“Most survivors insist they’re not courageous: ‘If I were courageous I would have stopped the abuse. If I were courageous, I wouldn’t be scared . . . Most of us have it mixed up. You don’t start with courage and then face fear. You become courageous because you face your fear.” –Laura Davis
Diane Masiello is a part-time writer and a full-time mom, wife, daughter, and daughter-in-law. Like many who are currently part of the “sandwich generation,” – those who still have kids at home but are also taking care of aging parents—she is also trying to find the time to carve out some space for her own passions. In her earlier life she earned a Ph.D. in Education from New York University, and worked as an Instructor of English, then Assistant Professor of English at the University of Tampa. In 2003 she left academia to raise her two daughters—the longest, hardest job she’s ever held, and the most rewarding. During her time in academia she edited and contributed to a variety of academic publications, but her greatest joy was the publication of her first short fantasy story, “The Sunspot,” in CrossTime Science Fiction Anthology Vol. II. She has her own blog, “Afternoons with Coffee Spoons,” which started as a mommy blog but ended when she realized her daughters had become old enough that writing about them without their permission seemed invasive. She has just completed her first young adult fantasy novel, Keeper, and is starting on the maze-like road toward publication. She is thrilled to be a part of The Gloria Sirens and looks forward to the conversations her blog posts may inspire.
“Vulnerability is actually a strength and not a weakness–that’s why more and more mental health is such an important thing to talk about. It’s the same as being physically sick. And when you keep all those things inside, when you bottle them up, it makes you ill.” –Cara Delevingne
“Dear Person With Mental illness,
You are not a monster. You are a valuable, unique, wonderful human being who deserves everything grand that this life has to offer. Come out of the shadows and stand proudly in who you are. You are not damaged. You are whole, regardless of having a mental illness. I like you the way you are. I wouldn’t change you. I see you differently than you see yourself. I am not afraid of you or your illness . . . I am amazed by you. I am amazed by your courage, willpower, gifts, and talents. I accept you, and your worlds of light and darkness.” –Rachel Griffin
“You look at me and cry; everything hurts. I hold you and whisper: but everything can heal.” –Rupi Kaur
“Before I was formally introduced to my anxiety, I called it by a bunch of other names–nervousness, weakness, timidity. Employers called it laziness, distractedness, and ‘not being a team player.’ My ex called it clinginess. My mother called it oversensitivity and immaturity. But we were all wrong, and learning that we were all wrong, that there was an actual medical thing going on, overwhelmed me because it meant that it wasn’t a tornado of character flaws that landed me where I was. The problem was not that Ii simply chose not to be ‘normal,’ that I allowed my fears, baseless as they may have been, to conquer and dictate so much of my life. The problem was my brain. It was a chemical imbalance, something physical, not imagined.” –Tracy Clayton
My ride was not unique. It wasn’t surprising. It wasn’t fun. It was basically like me–comfortable, stable, and safe. No surprises. Reliable. Always there, waiting to be needed.
Here’s to the kids who live
who live and dare us
may they embarrass us
show us who we are . . . .
Here’s to the kids who live in us
to the kids who live and demand
in the doing
here and now
awestruck and unafraid.
I release you,
my beautiful and terrible fear.
I release you.
my beloved and hated twin,
II don’t know you as myself. . . .
I take myself back, fear.
You are not
my shadow any longer.
In the end she just wanted the house
and a horse not much more what
if he didn’t own the house or worse
not even a horse how do we
separate the things from a man the man from
the things is the man still the same
without his reins it rains every fifteen
minutes it would be foolish to
marry a man without an umbrella did
Cinderella really love the prince or
just the prints on the curtains in the
ballroom . . . .
I still feel that poetry is not medicine–it’s an X-ray. It helps you see the wound and understand it.