General

"Sam, all personality traits are gender neutral. Everyone is a glorious blend of subtle hues born into a male or female body, experiencing the hormones and desires that develop. Who we become is a journey of discovery, an internal experience. We get to tell the world who we are; not the other way around."

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"Melody, you're such a middle child - I mean that as a compliment. You're like a chemical buffer, staying in equilibrium seemingly without effort. In all the storms of life, big and small, you show absolute stability, no change at all for the casual observer. But then all at once you're overwhelmed and the shutters come down. I love the way you are; I just have to take extra special care that you stay in the range you can cope with. I wish you'd ask for help more often, makes it easier to care for you."

By Angela Abraham, @daisydescriptionari, September 19, 2016.
General

Mostly I am calm; on those days my spirit home is a gentle river. I flow, create peace, bring harmony. When I feel completely safe I show my spirit animal - the rabbit who comes to play, my underneath personality whom few have ever seen. I laugh freely, become soft, playful, hopeful. I wish I could be like that more often, it would be so nice. Yet in life there are challengers, those who find such happiness an affront to their inner misery. They live with hearts of envy and malice, wound from spite, project their negativity onto others, seek to control, exert power. When attack comes, should there be no defender, I channel the lioness. I roar, stand my ground, defend self and others. Afterward, in private, I am shaken, drained, wishing to run to a dark hole and hide. I know myself. I am proud of who I am; I like the person I became and I think the child version of me would too. I am the same girl, living to love, here to make a difference.

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Some people never escape their childhoods, not really. It's like a part of them just doesn't feel safe in the adult world. Joanne was like that, always in clothes that never showed her shape and prints that would be more suited to a teenager or younger. She had a thing about "Hello Kitty," often wearing it on her shirts or bag. Always her hair was in a pony-tail and her face was free of make-up. Sometimes we'd hook up for lunch and go to the canteen, it simply wasn't worth the trouble to try to take her to a bar. Always the conversation turned to horses, to soup recipes and musicals. She was the most childlike adult I'd ever met, but talking to her was so refreshing. She lacked the guile and complexity of my other friends, what you saw was what she was.

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Benji was my perfect employee but I'd sooner shoot him than leave him in charge of my kids. In the boardroom he was the finest diplomat I've ever seen. He put everyone at ease, drew them into liking him and wanting him to like them, before delivering the critical thing he needed them to sign off on. He got everything we wanted as a company, everything we needed. He got the sweetest deals, taking over our competitors for a song while they grinned and hung on his words. Once the ink was dry and we had the assets, all the promises he made died on the wind. An honest man would feel bad, they'd be terrible at his job, but he loved it. It was a thrill for him to turn them over while they gushed about what a great guy he was. He did the same to his women; no-one was indispensable to him and everyone in his life fulfilled a purpose. In the twenty years he worked for me I never saw a genuine emotion other than greed. I pitied him more than our "victims," other people were simply pawns to him...

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Every time I was around Gary my head span faster than a helicopter blade. The person I saw depended on who he was talking to and what he wanted. He could be everything from bad-ass to vulnerable, albeit with a new story of each new situation. He had an infinite number of childhoods; his parents were happy, divorced, fighting, abusive or dead. His Dad had been a banker, a road digger, a burglar or unemployed. His mother had been a drunk, a politician, a Sally-home-baker or a tart. He was an only child, the last of eight, brought up in a foster home or the heir to a fortune. Part of me wanted to walk away, but I was the only one he could tolerate. Why? Because I never asked to see behind his ever changing disguise. Inside that body was a kid, a kid locked in at some emotional age far younger than his twenty-something exterior. I'll never know what happened to him, but whatever it was it just stopped his development at that age. It's a one-way friendship, I know, but he needs someone...

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Lara would cry for her misfortune, the men who treated her so badly, and drink herself into oblivion. Then she'd sober up and choose another man, often one worse than the last. With her big spirit and personality she would hook up with control freaks and be surprised when things went wrong. After either a few weeks or a few years of flying profanities and fists she would again be confused, where had she gone wrong this time? Was it her weight? Her hair? Her wardrobe?

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Steve was there like a shadow until you needed him. Then suddenly he was unavailable. His ready smile was only for those who gave freely and didn't require any help in return. Once their personal crisis was over he'd re-emerge from the crowds and re-insert himself into the group, cracking the jokes everyone loved and paying them for their company in his favourite “currency”- gossip. He knew the dirt on everyone, including you, and if you weren't his buddy he'd be free with that information to whoever his new friends were. With him or against him, it's how it was. I chose to hate him and keep him closer than a lover; the best friend I'd choose to eat first in any survival situation.

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Nothing was ever a problem to Riley. Money would come, today was more important than a hundred tomorrows. Today was given, tomorrows were only a concept. Everyone was “dude” to him, everyone was his friend and judgement wasn't his thing. He slid effortlessly between social groups and avoided competition in any form, be it exams, sports or political opinions. He flowed through his life like water until the day Shona told him he was going to be a father. Then he disappeared for a week, completely, like he's been beamed into some UFO. Everyone told Shona she was dumb, he'd never be anything but a drifter, useless to her and the kid. But when he came back it was with a job offer in his hand and a ring box in his pocket. He knew first hand what growing up without a father meant and he wasn't about to curse his kid with the same.

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When your world explodes from the inside Ryan's the man you want next to you. He feels the shockwave and stays on his feet. Whatever he had to do disappears and as he refocuses on what needs to be done. He'll cover every angle and stay right there until you can breathe, walk and talk at the same time. Then he stands back and lets you get back on with your life, never mentioning your crisis again and not wanting to discuss it further. Once the storm has passed his tolerance for backward steps is al but non-existent. His shoulder is only for crying on when you can't stand alone, after that he expects you build inner strength, resilience. Ryan is the guy that works hard, brings home the money and never takes his stress out on others. But don't expect flowers on valentines, gifts at Christmas or impulsive vacation purchases; commercialism leaves him cold. His relationship “currency” is hugs, careful words and thoughtful deeds. He'll see you as an equal, but he'll expect you to act as one.

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Pia was the loudest voice in the room wherever she was. He conversations were buoyant and intended to be heard. There was something of the unsatisfied thespian in her. Everyone knew she was an art historian within moments of meeting her, like it was her most favourite badge by which to identify herself. On every subject she was opinionated and if you didn't agree with her she wasn't angry, she just pitied you for not understanding the “correct” way to think about it. But if a friend, or even an acquaintance, was in trouble she was right there with both boots on. In any crisis she took charge, steered the most efficient course through the problem and never stuck around for any "thank you". You could forget to call her for a month or three and still she'd be happy to talk to you. It was like she had been born without the ability to harbour a grudge, though I suspect it's in there, perhaps reserved for people she expects more from.

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Everybody sees the world only from their own perspective as a kid, I get that, it's just natural brain development. But it was like Troy just got stuck in that mode. He was the most fun person to be around, an idea firework, you never knew what would happen next. Every time we met I was swept along, like a princess in a carriage. We'd part, laughing, joking, with a hug. Then I'd hear through friends what I'd apparently failed to do, how I'd failed to live up to his expectations. Now it's all out there on his social media and for the most part we have the same friends. I expected him to be shame faced in the Bio lecture but he just plonked his stuff next to me and lay his head on my shoulder like nothing had happened. Last week the same action would have ignited butterflies in my stomach and a frisson of excitement. Now it's like my guts are packed with summer dried mud and the strength just left my limbs.

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There was no telling Pamela she couldn't have what she wanted. Her mother knew the direct approach was more honest but after years of her daughters rages she had been beaten into taking the easy road. Either she gave her what she wanted or stalled, “no” was a one way ticket to a screaming match. Her mother grieved internally for the girl her Pam had been, so easy, so happy, never a days trouble until her teens. Now it was like she was determined to hold her mother vice-like in her left hand so she couldn't get away and hit her violently with the right. Between the rages she would shine like the girl she had been and the woman her mother hoped she would become when the hormones settled. Those windows to the past were a blessing and a cruelty: hope for the future and a reminder of what she had lost.

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Taliana was a beautiful person, not in looks, though she was pretty enough. It was like God had planted a seed of perfect caring in her soul and it was ripping her apart as it grew. Every time she saw the imperfections of the world for humans, animals and the environment it was like a vice to her head. The pain built inside her until anxiety took her prisoner. How was she to change what she saw? What was the good of enlightenment if there was no way to make a difference? Volcanic frustration balled inside her, only exploding around those she felt safest with. She ripped into her mother for every hair-line fault while her mind created reasons for the pressure in her head, attributing blame to friends and family. Her only talent was to write, create fiction; she wanted to take that seed of understanding and cast it far away. What was the point in seeing, feeling the pain of people in disparate parts of the globe? Why couldn't she shut it out like everyone seemed to?

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There was something about Terry that drew people to him. I guess it didn't hurt that he was a good looking boy; but it was more than that. He was quiet, but not out of painful shyness. It was a reservedness, like a conscious choice to observe the lie of the land before he got involved. Yet he wasn't stand-offish, her remained friendly faced and welcoming in body posture. It wasn't like he sat down one day and planned to be like that, it's just the way he was. I never saw him go out and deliberately make a friend, they just came to him. There was nothing threatening about him, nothing at all. He was an easy listener, a good audience, giving encouraging feedback laced with intelligent comments. He worked hard, he got his work done. Only once in a while would he sink into a sulk over getting some school work wrong, it didn't happen to him often, and he had poor tolerance for the feeling when it did.

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When Sami was born he contained more love than many worlds that share our spiral galaxy. In his chest beat a heart as noble as any fiction book hero, he was one who would take untold hardships to honour the keeper of his soul. As a baby and child he needed mother to be his keeper and father to be his steadfast guide and role model, but life just didn't unfold that way. His mother was too beaten down, too emotionally crippled to reflect even a fraction of the love he poured into her and needed to be mirrored back. His father kept strict discipline, never yielding, always in charge. The rules were the rules. Though his outside remained as beautiful as the day he first cried, his spirit struggled to survive in a world so cold, so bereft of love. One day he met a man who showed him the power of God's love, it was the miracle he didn't know he needed, he felt alive and whole, finally he could be the hero he was born to be. Come what may he'd be God's warrior, never questioning, fearless.

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No-one got into the FBI without being a "yes man." The first sniff of insubordination and your career got blown in to the tumbleweed. I was pretty good at all that, probably all that military training I had in army cadets. When other young men were being rebels, I was too, but I knew when and where to do it. There is no answer for your commanding officer but "Yes, sir" or "Yes, mam." So when I got there I was the only one who wasn't a goody two-shoes right the way through, the only one with enough flexibility in their personality to know which rules to bend, how far and when. I got a few enemies that way, they knew I wasn't so squeaky clean as them; some of them even tried to bring me to book. But I closed case after case and the convictions stuck too. Of course there were a few perps I accidentally shot in the course of an arrest, but for the most part I see that as a public service. Their chance of molesting yet another kid is zero, as are their ongoing care needs to the tax payer.

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Leon worried. Things he felt he should have done, coupled with his perceived failures dominated his mind. He thought about his actions and words, finding them inadequate. Festering guilt rendered his mind ineffective, his short term memory shot. He lost keys, forgot appointments. But if a friend called by needing his counsel, he would smile warmly and set a pot of coffee before sitting to listen as if there was nothing he wanted to do more. Helping others settled his mind, allowing his logical thinking to re-emerge.

Often while he dwelt on the fine details of his life, the big picture escaped him. Given any opportunity to be generous with his time and money he had taken it as a blessing from God, never holding back enough for retirement or to see his kids through college. Now they were angry; heavily in debt and living on beans. All they saw was a bleeding-hearted old man who frittered money rather than saving for life's necessities.

By Angela Abraham, @daisydescriptionari, December 12, 2017.
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Tiffany had always been a hurricane; from the time of her birth until she left home she was the eye of her own storm. Mostly she was happy, but her constant need to engage everyone in jokes, in banter, in games or rough play made everyone frazzled. As a teen she was the life of every party. Invitations came as thick as November rain, giving her family a respite until she came home in the small hours of the morning, drunk and singing. As a young woman she was a natural at sales, her customers bathed in her sunshine, agreeing to whatever she said. Then she'd spy the next purchaser and be off to great them more warmly than a long lost friend. Her apartment was every bit as chaotic as her mother had feared it would be, no better than if a tornado had passed through. But to her surprise she found that she didn't care. Her own home was more tranquil that it had been these past twenty years...