joy ellen sauter
Joy lives in Seattle, Washington, but is a native east coaster. She has kids and dogs- all adopted through foster care. She writes about mental health, history, pop culture, foster care, trauma, human rights, and parenting.
I Can't Get a Doctor to Remove My Uterus
Sitting on crinkly paper in a hospital gown, my naked butt kept moving impatiently. Each move sent the noise from the paper echoing through the room. My feet dangled off the side of the exam table. It made me feel small, and uneasy, unbalanced.
I Was Called a Liar by My Own Therapist
I grew up working class in a safe neighborhood. I was accepted into college but was the third generation to attend. It wasn’t a surprise, it was expected I would attend. It was expected I would succeed. It was a place of privilege.
My Two Year Old Went on a Hunger Strike.
I walked up to the receptionist and immediately felt awkward. I didn’t have a child with me. The receptionist met my gaze, and then seemed to look past me. It was probably odd for a pediatrician’s office.
The Summer My Cousin Died
The following contains graphic depictions of a violent crime, and may trigger some readers. He was missing for three days and the police never looked for him. It’s hard to know, so many years later, if the police in Philadelphia routinely didn’t look too hard for missing children living in a homeless shelter. Christopher’s fault was that he liked to trade baseball cards, and at the age of 12 still had a friendly, trusting nature. Baseball had a dark underbelly in its trading cards.
The sun. Ancient and predictable. Rising in defiance to the dewy quiet darkness. Unfettered in its promises. Promises that pierced through a cloudless sky right to Claudia's eyes.
I Became a Mother in a Convenience Store Parking Lot
I became a mother in the parking lot of a Uni Mart convenience store in Pleasant Gap, Pennsylvania. A kind of town never once a blink of promise. I imagined it an easy target for eighty dollar robberies and drug deals, only for it’s smallness and inconsequential existence.
I Admitted My Four Year Old to a Psychiatric Hospital
The elevator up to the 7th floor was slower than expected. I squeezed my son’s favorite stuffed dinosaur tightly against my chest, it’s bright blue cloth reflecting off the shiny grey elevator walls. He had just been admitted to the hospital the night before, and my head was pounding from the 13 hours in the ER.