You were a stranger but also my saviour, my teacher and my companion.
Joyce Hayden left her university teaching position to pursue writing and art endeavours. Since then, she has exhibited her paintings in a One Woman sh... ow and finished her memoir, The Out of Body Girl. Her website is joycehayden.com.
MORE FROM AUTHOR
A guide to not being a victim-blamer.
When we do not take into account a woman’s reason for choosing an abortion, we strip her of her agency and voice.
It has taken time and practice to integrate my body and my mind, to ask them to live side by side.
How many false apologies have echoed through victims’ homes this year, statements that accuse rather than appease?
Looking back, specific actions helped me embrace a new life and freedom after leaving my abuser.
It has taken me years to speak up and speak out in the hope that others might find strength to voice their own stories.
I refused help, but people who reached out helped me see what I could not: I did not deserve a life of fists and fear.