Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Beto Galetto on Unsplash

I used to think of of first loves as something from childhood: a glance across a sunlit classroom, awkward flirtation next to a steel-gray locker, and all those other cute things seen in John Hughes films.

I didn’t meet my first “love” until I was 19, while blossoming into adulthood. I’d begun a promising new career and was ready for independence. I linked up with a handsome face I knew from high school and nine months later, we fell in love and moved into a one bedroom apartment. Things were beautiful at first, only to turn sour once we began…


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash

He told me more than once that he felt like he was settling. The laundry, the food, the sex, the free place to live, the care for the kitten that shredded my blinds and my furniture- it was never enough. A match made in hallucinogenic heaven turned into a bad trip in such a short time.

These things he would say, often unfair and cruel. I knew this all along, so why did I walk on eggshells? I was so afraid that something already broken would crack that I allowed the forced removal of my spine. As I flopped over…


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

My mother said she cried when the pediatrician said that her breastmilk wasn’t enough. I was losing weight and needed formula.

My grandma spoke of her experience more stoically and said that her doctor said she had a “weak” supply. Since formula (as we know it) didn’t exist at the time, she gave her first child goat’s milk and the other four a mixture of boiled water, evaporated milk, and Karo syrup. After failing to breastfeed that first time, she didn’t attempt to do it again with the other children.

Catherine, a Navy vet, said the naval hospital she was…


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Presetbase Lightroom Presets on Unsplash

I’ve always hated eating mushrooms. The taste, the texture, the way they’d get stuck to my teeth…if it weren’t for the promise of a life-changing experience, I probably would have stopped eating them the first time I felt a cap roll over my taste buds.

After my first mushroom trip, I knew that I could learn a lot from the headspace it’d taken me into. So I continued to experiment with them, and each time, I looked for clever new ways to consume the dried bits of fungi.

In one of these instances, I had the bright idea to put…


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by jurien huggins on Unsplash

I’ve always been kind of an out there kid. I’ve dyed and styled my hair a million different ways. I have seven (at one time, eight) piercings. During my formative years, I was immersed in the emo/scene culture and aesthetic. I love horror movies and sci-fi and am open about my nerdy passions. And for as long as I can remember, I have been criticized for acting “white”.

I’m light-skinned. My father is black, my mother is white. But it was never my color or heritage that was the source of criticism. That, at the very least would sort of


WARNING: This piece contains a detailed account of date rape, victim-blaming, and trauma.

*Names have been changed for privacy.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

What I remember most about Shane is his murky eyes. They were narrow, deep-set, and when combined with his sharp, high cheekbones, he sort of looked like a snake. A decade later, his features still haunt me. The image of him is branded into my brain, forever a part of the tepid nostalgia of my youth.

When I was sixteen, while wearing my favorite pair of jeans, my friend’s cousin’s boyfriend decided he’d have his way with me. He was introduced…

Marissa Wolfe

Mother, wife, writer, survivor. Always in search of different perspectives to share with each new face I meet.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store