Fat Girl,

Never.

By Dani Ward January 15, 2018 1 Comment

Two years ago this month, I left my husband, shortly before telling him he had 2 weeks to get out of the house for good. It’s been a very long two years, full of pain and struggle and freedom and confusion and finding myself. And finding words.

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As dumpster fires go.

By Dani Ward December 31, 2016 0 Comments

I’ve been sitting here for a good 10 minutes, just staring at the screen. Occasionally typing a sentence or two, then deleting. The words I want to say aren’t words I feel I can say yet, and so I choose to be silent. Much like I have most of this year, if you’ve noticed. On…

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Online as in person: basic etiquette, boundaries, & choosing your own team.

By Dani Ward November 26, 2014 1 Comment

With the advent of social media, I’ve found that such interactions are no longer relegated to holidays and reunions, but are now part of our everyday digital lives. What surprises me more often than not, though, is the attitude with which people approach social media. In recent days alone, I’ve heard that blocking someone on social media is narrow-minded, private walls are public forums where all opinions ought to have equal air time, and online interactions aren’t real life so everyone needs to just calm down.

Perhaps I’m a bit a biased, considering the sheer number of friends I’ve made through online-only interactions, but in my experience and from my observations, online life is real life. It’s an unavoidable part of life in the 21st century, and it amazes me that some seem to think online interactions suddenly stop having meaning because they’re happening on a screen rather than face to face. It’s as if being physically removed from a person gives one license to ignore boundaries and assume a far closer relationship to people than actually exists.

This sort of thing is incredibly familiar to me, having spent 25+ years in a culture that totally ignores boundaries and consent in person (let alone online). This further solidifies in my mind that the same basic etiquette you ought to show to someone in person is how you should treat people online.

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Grieving as the only atheist at the funeral.

By Dani Ward November 23, 2014 1 Comment

My Mamaw died this past week. It wasn’t altogether unexpected — she’d been in the hospital with pneumonia and various complications related to it for a few weeks. But she’d been getting better. She’d been taken out of the ICU. There was a plan for her recovery. But she died, which just…wasn’t part of the…

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Pain demands to be felt.

By Dani Ward June 7, 2014 0 Comments
Image from beliefnet.

I just watched The Fault in Our Stars and I’m having feelings about my dad who is dying (slowly) of cancer.

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Halloween as a deconverted former fundamentalist.

By Dani Ward October 13, 2013 2 Comments

Michael and I went into a Halloween shop today.

I’d never been in a Halloween shop before, and it was an eye-opening experience.

I was really surprised to see so many little kids everywhere — and not a single one of them crying or scared. These kids…they clearly could separate fiction from reality in a way that I couldn’t at their age. In a way that I couldn’t as a young adult. I envied this ability they had that I’m still working on developing. I envied their lack of fear, their pure delight, their reasoning skills.

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Random thoughts and fears in the wake of public deconversion.

By Dani Ward July 31, 2013 1 Comment

Maybe I should have just kept pretending to be a Christian. You know, for the rest of my life. Because lying forever can’t possibly go wrong.

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Introspection on depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and life.

By Dani Ward November 9, 2012 0 Comments

What’s so wrong with attention? Does my wasting body not tell you about my wasting soul? Do the scars on my arms and legs not tell you about the scars on my soul? For the girl with the words, the girl who was going to write books some day, I never ever had the words for the pain. And I still don’t, even though I’ve long left the starving and cutting.

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A strong legacy.

By Dani Ward May 29, 2012 0 Comments

Mom,

You know how you always say that a letter is better than a gift, because it’s something you can read over and over again through the years? Well, I thought that maybe I’d make my letter to you public, so other people can enjoy how awesome you are, too.

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Hershel.

By Dani Ward January 8, 2011 0 Comments

My grandfather passed away this morning. He died in his recliner, coffee cup beside him, half-empty packet of tobacco sticking out of his pocket (with a wad in his mouth), watching the WVU pre-game. Heart attack — his fourth one, though first in over a decade. He was 78 years old.

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