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- Alice M
- Mary & Lily
- Naomi C.
- Naomi N.
I was bullied pretty much my whole way through primary and senior school for being ‘different’; I hit puberty first and was ‘bigger’ and bustier than the other girls my age. I went through a series of weight gains and losses trying to cope with what I was experiencing.
I was born in Xi’an China where the Terracotta Warriors are. When I was a child, I went to 9 different primary schools in 3 different countries (China, Canada, Australia). In 2013, I packed all my belongings in 2 suitcases and moved to London permanently from San Francisco.
By Alice MI have never felt like I loved myself, even liked myself. Growing up, I was constantly picked apart by my mother telling me I was too big, too thin or that I looked like my male cousin (which as a pubescent girl wasn't something that I wanted to hear). Nothing was ever right.
Finding out I had a brain tumor at 31, losing the ability to speak. This wasn't the plan. To have surgery a year later and learn new words to describe my body; long, clinical words that made my body sound faulty, ill, wrong, different, that wasn't in the script either.
I'm Autistic. The A-word. Capital' A' Autistic. No, I'm not good at science, and I won't even begin with how poor I am at maths. I can't predict how a game of Blackjack is going to turn out: if I could, I wouldn't be stuck with nearly this much in student-loans. I'm also Queer, in many senses of the word.
The words I used to define myself are many and varied: Radiation protection scientist, principal investigator, researcher. Leader, manager, colleague. Wife, mother, lover. Vegan, runner. A non-drinker (just now). Extrovert. Good intentions, kind, easily riled. Not great at recycling, but trying. Happy, some of the time.
By Naomi N.
Trigger warning: Includes references to sexual abuse, self-harm and suicide
I am not afraid of sharing my story, as vulnerable as it makes me. Giving light to our experiences, as difficult as they may be is a way of helping others get through their own struggles. I have nothing to lose. So I have decided that I would no longer hide it; I can’t change what happened, but I can certainly change how it affects me now. It’s given me a huge sense of ownership: this ‘secret’ no longer owns me, it’s no longer something I’m going to try to hide away- now, I own it.
2020 has been difficult for everyone, without a doubt. Definitely, a year to remember but also one I would eagerly forget. For me, it started with the abortion of an unplanned pregnancy. My long-term partner and I didn't feel like it was the right moment for us to start a family. Days after, he was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer, and the fight for his life began. Within weeks we heard of the global pandemic making its way to the UK. As if that wasn't enough to pull the rug from under my feet, I also had to deal with the sudden news of my partner's infidelities.
By Naomi C.
I had always feared sexy underwear. A bit of fabric. I felt embarrassed trying to wear something which hadn’t been made with a curvy insecure woman in mind. I thought I had to change myself. Methods throughout my early twenties included eating disorders, exercise abuse and self-hatred. Painful beliefs about myself were burned into my thought processes during broad daylight via ‘normal’ relationships and daily media bombardment.
I thought stability meant playing it safe and commitment meant forever - and that was unacceptable. I committed to deviate from life-long safety and found stability in books and the idea of adventure. It was settled, in my childhood brain, I had projects (Novelist/ Performer/ Arctic explorer) to see through.