The pro-choice/pro-life debate has been woven into the fabric of American politics and culture, but at least, while that battle raged, those who opted for an abortion could do so knowing it would be performed as safely as any other major medical procedure. That’s been true since the mid-1970’s. There are now two generations of women who have never known it any other way. The imagery of a bloody coat hanger remains as a strong reminder of the dark history of abortion in America, but it has not been a reality women needed to fear in decades. Most have forgotten…
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I listened as my father bragged about my beauty and achievements to his friends at the country club. And I listened as he told the story about how Marilyn Monroe kissed my cheek at the ice cream parlor and how Maurice Chavalier took my hand to kiss it on Rodeo Drive, telling my father how he’d never seen such a beautiful little girl.
My father was a narcissist. In front of his friends, my father and I had a healthy relationship, but behind closed doors and in front of anyone who came over to visit, he was always angry that…
All you need is love. Love is patient and kind. Love is a many splendored thing. To know her is to love her. Do you love me, now that I can dance?
Some people say it so easily, I have to wonder if they even notice they say it. “Love you!” It’s like when someone sneezes in a store and a stranger shopping in the next aisle says, “Bless you.” No connection, no emotion, just a couple of words. Other people sit you down and look you in the eyes and say, “I just have to tell you something right…
I used to lie awake at night and think about him. I’d wonder what he was doing. I’d imagine what his wife looked like and wonder how much time they spent together and if they still liked each other or had fallen out of love. I had already read lots of books on psychoanalysis and recognized that I was in a state of transference. It’s just another form of love, really, but the books explained how it wasn’t really love and that I was transferring all my feelings from the important people in my early life onto him. …
They say a mother’s love is all a child needs. No harm could befall an infant wrapped in the safety of her mother’s arms. I wouldn’t know. My mother wasn’t the typical stay-at-home mom. She had better things to do. A welcome addition to any social event, she was the life of the party, regularly waltzing around the room. And like all the other mothers in her circle, she hired help. …
I was 18 weeks pregnant and had the most unbelievable knife-like shooting pains in my left side. I actually fell off the toilet, writhing on the floor in agony. No cell phones then. Couldn’t even crawl to the phone. My husband was in trial in downtown Los Angeles, and when he came home, he found me on the bathroom floor.
We went to Cedars Sinai emergency, and they gave me an enema and said I was constipated (pregnant woman do not get enemas). It was a Friday night, and I screamed and cried all weekend. It wasn’t until I walked…
“Sometimes I swear I can taste tiny stars on the tip of my tongue. Just buzzing around on the edge. You know that tingling when your coffee’s too hot, and those little bumps rise like they’re on fire? Those stars. Can you taste them?”
I still have no idea what she was talking about. How exhilarating it must feel to have magic coursing through your veins, I thought. Most days I felt nothing at all.
She always walked at a brisk pace, with such purpose, like she was about to miss a train. But that day, each step bore into…
I am from Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, street of loneliness, street of dread, street of danger, street of famous and celebrated
I am from criticism, humiliation, accusations, histrionics, cries and outcries
I am from dingy kitchen, filthy grout, moldy jam, stale bread, greasy cupboards, unpolished silver
I am from ironed sheets, yellowed newspapers, live-in housekeepers, boarding schools, privileged and underprivileged
I am from dark house, anger revealed through bulging veins, fear seeping from behind closed doors
I am from hiding inside my bedroom, blamed, feeling shamed and ashamed
I am from lawyers, poets, actresses, performances, rage and outrage