Editor’s NoteAt Tide Change, we wished to highlight the month of February as a month of Mental Wellness. Therefore, many of our articles and columns to date have touched on topics which affect our community. This next subject is extremely delicate and yet, as with the #Me Too movement, it is a reality for many people.  The following original writing has been submitted by a local woman who I have personally met. As uncomfortable as the image painted in words may be to us, her courage in giving voice to a childhood trauma is to be honoured. As her pseudonym also reflects, she speaks from the heart and on behalf of many children and adults still dealing with this daily global experience


John Lennon’s, song “Imagine” playing like coconut salve in the back ground.

“Close your eyes. What is your dream, mystery, delight?,” our fearless writing leader at Spinnaker’s Marina, coos, celebrating, “You showed up. You are here!”

I nervously glance at my chest name tag; a workshop ID, curling at the edges of my heart, in red ink.

“Hello my name is Ali.  Nice to meet you!” it beams.

But my Name Tag won’t stick.

Name is sticky.

Child hands…sticky too.

Eyes have goo on them, shot at me during the night from a knife deep inside my body.

Heat at the back of my neck; monster beneath every hurt.

Too much spikey hair!

Hot-air-confusion crashes my wee face against the ceiling,

Child arms thrash through dark spasms crushed by fear and cold.

“Am I dead?”

Children’s voices rise to answer from somewhere deep inside, thumping against my soft palate like a mantra.

“It’s so mean to always be alone in this room!”

Mommy, where are you? Please come….please read me a story.”

She does not.

“I hate Monsters! Daddy make it go away!”

He did not.

Eyes presently workshop wet, head bowed low over bent knees.

“Ssshhh….Just breathe.” I tell myself. “ No one else here knows.” adult brain sputtering seeds of reassurance into a freshly wounded place.

Prayers up. “God, keep me from falling through the floor.”

I return to our present locale by watching colour full “pea-green” boats with sails winking and bobbing beneath a white winter sun through the Marina window, viewing other people’s expensive get-away-ships. 

Too bad I abhor sailing.

I so want to be here.

And yet. . . .

Inner child’s voice:

“This writing is work.”

“I don’t want it.”

“Like spelling at school, or worse, more like math, which I Hate!”

“Feeling stupid.”

 Inner adult voice:

“I can’t do this book making, can barely hold this pen. My belly empty and soft from years of spiritual and emotional starvation.”

Losing track. Almost blacking out.

Name falls off my chest and is now under Jan’s chair.

“What’s it doing there, all by itself?”

Recall sharing secrets with Rayna, a kind of inky pain; abandonment is one of my worst fears, and being alone, serves as a go-to-safe-place at the same time.

Blue lightening flashes in the room warm with sweat and breathing, words gushing through the sails of my brain like blood thru a broken artery onto white sheets.

Jan’s green skirt and her purple bangs marry an orange shawl and I marvel as my voice travels to distant places. Why can’t I stay on point? Seeing beauty everywhere else except in the mirror.

A dissociated brain fears everything, especially falling through windows.

More fog rolls in as I try to focus.

Task. “A Tisket-a-Tasket a red and yellow basket.”



        Naked skin.

Lifted up by Daddy- spiked like Jesus on the cross.

No sound heard or spoken.

Ribs quietly heave as my pen leaps for life.

“Can I eat a cookie Daddy, instead of shame and a halo of thorns?”


Ali Hart