A Nouveau Approach to Female Sexuality Equality

The DailyMail and a cup of café con leche: is there a more enjoyable start to a morning!? Yes, there is. Not seeing Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Terry Richardson or some other sex pest's smug mug festooning the headline complete with details on how they flashed, stripped and wanked in front of all and sundry. Switching over to the Daily Star, my senses are assaulted by a dizzying array of so-called stars and paparazzi photos of their very public "nip slips," "boobs fight for freedom" and "she flosses privates with world's smallest bikini." (Their words; not mine!)


A Paedophile’s Son Speaks Out

When I wrote When Females Rape Males, I couldn't have foreseen the impact it would have. Thousands read it. It trended on PsychCentral's homepage. Many men commented, revealing (perhaps for the first time) their own heart-breaking story of rape at the hands of a woman and its far-reaching impact on their life.

But something else shocking happened too. My husband's uncle, Brynmor1, contacted him for the first time in thirty years. Somehow, he had found the article about Rhys' rape at the hands of his aunt, Brynmor's older sister Modryb. Brynmor confirmed that Modryb had indeed been raped herself by their father, just as Rhys had suspected.

But there was more to it than that. While Brynmor was physically spared sexual abuse as their father's evil appetites preferred little girls, nonetheless having a paedophile as a father affected him deeply and horribly. At his request, Rhys and I visited Brynmor in his council house. It was the first time he and Rhys had met in over thirty years. You could see that Brynmor needed to unburden his soul from years of silence and secrets. Our meeting almost took the form of an interview. As he revealed the dark family secrets for the first time ever, you could see his heart grow lighter as the burden of silence was lifted. It was his request that I share his story with you because, as he said, 'No one speaks out for the sibling of the one who was raped. They may not have been the direct victim, but it hurt them nonetheless.'

For the first time in half a century, the paedophile's son is speaking out.


Living Every Day with OCD

Well, perhaps it's not just OCD. There's a soupçon or two of anxiety in the mix. A smattering of depression. And yes, OCD. Lots of it.

Every waking moment of every single day is like slogging through a quagmire, the ooze clinging to your feet, sucking, strangling, pulling you down to suffocate in the slime. Sometimes the only escape is indulging our particular OCD. Scratching the itch. Plucking, picking, cleaning, counting, following our calming routines and rituals. That works and so does the distraction of sleep, telly, movies and a pint or two.

Surely there are better ways to cope with OCD!


Struggling to Say #MeToo, When You Feel #OopsMyBad

He was a clever one, my uncle. That man knew how to cop a feel but make it seem like my fault ever time. #Oopsmybad. Every time he touched my breasts, he pretended nothing had happened. So I was the one to feel ashamed. I must've put my bosom in the wrong place at the wrong time. #Oopsmybad And that's why I, you and so many victims of sexual abuse are struggling to proclaim #MeToo.

Well, that bullsh*t stops NOW.


When Females Rape Males

Looking over, I was shocked to see my husband's body wracked with violent sobs. I'd never seen him cry so hard. All I could do was put my arms around him and try to hold him together. "Sorry," he said, reaching for a tissue. "I've never told anyone before that she raped me. For forty years, I kept that secret." His eyes were full of unshed tears.



Did He Kill 18-Month-Old Elsie?

Why is it that when your hometown makes the news, it's always because something bad happened?

My native Caerdyddian's and I have been shocked and appalled as details emerge of the death of little 18-month-old, Elsie. She died a mere two weeks after her adoption by Matthew Scully-Hicks and his partner, Craig, was finalized. Now, Matthew stands trial at Cardiff Crown Court, hoping to convince the jury of what a nice, quiet, sensible, safety-conscious guy he really is. That he couldn't possibly have killed Elsie.


When Abuse Wreaks Havoc with the Maternal Instinct

Abuse doesn't just steal our joy. It doesn't just ruin our happiness and health. It doesn't merely destroy any vestiges of self-esteem. It may also do something else even more cruel and unconscionable:

Rob us of our maternal instinct. 

This becomes doubly hard when we've always wanted children. It trebles when we discover we're infertile. And it quadruples as we wonder if we should even bother pursuing infertility treatment if this world is that bad, that brutal, that vicious. Why introduce more children into it?

That's what I mean by abuse  "robbing us of our maternal instinct."


Parental Alienation-Perhaps a Step-Mom, But Never a Mom

Stepmother is probably the single most difficult role a woman can tackle. I know, because I am one.

And guess what!?! My stepchildren hate my guts. But more on that later.

Being a stepmom is doubly hard when infertility renders you unable to have children of your own. And your ready-made children hate you. Or did I mention that already?


OCD meets PCOS and the Hair on my Chinny-Chin-Chin

I have OCD—which is kinda' lucky. Because I might have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). And I definitely have whiskers on my chinny-chin-chin. Stiff whiskers. Dark whiskers. Which is why it's lucky I have OCD. My triochotillomania takes good care of my chinny-chin-chin.

Hi! I'm Ivy. This blog, Full Heart, Empty Arms, is about infertility and the mental health issues that may accompany infertility. OCD is one of those issues, at least, for me.


Famous Women Who Never Had Kids

In this PC world where nothing is taboo and everything is flaunted, why do so many of us dither at the thought of saying publicly, "I can't have children"? I resemble that remark. I haven't told my mom. Nor my dad. My two sisters and brother. My grandparents. My cousins. My in-laws. Well, really, I haven't told anyone. Rhys, my husband, and my (former) Infertility Buddy, Maeve, are the only ones who know.