By Deborah Finding
I used to hold my rounded stomach before
going to sleep, taking comfort
in its softness, its pliability and warmth
once a child grew there, two in fact
but after that, only layers of self-
soothing, good times, and an increasing
unwillingness to say no to pleasure
wherever I could find it
within ever-limited category options
now as I lie on my side, my hip bone
creating an uncomfortable pressure,
on the bed newly hard, like my thighs,
spinning like the miller’s daughter
not for straw into gold, the end product
coveted is the gap, my reward thin air
I touch what is left but I feel what is gone
from around me, like an aura of absence
now carrying the weight of expectations
Deborah Finding (she/her) is a queer feminist writer from the UK with a background in academia, journalism and activism.
Her interests include gender, sexuality, trauma, mythology and popular culture, and she has been published widely on these in both academic and mainstream press. Publications include interviews and features for DIVA magazine, The Guardian and the Huffington Post, two contributions to IB Tauris’ ‘Reading Cult Television’ book series, and chapters in books on popular culture after 9/11; popular music and human rights, as well as more general intersectional feminist research and writing.
She holds a PhD from LSE’s Gender Institute, focusing on sexual and domestic violence narratives in popular music, and has undergraduate and masters degrees in philosophy and theology from Cambridge University.
In addition to writing, Deborah works with companies who are seeking to make improvements to their organisational cultures, and the wellbeing of their people. She has also previously worked in the NGO sector - in both frontline and spokesperson capacities - for mental health and sexual violence charities in the UK, and remains passionate about these issues, as well as about the power of the arts in therapy.
Originally from the North-East of England, Deborah now lives in London.