Out from the Bunker


When something bad happens to other people, I’ve noticed an internal knee-jerk reaction: I try to assure myself that what’s happening to them can’t happen to me. He’s older and eats worse than I do. My marriage is stronger than that. My kids know not to talk to strangers. There aren’t volcanoes/sharks/warlords/super villains in my neighborhood. Whatever the thought (and notice, some may in fact...

The Prison of Self-Protection


“They can’t hurt me. Nobody can hurt me.” I don’t know how old I was when I spoke those words to myself—maybe five or six—but they were powerful words, ones that would guide my life for the next thirty years. Partly reacting to my father’s ongoing battle with deep depression, I spoke those words one night as I listened to my parents fight verbally with each other. The words reflected a...

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