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Inside bodies, people die all the time.

Photo by form PxHere

The floors in our house in Mahopac, New York, are icy cold and creak loudly when we walk across them, especially in the early mornings. I am eight or ten but my age doesn’t really matter. What matters is the distant sound of rain, the darkening skies outside, and how alone we are.

My mother has locked herself in her room again. The air in front of that room has created a kind of bubble, one my brother and I know cannot be broken. I want it to break of its own accord. I want my other mother, the one…


Maybe they’re not so awful after all

By Mindaugas Danys from Vilnius, Lithuania

None of us know what we’re doing. Even those of us who are not parents, have all had parents, be they present and caring, estranged, alienated, absent, neglectful, abusive, or unknown, and have both healthy lessons and often great and lasting damage from childhood we all need to learn to heal to grow from. This requires each of us, mothers and fathers and those without children, to understand how to parent either their own children or alongside what is often referred to as, “the inner child,” a term based on the Jungian concept of the “eternal child,” and examined by…


The answer may not be the only thing to surprise you

Photo by Florian Wehde on Unsplash

The child’s face was beyond gleeful. His grin had that manic quality, the kind of expression I recall having at that age while running through sprinklers or being chased at recess. Unbounded joy, mischief and something electric, the experience of being utterly alive and free and no one could stop me.

In the context of being a teacher in a middle school classroom, and what the boy had in his hands and subsequently sprayed in my face, my reaction to his expression held more terror than nostalgia. …


Reentering the stories that shape us

Photo by StockSnap

Trigger warning: this story contains content related to pedophilia that might be troubling to some readers.

I am the kind of tired brought on by the malaise of teenaged boredom and afternoon height of midsummer heat, even though it never really gets that hot in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where I live with my mother and brother in an old adobe in the early nineties. I am twelve, have nowhere to go and nothing to do so I lie here, waiting for something to happen.

Like the days I spend hours reading fantasy novels beneath locust trees, images begin to…


“Fitness” Advice

You will regret nothing about keeping it below 250.

Photo by Graychr on Flickr

Every so often I get to a place where I literally don’t want to hassle with getting out of bed. Or getting dressed. Brushing my teeth is a Herculean feat and the idea of walking to the bathroom to fill my water is so monumentally distressing, I push the very image of doing so aside.

This kinda looks like, and occasionally feels like, depression. Considering “tiredness and lack of energy,” and a sense that, “even small tasks take extra effort,” among other symptoms, are real signs of this, you wouldn’t be wrong in sharing that concern during times you, too…


Narrative Exposure Therapy and the power of letting go.

Woman reading next to a large and oversized ape.
Photo courtesy of Max Pexel

Trigger Warning: this article contains descriptions of sexual assault and abuse that may not be suitable for all readers. Fearless community, please read with care.

At fourteen, I attended a party with my brother and some friends. Though I’d had sips of alcohol on New Year’s with family or in restaurants when it was legal for a parent to allow a child a sip of wine with dinner, I’d never been drunk.

We played a drinking game and I rapidly descended into the kind of smashed that causes the room to spin. The twenty-one-year-old brother of my brother’s friend “took…


Age isn’t everything and power is more attractive than youth

Photo courtesy of pxfuel

Ageism is defined as “discrimination against persons of a certain age group” or “a tendency to regard older persons as debilitated, unworthy of attention, or unsuitable for employment,” and is a serious global problem with economic and medical impacts. Ironically, controversies such as age-based healthcare rationing illustrate it in a clear way. Those for rationing treatment based on age argue that extending life at all costs unfairly favors the elderly, while those who argue against these practices claim age alone is a poor marker of disability.

Regardless of which side of that particular ageist quandary you fall, it cannot be…


Photo by Dita Oddfish on Flickr

Myriad heartbreaks, all kinds over thirty-three years


What democratic free schooling taught me about freedom and responsibility

Image by orythys from Pixabay

After graduating from DeVargas Jr. High in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I was slated to attend Santa Fe High, right down the street, just as my brother had. During the early ’90s, the school was plagued with all sorts of problems no one acknowledged or addressed. Many of my brother’s friends never attended classes and still managed to pass or even excel, as my brother did. They spent their days ditching in the woods behind the local library, and drugs were everywhere. …

Jenny Mundy-Castle, M.S.T, Ed.Spec, ENL, Ed.Lead

Jenny Mundy-Castle is the author of Every Time I Didn’t Say No, her memoir inspired by educating high-trauma youth in New York, New Mexico, and Nigeria.

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