Deb Brandon: Living in Radiant Color

Facing Memories of Sexual Trauma

For decades I didn’t file any of my sexual experiences under the label rape. After all, no one applied physical force—the sex was always consensual. Nor was I comfortable using the label statutory rape, even though when I was a minor, all my sexual partners were not. At the time, I knew what I was doing—I wanted it.

Memory Shards

Why won’t he help himself? Why doesn’t he bring his hands out from under the blanket? His bed is so weird—a box, covered with a thin blanket, pulled tight. Tucked in so neatly, too neatly. Hospital corners. All the other soldiers were laughing, chatting. Propped up in their rumpled beds. They wanted the candy I … Read more


Accompanied by a bad headache, this morning’s vertigo was worse than usual, and it didn’t abate by the time I sat down to breakfast. I had to move my head carefully as I ate to minimize the effect. After I finished, I sat for a while longer, hoping that my brain would settle and I’d … Read more