Are you ready for this? Here’s what really happens …

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I love the early morning quiet of a weekend to myself. I’m a single mother. I don’t get a lot of quiet mornings. I have a different kind of appreciation for a morning with my children, but quiet mornings on my own are savored — especially when it’s early enough that it feels like the whole world is still sleeping. I’m walking my dog through the morning mist when I stop to check the time on my phone and get the message that punches through the quiet.

Apparently, I’m a total MILF. I know that it’s meant to be a…

Here’s the ugly truth no one is talking about

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I have nightmares almost every night. I’ve had them since I started working on past trauma in therapy. No one tells you about this when you start. To be fair, my therapist warned me that it could have an emotional impact, but I didn’t know this was what she meant. I wasn’t prepared for the frequency of the nightmares or just how hard they hit me.

I also didn’t expect wave after wave of memories hitting me at the most inopportune times. I had triggers before, but this is next level. My son was trying on rings in my room…

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I’ve never considered myself fearful.

Even as a child, I was borderline reckless with my bravery. There was no tree I was afraid to climb or height I was afraid to go to. If someone told me I couldn’t do something, I was definitely going to try to do it. No dare was too terrifying for the likes of me, and if Hogwarts had invited me to attend, I would have certainly been sorted into Gryffindor.

I had bravado, but I’ve come to learn just how fearful I was beneath it. Even now, I hate to admit how much…

I’ve had to learn self-compassion for me at my worst

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I remember exactly when it all began. I was at the ballet, and everything shifted. I knew that something was wrong, but I had no words to adequately describe it. Still, I tried. I called my then-partner and tried to find the words to describe what was happening — how one moment I was perfectly content and the next the joy leached out of the room and took me out of myself. He didn’t understand, and I couldn’t explain it.

This was very likely the first sign of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).

Over the next year, I would continue to…

A poem

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Sunlight and shadows
Your hand in mine
Your pulse against my skin
Your lips slowing time

Wine glasses on a table
Neglected at last
Joined by items of clothing
Your past and my past

Hours to linger
To taste, touch, and savor
No room for doubts here
No thought yet to waver

Only kisses and whispers
And begging for more
Against walls and steamed windows
From the bed to the floor

From sunlight to shadows
A break, then a pause
Before we come back together
Joined by love and a cause

A sigh and a murmur
As the last chapter is…

If I didn’t set the bar, I’m no longer trying to reach it

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I forgot something I was supposed to remember. It happens — particularly when I’m under a great deal of stress or simply haven’t been getting enough sleep. I had a split second of that feeling you get when you’ve let someone down before I pulled myself back. Who had set this expectation? Was it something I was responsible for or something I was made to feel responsible for? There’s a big difference.

I’ve been fighting never being good enough my entire life. The bar was set high in my childhood, and I became the typical overachiever. I could pull in…

Is this hurt or help? The answer isn’t as simple as you think.

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My relationship history often feels like a weight I am loathe to carry. It’s heavy, but I’m used to it. I’ll never quite get used to the sharp edges of it — how they often cut me when I least expect it. Something like this could make me bitter. I know it. I’ve seen glimpses in myself. But I’m choosing to let it make me better instead.

In a moment of complete clarity, I realized that if any lover had truly loved me well, I would have stayed. I’d have stayed in relationships that were so much less than what…

“If the words you spoke appeared on your skin, would you still be beautiful?” ~Oscar Auliq Ice

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I sometimes forget how safe and inclusive spaces feel. So often, instead of relaxing at playgrounds and watching my children, I’m on guard — ready to go into full Mama Bear mode at a moment’s notice. This isn’t who I used to be, but it is who I am now.

I just spent a long holiday weekend at a camp for children on the autism spectrum. It felt different, and it didn’t take long to see why. It was a safe space for all the children regardless of their support needs. I didn’t have to worry about my children being…

Someone is going to wake up every day and choose to love you

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I didn’t want another relationship. I was done with dating. At least, I thought I was.

We’ve all been there — when we thought we’ve found the person we’re meant to be with only to find out that they don’t feel the same. They call it falling in love for a reason. We either land safely in the other person’s arms or land in a heap on the ground wondering how we got there.

At this point, we can either decide that we’re right and the other person is wrong and get hung up on someone who doesn’t want us…

Remembering an icon and the legacy she leaves behind

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There is a reason so many of us mourned the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We mourned the loss of an icon who spent her life fighting for equality and justice for all, and we knew even then that we were losing a fierce advocate for human rights in the United States. Just take a look at Texas and the most recent attack on women’s health autonomy.

Born March 15, 1933, Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg lost her battle with pancreatic cancer on September 18, 2020, just 46 days before the country would elect President Joe Biden to office. She was…

Crystal Jackson

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