Discussion of news topics with a point of view, including narratives by individuals regarding their own experiences

When Eryn Wise left Phoenix for the Standing Rock protests, I think her non-POC friends had a rude wake-up call when it came to how indigenous people are treated in this country. We watched as one of our best friends and her family, already marginalized and carrying generational trauma, became the targets of police brutality, surveillance, constant threats, racial violence and broken promise after broken promise.

I can’t speak for Eryn, but I know the experience deeply affected her in ways only people who were there could understand.

Eryn started transitioning back into non-camp life as I was in the process of moving 3,600 miles away from the city where we began cultivating our friendship. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

Though the underlying causes of our tumultuous mental health during this time couldn’t have been more different, we found similarities and took solace in the fact we had each other and, ever the green thumb, Eryn had her plants. One cactus in particular gave her a hard time, regularly leaping from its container. The ‘suicidal cactus,’ as she called it, couldn’t go more than a few weeks without wanting to tear itself out of the soil. But as months turned into years, as Eryn healed, so did her the cactus. It took a long time, but it finally took root.

It recently began thriving and outgrew its original container.

‘Endometriosis is so much worse than a bad period’

My 14-year journey with the illness, in comic form

Something terrifying happened to me. I miss the person I used to be before trauma.

I long for the old me, who used to laugh easily

I thought I had to be skinny to explore my gender identity. Here’s how I learned to dress without fear of judgment.

Society tends to only accept fat women who are feminine and dressed in ‘flattering’ clothes