The incident happened a very long time ago when I was a tortured high schooler. At the time, I hid my helplessness and anger behind cynical witticisms. If memory serves, my hawk-eyed English teacher caught me sharing my text with a classmate who had forgotten her own book at home. Ms. Teach was furious at this transgression, though only the slightest pretext was needed for her to go off like a firecracker.
As many Americans cling to the prospect of a post-racial society in the wake of its first African American president, children growing up in the United States may find they are unable to fully comprehend the significance of this political milestone. For young Americans today, an unburdened, limitless, and diverse reality is all they’ve ever known. But identities are complexly crafted from a variety of different sources, and many children’s understanding of their position in America will start with the books they read. But what is the cost of passing on tales of Jewish and African American sacrifice and suffering that are whitewashed or inaccurate?
What does it feel like to go insane and not know why? In her memoir, Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness, author Susannah Cahalan describes what it is like in terrifying detail: “My body continued to stiffen as I inhaled repeatedly, with no exhale. Blood and foam began to spurt out of my mouth through clenched teeth.… This moment, my first serious blackout, marked the line between sanity and insanity. Though I would have moments of lucidity over the coming weeks, I would never again be the same person. This was the start of the dark period of my illness, as I began an existence in purgatory between the real world and a cloudy, fictitious realm made up of hallucinations and paranoia.”
In search of healing, I took a three-month trip to South America after my marriage ended. But the memory of my divorce was never far: in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, Peru and Chile, it seemed that almost everyone I met was recently divorced. And then, I met Hugo.
In The Fray is seeking submissions on the theme of transience. The chaos of our lives can be difficult to reconcile, and it is hard to find comfort in knowing everything is in a constant state of flux. For some of us, the experience of transience is more apparent. It is a way of being — sometimes chosen, sometimes not — that defines us.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder dominated my life until the birth of my child pushed me to find sanity.
"I love you," I told my mother quietly, as she stared at me blankly. "I will miss you."
In her deeply personal account of life in post-earthquake Haiti, journalist Amy Wilentz looks at how outsiders' distorted views of the country have misrepresented its culture and history and encumbered its progress.
Last month after a dinner, I was sitting in my friend’s car, and for the first time in our two-year relationship, we discussed our shared experience of growing up with abusive fathers and abused mothers who did nothing to save us. Recently, I’ve been making an effort to be more transparent about the experiences I had growing up, opening up in ways that go beyond the obligatory statement that my dad isn’t a nice man.
“How do you explain this to people?” I asked my friend. “How do you explain that you were terrorized by your parent when you were a kid, continue to endure their abuse as an adult, and still go out of your way to help and care for them?”
My friend, who finds himself in oddly similar circumstances to mine, replied, “You can’t explain it. It’s cultural.”
Three men carried out an acid attack on the Bolshoi Ballet's artistic director in January, police say, and one of the celebrated company's dancers has now confessed. But the Bolshoi is not unique in the intensity of its artistic jealousies. From Moscow to London to New York, all the world's a blood-drenched stage.
When I first read about Bab al-Mandeb — the “Gate of Tears,” where the Red Sea narrows and powerful ocean currents have sunk countless ships over the ages — I knew I wanted to go there. I wanted to be where it all began: where the human race left Africa, spreading out into the world until they filled every corner of it.
[From Nowhere magazine]
From Metta World Peace to Rudy Eugene, African Americans confronting mental health challenges are often portrayed as isolated examples of crazy or deranged people rather than members of a marginalized community suffering an illness. Beyond the black blogosphere and social networking events, the dismal state of black mental health treatment and awareness hasn’t been adequately covered by mainstream media.