I’m from Christchurch. On my website, I introduce myself by saying ‘writing saves my life’. Before 15 March 2019, I was going to try and persuade you how this was so. I wanted to argue that I had evidence of this, that in the experience of writing Contents Under Pressure, my soon-to-be published poetry manuscript, I supported my damaged children in the wake of the Christchurch earthquakes, and, in doing so, kept them living.
I wanted to communicate some of what it felt, as a mother, to support teenagers who were suffering severe mental stress, and how necessary and large the task was to work our family back to health. I wanted to be there; attend the hours and days and weeks in doctors’ appointments, school appointments; listen and learn and implement coping strategies, model them; and most of all, through it all, give love and survive.