It’s true! My mother was once a nun. As a child, I gazed at the brittle black-and-white photo of her and a fellow novice in their stiff white habits – starched smiles and wimples – and wondered about her other life.
Sometimes, her other life came to visit… Continue reading
As we walk back out of the wide double-doors T berates me for my poor timekeeping and my mind goes back to the days when my father was supposed to be collecting my sister and I from school. I smile to myself at how lucky he is; I know all about waiting… Continue reading
I always tell him he saved my life but he shakes his head and looks away.
This is just a short post to let you know about a piece I wrote recently for Black Dog Tribe, a website launched last year by comedian Ruby Wax with the aim of providing a sympathetic user-generated community for those affected by mental health issues. Websites like Black Dog Tribe have an important role to play in … Continue reading
When I was seventeen I was sexually assaulted at work by my male colleagues. I wasn’t shocked or surprised – it was something I’d been led to expect… Continue reading
The Model School in Athy was founded in 1851 and in all those years had never managed to make its Tudor gothic appearance remotely welcoming… Continue reading
All it takes is for one of the kids to wrap their fingers around my neck in play and I’m transported back in time to the day a man strangled his daughter on the stairs of their home while her mother and siblings watched…
I’ve emerged from the ashes of what I once was, reborn and ready to walk the path I started out on all those years ago, before I was mugged and left for dead by that heartless assassin Circumstance. Continue reading
It started on Monday with the news that our expat story was published in the UK’s Telegraph, a big broadsheet with international distribution. Then came the news that I’d been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award again… twice! Continue reading
Do you like your name? Is it your given name, or is it a nickname – something somebody identified about you that stuck, however astutely observant or wildly inaccurate it may be?
I grew up with a very different name from the one I have now. I hated it…
I walked into the woman’s house a mess of blonde curls, tears and streaked mascara. I was shaking from panic and bowed by the humiliation of a total stranger seeing me like this; so emotional and exposed. My father followed, already demanding her attention with his diatribe about me, “Can I use your phone to let the police know where we are?”…
“Can I use your phone to let the police know where we are?” Continue reading
After a couple of hours spent shooting pool with friends and listening to the jukebox in the comforting normalcy of the football club, I arrived home, at 10pm as promised, in my boyfriend’s car – my bike in the boot. To be honest the last forty-five minutes at the club had been uncomfortable as I grew more apprehensive about going back. Continue reading
My heart thuds and there’s a rushing noise in my ears, like a subway train. A single thought fills my head, ” I HAVE to get away.” My feet pound the asphalt and I risk a lightening glance over my shoulder at my pursuer. “Oh my God, he’s gaining on me!” Panic squeezes me in it’s icy, iron grip and my belief in my ability to outrun him vanishes. Continue reading
Society has strict ideas about what is acceptable to talk about, and what isn’t. When you chose to break this code of silence, you run the risk of being ridiculed, ostracised, even threatened. If your words make people uncomfortable, to protect themselves – they judge. Suddenly, you find yourself on the outside looking in. This is how the culture of shame keeps its victims mute.
But secrets eat away at you. They weigh you down and, like a cancer, spread to other areas of your life, contaminating, changing, so that eventually, you become a different person. The only way out is to break your silence, before the silence breaks you. Continue reading
Growing up on an isolated farm in rural Ireland, my childhood memories are largely happy ones. I spent most of my time playing outdoors. Comfortable in the realm of my imagination, safe in the brightness of the sunshine, things could have been idyllic but for the inexplicable holes and blanks in my child’s comprehension. Looking past the fresh air and freedom, all was not well in my world. Continue reading