The True North of Memoir

I didn’t realise revising my memoir would be this hard or take this long, but now I see what I’m here to learn. 

As I reread one of the though chapters I wondered, was it the abuse, or that fear we all feel when something unacceptable and wrong happens to us at an age before we have the words to describe and share our experience with anyone, that is the center of my story? I’m not taking away from the pain I felt at the time, I see that its real, nor do I dispute the fact that what happened to me was wrong on so many levels, it’s the core of what we have come to know as #metoo.

As children, we love our parents even when they fail us. As we grow into adulthood and recognise their shortcomings, even neglect, love can give way to anger, frustration and hurt over how they failed to protect and comfort us. How they scoffed at our pleads and told us to get on with it – when a comforting hug was all we needed – or when they laughed when we shared our tender teenage feelings. They did not see me for who I was and so started my journey of becoming someone I hoped they could accept. On that journey, I sailed further and further away from my true self. It’s choppy water full of pain as I failed, again and again, at getting the acceptance I craved. 

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Mormor and The Queen Mother

On this day (April 9) seventeen years ago, the most nurturing and positively influential woman, to me, took her last breath and left this life.

It was Mum who called me early in the morning whit the sad news. I was on my way from Liverpool Street Station to my office in Shoreditch. I lived in the fast lane then, but at that moment, as Mum’s words sank in, “Mormor died this morning,” everything slowed down and as my eyes filled with tear and my heart broke, I noticed, all of London was dressed in black.

Today a huge event was taking place at Westminster Abbey, for The Queen Mother’s funeral. England was in mourning and suddenly, so was I.

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Getting in sync with the teenage brain

How brain research helped me be a better parent to my teenage daughter. 

This week I had the great fortune to attend a keynote talk in the CAC Theatre by clinical psychologist Dr. David Gleason. In his talk entitled ‘Getting in sync with the teenage brain’ Dr. Gleason drove home the effects performance pressure can have on our adolescent kids. Far from being a wishy-washy psychology speech about taming teenage behavior, Dr. Gleason delivered an engaging introduction to neuroscience and brain development, compassionately told through real-life stories about disorders, self-harm, and suicide amongst teenagers. The audience was stunned as we waited for more.

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