Brilliant + Anonymous: The Thaw

I shivered under the dark sky, eyes quick with tears, watching as strangers piled sticks on bonfires and laughed like normal people. You’d left a drafted letter open and I’d skim-read it with dread. In it, I was a caricature, full of twisted motives and vengeful thoughts. Your misery was my fault. Babies had sagged […]

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Brilliant + Anonymous: Learning to be Let Down

Trigger warning: family violence Psychologists say we search out similar situations to those we experienced as children. Scenarios which bring out similar emotions and allow us to reenact all those unresolved issues from our youth. They allow us to go over them, again and again so that we can let out those old emotions. I like […]

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Brilliant + Anonymous: I am Māori

“You’re whiter than I am!” He/she/they say as they hold their tanned arm up to my pale limb. “What are you anyway, a 64th or something?” It’s why it took so long for me to see that it’s your whakapapa that makes you Māori, not a fraction or the colour of your skin. But unfortunately […]

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Brilliant + Anonymous: Harder to Love

It’s the last day of term and parents nationwide are rejoicing at the thought of two weeks without the frantic rush of the school run, the tedium of nightly spelling, and the balancing act of creating healthy and nutritious (and in my case gluten-frigging-free) school lunches the children will actually eat. Well, nationwide might be […]

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Brilliant + Anonymous: Ordinary Things

Trigger Warning and Content Note This is an essay about a range of distressing experiences, including sexual assault. Please take care. Fake fruit We were close, my large extended family. My grandparents lived up the road and one of my dad’s brothers was a few houses away. My dad had two brothers and six sisters […]

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Brilliant + Anonymous: Three

One day I kissed three different boys. All in the same day. Let’s call them Past, Present, and Future. This was completely uncharateristic of me. I’m one of those serial monogamists with two long-term boyfriends and a few crushes covering the expanse of my dating history. Past and I had been high school sweethearts and […]

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Brilliant + Anonymous: Ah, Parents

Yesterday I was in a grump. One of those kinds that feel like it is totally unfair but also completely legitimate. My parents were here. It’s a loaded phrase isn’t it? I guess I’ve set it up that way, in the way that suggests it was not ideal. So I feel like I should give […]

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