clawing the courage to say no

The agony of my indecision

had done my head right in.

The hurting of my inner child

had left my true self wilting.

The logic part had made up its mind.

The fragility, it was a fraying:

teetering in, about to give way

a lifetime battle drilling.

So, where could the courage come from,

to say a crucial ‘no’ some time?

Perhaps it stemmed from dark-down stuff

that finally said ‘enough’.


why I fear a tut and a sigh

I can sense it coming: the second I do something

that brings you displeasure.

For want of cliché, I see your face grow dark. Your mouth

becomes taut. I feel the pressure

in my tight little tummy.

I cast around quick for what I’ve done wrong.

Was it my socks that were too separate?

Bedroom too scruffy? Homework left undone?

Or was it my breathing that annoyed you so.

You couldn’t bear noise

when you had one of your heads.

The tiptoeing I did gave me fabulous pointes,

to the stage I could walk without leaving a sound.

But what stretched the bow

to the arrow of your aim

was your tut and your sigh

like the end of world was nigh

just cos I’d pulled out my ribbon

or opened the curtains wrong.

Your rage would instantly shut out

any view that would challenge your own.

You felt the right and the need to shout

at those who needed you most.

A sigh could be on its own

but a tut would precede 7, 8, 9

and then 10. The scariest number of all,

said in the slowest of ways

as a countdown to lash out and hit

if I didn’t shape up, pipe down and sit.

And so to hear your sigh, years after the first

when I haven’t done exactly

as your vision dictates,

a terror strikes the heart of me,

takes my thighs

as my confidence vibrates.

I have no memory of what it was like

but I sense it in faces who see me with spite.

I hear it in their tut

I shudder with their sigh.

I hope this memory is a healing goodbye.

A poem by an abused yellow ribbon

I’m a yellow ribbon, a strip of citrine satin.

I have to stay in place or something bad will happen.

My favourite shape on earth is the cutest of all bows.

But woe betide my fate if I slip or make a show.

I’m always a close match for my Era’s underwear.

Any sense of contrast prompts her mother’s evil stare.

She ties me tight with fingers that feel they’re full of hate.

Era sits so calmly still, afraid to aggravate

the rage that simmers low in her mother’s uptight jaw,

prone to bubble up and spout its vengeful, spiteful law.

I’m meant to know my place, not venturing round or out.

To the rules of hair-braid ribbons, I’m perfectly devout.

If I ever dare to sin, end up all a-tangle,

I hate to feel mom’s wrath, and Era in a wrangle.

My satin is not meant to be pulled with cruel intent,

but my dangling yellow threads cause heated argument.

I know I am to blame for a temporary lapse of hold.

My lack of self-control’s bound to cause a slapping scold.

If I had stayed done up, Era’s tears might cower inside.

But that witch of a mother? She’s always time to chide.

I’d like to wrap my softness around my Era’s cheek

But she’s stinging from the slap. She dare not make a squeak.

In Era’s inner world, I guess she’s a rainbow child.

I wish instead of blows I could be her source of smiles.

The ‘write-rip-throw’ approach to ditching negative thoughts

Negative thoughts making your life a misery? Well, rather than ruminating on them and giving them oxygen, there’s a simpler way of getting rid of them. Just write them down on a piece of paper, rip them up and throw them away.

Write your bad thoughts down and let them go to be free of them. (pic:

Write your bad thoughts down and let them go to be free of them. (pic:

Sounds too easy? Too free of angst? No use if you just can’t let go…?

Research begs to disagree. It’s people who hold onto their negative thoughts who preserve them. Physically binning them – rather than just imagining you’re throwing them away – takes away their power. Here’s how… Continue reading

the healing power of a grief journal

Tears streamed down my face when I read about a woman who had lost her only child chart her journey through journaling. This post is really worth reading on Life Goes Strong, entitled Writing for Life: How Journal Writing Helps Heal One Mother’s Grief.

Writing really was therapy in this case, for Tamara Thomas, and the process took her through the stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining and acceptance – and the tasks of mourning: to accept the reality of loss; to work through the feelings about that loss; to learn to live without the person you’ve lost; and to Continue reading

why trust and commitment are the keys to healing

It’s funny how, when you set your mind to something, all the right things appear, happen, fall into place, and show that really you’re on the right track.

They say there’s no such thing as coincidence, which is why – when I was thinking of the power of writing in its ability to heal, and how I can work with other people to tap into that power – I get included in an online group called Continue reading