Emily Van Duyne narrativizes her life with an abuser, and it sounds like my own. This is gorgeous, courageous, in-depth writing about how fear, gaslighting, and cumulative and unrelenting traumas compound the challenges of escaping abusive relationships.

I am so grateful to have found this writer and her words.


baby birch

There is a blacksmith and there is a shepherd and there is a butcher boy
And there is a barber who’s cutting and cutting away at my only joy
I saw a rabbit as swift as a knife and as quick as a candlestick
And I had thought it’d be harder to do, but I held her and skinned her quick, held her there
Kicking and mewling upended unspooling unsung and blue
Told her wherever you go little runaway bunny I will find you
And then she ran
As they’re liable to do

Be at peace, baby, and be gone…

I have discovered it is difficult to convey terror through the written word.

In my mind, there are timelines I have to recall, and stick to, so that when the Reader receives this description of my life with Will, she will be able to recreate, in her mind, my experience…

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