Lucy Daniels

2002 SeasonDaniels

Lucy Daniels is a writer and clinical psychologist based in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is the founder of the Lucy Daniels Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering emotional and creative freedom through education, outreach, research, and psychoanalytic treatment; and the Lucy Daniels Center for Early Childhood, a preschool program that uses psychoanalytic principles to promote the emotional development of young children and their parents.


Caleb, My Son (2001)
High on a Hill (2001)
Last Hope (The Horseshoe Trilogies, 2) (2002)
With a Woman's Voice: A Writer's Struggle for Emotional Development (2002)


From: With a Woman's Voice

In the mirror I felt better: thinner, flatter, ungreedy. Unmean.
Looking made me think of Jesus. I wasn't that thin, but I was thin enough not to look like Mommy. Maybe not to keep Mommy out of me, but at least not to let her show. The pubic hair still taunted; even without periods, it resembled her. But otherwise, those thoughts told me, Lucy is thin enough to not be hopelessly greedy: the scales said 53. That was one pound more than that morning. But part of it was soda water and the mushrooms I finally had eaten. The sockets of my eyes looked deep. Was that death? Or just unfat?

Things did happen outside my control. The downy hair on my cheeks. The hair on my head thinning, falling out. Eyes hollowing. All unintended byproducts of un-fat. Un-woman. Un-Mommy. My own famine. Or maybe death? Was there a place called starvation? 300 calories? or 47 pounds? Or a precise hollowing of eye sockets? When did famine become starvation? When there were no longer eyes in the sockets? And if so, was that the same as death?

I tiptoed, doing all I could to carry the tray with its four dishes of blanc mange without making noise. No sugar. 330 calories. 60 more for the mushrooms. But as I stepped gingerly through the darkness, straining to keep the dishes from clinking, their bedroom voices stalked me.

"Dr. Greenhill thinks it's destructive for you to lose your temper
with her like about the mushrooms. Jonathan, he even called it 'brutal.'"

"A lot he knows! Since he can't do anything with her, I shouldn't yell! And we have to live with the disruption she causes. I don't want to be brutal, but neither do I want to be sucked down this hole of destruction Greenhill goes along with."

"He keeps saying you need to come."

"I won't...He's the doctor. My time and strength need to be

In spite of all my efforts to be silent, my bedroom door squeaked as it opened.
"Who's that?" he screamed. I heard his feet hit the floor.
I didn't answer, praying he'd decide he was mistaken.
"Who's that?!" he screamed louder. Then coming, stomping, "WHO'S
I stood frozen.

Then the overhead light clicked on. Flooding the hall with blinding glare. Exposing me

"Why didn't you answer me?!" he shrieked, and started toward me, rumpled and hulking in his pajamas. "What are you doing sneaking around in the night?! Like a burglar or a murderer!" His face was red, furious.
I did not answer. But he stared me down.

"Just getting my blanc mange," I whispered. "Like I always do."
"In the middle of the night?!" he yelled. "Destroying our sleep as well as our meals with your Goddamned self-centered snivelling!!"

He moved toward me abruptly. I felt cornered and naked. About to be erased. And again things happened outside my control. The tray suddenly tilted with a snap of my wrist that sent the glass dishes crashing, shattering into splintered shards coated with milky paste. All my 330 calories! Smeared on the polished floor. Perched in the brass chandelier of the foyer below. And my gnawing hunger! Bulging mounds of splintery white blobbed feebly and too late, barricading my cowering carcass against the onslaught of his passion.

Last night after remembering all this, I had another dream:

A serene white landscape. Ice and snow with no people in it. Observing from a distance, I felt peaceful. The hills, trees, spires, peaks, skyscrapers, which were all white, rose around the edge of its frozen lake like giant teeth around a surreal mouth.