Inner Growth

Does A New Depression Mean A Sharp Turn Right?

We have all developed our little quirks in dealing with daily life during lockdown. Your faithful writer has been vacillating between following the pandemic and its politics like a sexy murder trial, and avoiding anything remotely topical to cover the smell of my brain sizzling. Last night I was pulled from panicked reverie by the compulsion to respond to an article on Medium. 

We’re Watching An Economy Die is one of those rare treats that is both inescapably enjoyable and deeply disturbing. Umair Haque goes to great lengths to convince us that we are seeing the death throes of democracy in the United States. That the inevitable, eternal outcome of widespread poverty is a hard turn Right. We will blame minorities, elect fascists and become “the world’s first poor rich country.“

Read More

Social Justice as Abuse

The phrase ‘social justice’ is often invoked to describe lofty principles individuals and institutions are expected to follow. But what happens when people misuse the power of these ideas?

This fascinating article details seven ways social justice language can become abusive in intimate relationships:

It kind of feels like this author was stretching for length, but they do present an interesting angle.

We all know people are amazing at rationalizing our actions. Those who are most passionate about social justice causes are often those with their own trauma. It makes sense that sensitive souls might use their interpersonal defenses to shield themselves in a weak moment.

Read More

Life is Weird, But I’m Not Giving Up!

It’s been a quiet few weeks here at BrazenShe. I have a bunch of stuff in the pipeline, but I have been focusing my free time on a business venture.

Applied Learning

Running BrazenShe is rudimentary and fun. I write whatever I want, whenever I want. It’s great practice at crafting engaging pieces around maybe less-than-engaging issues.

I adore writing in my own voice. It’s just about the most fun a girl could have. I have developed and tweaked my style for almost 30 years. But I don’t exactly fit your boilerplate professional mold.

Read More

Why You Are Turning Into Your (Grand)Mother – Consequences of Consistent Mate Selection

Humans select animals with traits we like, and breed them together to create more animals with those traits. This is common practice everywhere, it’s how we get “breeds” of anything – dogs, cats, horses, bovine.

It’s also done with plants. Controlling the reproduction of flora and fauna is a big part of agriculture.

I’m simply saying that we do it to ourselves, too.

No One is Born Blank

And I’m not the first one to ponder this. Gordon Allport founded the study of personality 100 years ago. His work is the garden in which all others bloom, such as the Meyers-Briggs and Big Five systems.

Read More

You’re A Man, Honey, and That’s Okay

Male Violence is The Enemy

Hey, guys, I get it. As much as any lady can, I sympathize. Being A Man is a big freaking deal. Men are kinda nuts.

Forced Into the Butch Box

If you are just not much of a hard ass, if you find yourself drawn to the lighter side of life, you may also find yourself targeted by the Man Police. They are regular guys, your friends, your boss, your teacher. Your Dad. Any or all of them may take it upon themselves to kick your ass if you step out of line.

I’m not going to dig into why that happens. It’s pretty foreign to me, and I truly don’t mean to patronize you.

Read More

Is Fear of Abandonment the Root of Narcissism?

The similarity is unmistakable – Narcissistic people, who appear grandiose but are actually cripplingly insecure, tend to follow a cycle in relationships.

While reading about the Fear of Abandonment I was struck by how they are essentially the same reaction. The main difference is that the Narcissistic Cycle dominates a person’s relationships.

Idealize – The beginning is beautiful, often called ‘Love-Bombing.’ Their partner is the most perfect person to ever live.

This is a hard one because it mimics normal infatuation. In the early stages of romantic love, people are notoriously rose-colored in their estimation of their crush. Much ink has been spilled, thousands of songs written and enough films for a weeklong festival. It’s cruel because this phase can actually be terrifying for people who have been involved with emotional vampires before.

Read More

What is Family? What is Love?

These are the questions that keep me up at night.

I was doing alright ignoring them until a few days ago. My sister Quinn, my only sibling from childhood, sent me a novella about why she didn’t want to talk to me anymore. She immediately blocked me.

Was there some kind of argument?

I sent her a link to my post about Donald Trump’s mental problems, because she doesn’t like him either and I thought she might appreciate it. She said it was terrifying, and she was “tired of being afraid all the time.”

Afraid of what?

Read More

Fight Despair Together: Healing Through Self-Compassion

What is stopping you from working through your problems and becoming who you want to be?

Depression and anxiety are both subsumed anger over how we have been treated. 

Over and over, researchers have shown that those who suffer from such things are overwhelmingly victims of abuse as children. 

Of course you would be angry if those who were supposed to care for you instead treated you like crap. Or otherwise made you feel lesser. And there’s a good chance you don’t even realize it. Or the depths to which it shapes your experiences to this day.

Read More

Summer Series: Fight Despair Together

Summer Series 2019 is all about finally moving forward.

Last year I did my Tripping the Fright Craptastic series, where I told you all about my struggle dealing with my parents. I was attempting to show some of the crap that comes with being in the middle of life while supporting either end.

This year’s Summer Series is about all of us.

Reality is sinking in for the 90s kids. The reality that we may never own a house. That the endless ascension toward a blissful, shining future full of robots is not going according to plan.

Read More

Relationships Hurt, And That’s Okay

Cold snaps hit the South extra hard, because we are not expecting them. Our bodies react like a corrected teenager.

Our bedroom is behind the kitchen, across from the back door. So when my husband started to come in, then decided to let the dog in from the yard, he opened a wind tunnel directly onto our bed.

Instead of indulging the flash of anger I felt, or squelching it and adding it to the pile, I chose a middle ground of saying something I thought was non-confrontational.

I got zero response.

I tried again, but I could see the steel door behind his eyes had closed.

Read More

Beware The Were-Bitch: PMS & You

I’m not sure how to write this post. I only just came to the idea that the sheer bald-faced panic I faced recently wasn’t cured by the extra sleep or the vitamins or my husband’s attention. It basically seemed to evaporate along with my menstrual period.

Fucking hell.

I have had this thought before, but my cramps are mild and I only bloat a little, I have always counted myself lucky that I don’t get a lot of the physical symptoms. So it never occurred to me that I might need to look out for extreme mental ones.

But last week, dear readers, things got dark for me. I kinda thought I was losing my mind or something. I seemed unable to communicate anything important to anyone and the whole world seemed to take on a dark pallor. (It didn’t help that it rained literally all week. Thanks, climate change!) But mostly I was just sickeningly tired. Head-pounding, stupidly tired.

Read More

Adulting: Fighting The Don’t Wanna

They say having kids around keeps you young. Conversely, I actually find that having kids makes me feel older, but usually in a good way.

Growing Up Is Hard To Do

Into my 20s I was still waiting for the day I would grow into my life like a new pair of shoes. Extended adolescence is a thing, and everyone I knew seemed afflicted. My generation was going in many directions and none of them were toward stability.

Then I unexpectedly became a parent. Conscience demanded that I drag my hungover ass to the park every day, make real dinner and read baby books over and over. Sometimes Fake It Till You Make It is your only option.

Read More

Mad Woman

For reasons lost to the meanderings of my mind, it recently dawned on me that my anxiety isn’t really anxiety at all.

I am filled with submerged rage. I didn’t ask to be born to a bunch of emotional idiots. I struggle daily with the effects of their bullshit. To some degree, I’m still angry for every pointlessly mean thing, for every clueless utterance.

Because I never found a way to express my anger. I have been afraid of it, afraid of losing control of it. I don’t want to hurt myself or anyone else.

So I tamp it down. I keep it contained as best I can but it rattles its cage and howls at night. It vibrates my nerves and keeps me agitated.

Read More

Art Vs. Economics: Who Am I?

Watching films about great writers and artists always inspires me. Tonight’s offering was Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold. Available on Netflix, this documentary of the famous writer’s life is full of interesting details but dances quickly from one situation to the next without giving a lot of depth.

Joan Didion is someone I’m embarrassed to admit I was not more familiar with before now. She bore witness to some of the most interesting events of recent history. In the film she is a wizened crone reflecting on a full life.

Read More

Casual Abuse: Mothers, What Are We Doing?

That’s right, Moms, I’m talking about you. About us.

 

Recently I argued that Radical Feminism can be compatible with being a mother, and I will be building on that again later. Childfree ladies out there, I love you and your life is yours to live as you like.

For those of us who have taken on the challenge of bringing up the next generation, I want to talk a little about what that really means.

We are going to be leaving them a mess to clean up, that’s for sure. Global pollution obviously, but that’s just a symptom of what I want to focus on. 

Read More

Tripping The Fright Craptastic Pt. 5: Mommie’s Dearest Things

This is the final installment of my Summer Of Hell series. Thanks to everyone for reading, your support has meant my world to me these past few months.

Not sure why, but this one is the hardest. There's no heroics or heartwarming lessons. Just some cathartic shit I need to get off my chest.

Read on, if you dare. 

If life were a movie, this trip would have been one of those reunions where people get together under less-than-ideal circumstances but pull it together in the end. It’s a difficult experience but it bonds them in their shared adversity.

Read More

My Favorite Fantasy Is A Straightforward Conversation

Hubs was up through the wee hours writing a paper. He finally went to bed a while before noon, saying as he passed, “Read it if you want to. And if you want to change the ending, by all means. I was rushed.”

I understood him to mean that he wanted me to look at it, perhaps edit it, despite his phrasing making it sound voluntary. I do this so much it’s usually automatic. This mode of speech is common and I figure it’s a politeness thing. Nobody wants to look like they’re demanding things of people.

I do it myself. I might say to the 12-year-old, “Why don’t you go ahead and pick up your room?”

Read More