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I met Allison when I was in the midst of a lengthy dating drought. She was a friend of some friends, and the first time we spoke was when we were out to dinner with them. I was immediately attracted to her. This happens to me often – like every day. The only thoughts in my head are generally “Would bang. Would bang. Would bang. Would definitely bang. Whoa – looks like she doesn’t shave her legs…Would still consider it.” (Do not confuse this with “Love at first sight.” That is a terrible term that should never have been invented. This is just me wandering through life half-crazy because I never get laid with any sort of regularity.)

What’s rare for me, however, is …

Year: 1998

Time: 1:00 am

Place: Somewhere between awake, alive, asleep and dead.

Lying there, I slashed at my wrist with the sharp point of a math compass and my mother’s sewing scissors. Not wanting to kill my own self, I would scratch until I bled and then I’d pray to God to take me home. I would scratch and twist my wrist to watch the blood and feel the pain inside sting as it came to fruition. I wanted to wake up dead.

Lying there, thinking about how much I hated myself. I hated my thoughts, I hated the way I looked, I hated the choices I made, I hated the choices I wanted to make, …

By Sara Stefanini


It knocked me to the ground with the force of a big, ripe coconut falling from a palm tree.

Oh no, wait. It was a massive coconut that fell dozens of meters and smashed into the back of my head.

In that first moment though, I had no idea what it was. The pain cut deep through the top of my skull and spread every which way, until it all went blurry and dark. My legs gave way and I fell to the ground grasping my head, unsure of where the hit had come from and whether it was the first of more.

Then I saw it: A smiling coconut, silently rolling away.

As …

I first discovered masturbation at about the same time online pornography was rising to prominence. Mine is the first generation to come of age with such broad and easy access to photos and videos, and it was fucking awesome.

I didn’t find out about this online porn thing – or, more accurately, I didn’t have the gall to venture into that cyber world – until I’d already become a pseudo expert in the ways of shooting wads at shower walls. In retrospect, I think this was a positive. Had I achieved my first orgasm while sitting at a computer watching an early episode of the epic weekly soap opera “Cum Fiesta,” I probably would have stroked out (in more than one way) from …

When I was 10, my little brother hosted his birthday party at Safari Sam's, an indoor complex that combined an arcade and one of those big indoor playgrounds with colorful plastic pipes and nets and a severely unsanitary ball pit. (In the late 90s, everyone in my neighborhood had their parties there. I'd been to one where the fun times were shit on – literally – when management had to close the playground portion because some kid was unable to control his bowels and had left his mark throughout the tunnels.)

Mom told me I was allowed to bring one person, and I chose Amanda, my first ever "girlfriend.” I was only in fifth grade, but I felt like it was time for Amanda …

By Robert Israel

For the first decade of my life, I lived with my immigrant grandparents in their triple-decker in South Providence, Rhode Island where Yiddish and Russian were the primary languages spoken in the home, synagogue and in the neighborhood. Very early on I learned how to mimic and later translate the coarse words and phrases I heard into English. I also learned some hard lessons about the economics of piecework.

In those days, in Providence in particular, either you worked by the piece with schmates (cloth garments), or you worked by the piece in jewelry shops. When my father, the late Maj. Harold N. Israel, who served in India and Burma during World War II, returned stateside, he found work …

The chill wind is determined to take the roof off of my house. Forceful winds here sound like ghosts haunting empty rooms. For 15 years I have lived here and listened to the howling, gusting, unforgiving air, sucking the moisture out of every living thing it passes. On rare occasions when the winds are calm, it is the coyotes coming down from the hills, to search for sustenance, that fill in the void left by the wind with their eerie, keening calls.

Rumors are flying at work that our alternative high school is closing. I have been there for 5 years, working as the school secretary, the registrar, the attendance clerk, the payroll and finance clerks, the health assistant, and, …

My grandson. A flurry of words, observations, questions, and Confucius-like wisdom contained in the mind of one 8 year old boy.

We are in the car, on a weekend adventure, and he rattles off one knock-knock joke, then another. Then silence. Soon enough, another joke; 'If you are American in the living room, what are you in the bathroom?' (The answer: European.) Elementary humor, but I am amused.

As we wend our way through the canyon, along the river, I take the curves slower than I would if driving alone. He is prone to carsickness after traveling this winding road. Quietly, he watches the sky, the trees, the steep rocky hillsides, and points out the cows grazing on …

2 kids. 3 jobs. Crazy Good!

Entrenched in my post-modern womanhood, I began to feel stressed, anxious, and underwhelmed with my life; and wondered if the Pioneer women, ever felt this way.

These women pioneers planned for seasons, sowed, nurtured, and grew their food, spun, sewed, and darned each family member’s one outfit, packed up their trunks with their few belongings, dried what would be rationed provisions in preparation for the Promise of Prosperity in the West. And, off they went for a tumultuous wobbly journey in a covered, unheated/hot, and break-down prone wagon...for a ride into a lonely unfriendly terrain, children delirious, bored, and yelling from de-hydration. These female warriors of the West most certainly felt stressed and anxious; but their fear and anxiety must …

The sun threatened to peek through the mid summer Buck’s County sky. Slowly awoken, far away the deer sighed, and the bonfire was a wisp. While last night’s pool house speakers still hummed with that low reminder of melodic beats that caused a drunken, euphoric, dance party to ensue.

She: now hours later was naked and languid under down, still sleepy, when familiar fingers tickled down Her abdomen and went lower. But what made Her so aroused, so early, so quick...could it have been the sexy surroundings, the fluffy bed and its sumptuous colorful Indian linens, or the promise of a warm Pennsylvania morning?

But, really it was His citrusy smell, hot breath, and warm skilled hands, that …

She walked in wind blown, struggling with her multi-colored umbrella, wearing her fit to perfection Kelly Green Raincoat. As was her custom, every three weeks, she had her hair done, ate at her favorite Thai restaurant, and indulged in her latest salacious read. And, as seemed was the custom...it was always raining and windy on that day.

Walking into the small eight top establishment in the center of town, she struggled with the wind and rain, trying to preserve her recent blow-out. Safely inside, she spied the sole unoccupied table. A gentleman directly in front of the door, looked down and quickly looked up at her from his lunch meeting. Although occupied with securing rain shelter; she …

When I launched my blog, Confessionsof a Worrywart, I worried about appearing frivolous or insensitive to my readers, especially those with real problems. A friend, whose daughter has cystic fibrosis, once told me, “When they find a cure for CF, I’ll worry about world peace.” Another friend calls the things I worry about “white girl worries.”

Seven years ago a 200-year-old poplar tree fell on my house, causing damage that took a year to repair. I said to my psychotherapist, “How can I complain, given that we’re safe, while our family friends just lost their son in a car crash?” He replied with the shrink party line, “You’re entitled to your worries.” Entitled? Perhaps. But who can deny that there is …

The first time I was raped, or I guess I should say molested? I wasn't penetrated really and a woman was the rapist. I was so young I don't even know how old I was, but I do remember my mother dressed me that morning. I must have been very little if I wasn't even dressing myself yet. Being dressed by my mother that morning is actually one of the sweetest memories I have of my life with her. It was early in the morning, still dark. It was cold and snowing very heavily. She woke me gently and tenderly. She kissed me I think. My mother had my clothes laid out on the bed. …

This is tough. My mother hates me. To be fair, she's ill. Through experience, lot's of reading and therapy I have discovered she suffers from borderline personality disorder. Albeit undiagnosed by a doctor. But those with BPD are rarely diagnosed by a doctor because they are incapable of recognizing they have a problem and unwilling to seek help if they do. To give you an idea of what BPD looks like, it is believed that Joan Crawford and Mary Todd Lincoln suffered this disorder. I'd like to add that there are individuals who have been able to recognize their problem with BPD and seek help, as well as work toward health. My intention is absolutely not to …

He texted me this past Saturday afternoon (after already texting me twice early in the morning, while I was still sleeping, and then leaving me two voicemails thereafter.) "Why aren't you calling?" he asks.

This has become routine on Saturday mornings: He is an earlier riser than I - at least on weekends... I sleep in but he is ready to talk and is up for adventure.

The man cub is not an obsessed stalker, not a jealous husband.... no, not either of those. He is eight, and he is my grandson.

And he is absolutely my favorite kid in the universe. Without him, my life would be lacking half of its comic relief and my heart …

I know the drill now. The therapists' office is a safe place, where any emotion, each of the unsettling machinations of a mind disturbed can be revealed, repeated, picked over, announced, proclaimed and whispered. The essence of analysis. The discovery of where things went wrong. The purported safety and sanctity of the room is supposed to allow the patient to feel free to admit to experiences that are otherwise unspeakable. There is nothing safe here. Yes, I feel I can trust in the safety that my therapist will keep my secrets. She will not judge or hurt me. She will tease out the story of my illness. She is there to help me make myself better. …

Okay so I'm on a soul searching, life examined, pick myself up journey. Writing things down in order to at least remember them if not figure them out. Hoping to reduce the ever-changing drug cocktail I choke down everyday. Grabbing at my bootstraps. While driving to my "quit smoking" class I am rear ended at a red light. these things occur with great frequency at the exact moment when one is at their most ill prepared. I'm okay and he's okay so we count ourselves lucky. He apologizes sincerely. I forgive him immediately despite the fact that he admits he was distracted with his cell phone. He really is sorry, I can tell. I respect …

I've started seeing a therapist. I've been desperate to get help. I feel like I'm seeking an oncologist at stage IV. The bad days, when they are looming I can feel it in my chest. I start to lose my ability to concentrate. The light seems to change, and I'm standing on the outside of everything in some different reality. It's like I don't exist anymore, I'm not even solid, I have nothing to offer. Everything hurts. Unbearable exhaustion is in my bones, muscle, sinew. I'm terrified. Getting out of bed is perverse and cruel. Seeing the girls off to school, signing their work and making lunch is next to impossible. Pretending to …

My eight year old daughter Piper is Apparently in the accelerated level of the third grade. I hate that they give these kids labels, but hey if that's where she's supposed to be, I'm fine with it as long as she is too. She's fun to be around, that kid, she's a good one. Funny, bright, happy, she gets good grades and as far as I can tell she does well socially. I was surprised when the teacher called and asked me to come in for a conference. I couldn't imagine what could be going on in school. I suffered anxiety and unspecified guilt until it came time for our meeting. Once we began our discussion I discovered …
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