “You experience it as a full erasure of self.” Continue Reading →

Fall Back, Fall Back

By Lee Krasner

Daylights Saving Time today. Most view it as an extra hour of sleep. I view it as an extra hour of night.

In my head it’s a rhythm, a mantra, a sick, squalid croon. It’s why the Legend and I have fallen into old habits–him coming around only when it suits him, never ushering me into his world. Me swallowing whatever crumbs he offers, blowing up badly when they become indigestible.

Fall back, fall back.

The light is more beautiful, also more precious. There’s so little of it, you see. Precious little.

Yesterday I met with my eldest goddaughter on the Upper East Side. Both of us live in Brooklyn but make formal friendship dates as we’re getting acquainted as adults. She is in her early 30s and I am in my late 40s, high time we learned to appreciate each other as peers. We met when I was a recent college graduate and she an elementary schooler, so our relationship has undergone serious growing pains over the years. Me relying too heavily on her preternaturally adult wisdom, doing her the same disservice done to me decades before. Continue Reading →

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy