I have been working on an article about the links between sexual abuse, self-injury, substance abuse and suicide. Its content is heavy. So heavy that I am very mindful about how to articulate it in a way which still moves the reader, but without being so overwhelming that the reader is left with a futile sense of despondence.
Part of the reason the material is so compelling is not simply because of what these young people experienced, but because of the vulnerability they shared in telling me these stories.
I've been thinking a lot about vulnerability lately. I've been trying to convince a student that being vulnerable is a much stronger indicator of healthy - well, at least highly matured - emotional responses than is a toughened exterior. She's yet to be convinced.
I won't elaborate on this anymore here - I will write a post about later. Right now I need to go for a run. Christmas is a bit of a strange time here and working on this article throughout probably hasn't helped the situation.
To give an indication of the gravity of the topic, here's a page of my notebook:
To not end on such a depressing note, here's a picture of a loaf of brioche I baked. (Yes, it's irrelevant, but at least it's light-hearted. Just call it a non-sequitur?)