By April 6, 2017 Blog

A few days ago, I was taking Ruby for a walk. It was mid-afternoon and she was building a tower of pebbles on the beach. My phone (which had been off all day), buzzed with an urgent question from my publisher. So I tapped out a two sentence reply. In the time it took me to type, Ruby ran behind me and tripped over the pebbles. It was my fault.  I’d taken my eyes off her and she could have been hurt. …Read More

Shame on You

By January 18, 2016 Blog

January is built upon shame. The drinks you shouldn’t have had. The gym you should have joined. The presents you shouldn’t have bought and the debts you need to pay. The relationships you need to rebuild, the boss you just can’t please, the kids you’re poisoning with fish fingers, the resolutions you’ve already broken, the recycling you should have taken out. Some of it matters and some of it doesn’t, but it’s hard to tell the difference.  I’m ashamed of my sin and …Read More

Dear Shame

By December 17, 2014 Blog

Dear Shame It’s me, Emma. You’ve been telling me who I am for a long time now. But I thought it was time I said something back. Feels like we’ve known each other – well, forever.  But tell me,when were we first introduced?  Was it at infant school, when I wet myself during story time? Or when my next-door-neighbour caught me stealing strawberries from her garden? Was it when my body started changing?  When my boyfriend broke up with me? Or …have …Read More

I Got You Covered

By February 11, 2014 Blog

Shame is a blush that starts round your neck and spreads to your bones.  It silences you and shrinks you and stamps you like a stain. Shame is about exposure: being naked in front of others and them seeing you in all your ugliness and seeing all the things you want to hide. You want to say ‘it wasn’t me, wait – I didn’t do it’.  But you DID and you’re in the spotlight and everyone saw. So what do you do …Read More

No More Shame

By November 18, 2012 Blog

in the light of the fridge and the debris of your binge you are not condemned when you’ve got your fingers down your throat and you’re weeping in despair you are not condemned when you’ve cut yourself again tho you swore you never would you are not condemned before the lies have left your lips, tho you’re spitting in anger and there’s murder in your heart you are not condemned when you’re cold and faithless and feel a million miles …Read More

I’m A Fraud

By July 11, 2012 Blog, identity

Yep, you heard me. A stinking, horrible, miserable fraud. I’ve always felt it.  There’s something in me – something bad – that needs to be covered up. I can’t  tell you what it is – I don’t know myself. But in the silence – when the TV’s off and I’m in between tasks –  it whispers to me. When I wake in the night and it’s dark and the world is asleep, it shouts.  It reminds me that if people …Read More

True and False Shame

By October 28, 2011 Blog

What’s the role of shame in your life? Is it something you can easily brush off? An occasional twinge, but nothing serious? Or is it a lingering malaise, a black cloud that follows you around and leaps on you when you’re tired and defenseless? We read a lot about the role of shame in eastern cultures.  In the west perhaps we’ve moved on- even the worst offenders can cite endless justification for their crimes.  But whether we suppress it or tie …Read More

Shame and Strength

By August 8, 2011 Blog

Do you ever feel ashamed? Not embarrassed.  Not ‘oh dear, that was awkward’.  Not discomfort. Shame.  The sort of word you lift out of the vocab box with kid gloves.   The real deal.  That deep, burning in the pit of your stomach, I want to turn myself inside-out and climb into the wardrobe and cover myself in coats and put my hands on my head and then screw my eyes tightly closed and shrink a bit more. Shame is one …Read More