TW: references to sexual violence and self harm.
Today’s Spring 2023 Preview, features an excerpt from Eden Boudreau’s powerful debut memoir, Crying Wolf.
After a violent sexual assault, Eden Boudreau was faced with a choice: call the police and explain that a man who wasn’t her husband, who she had agreed to go on a date with, had just raped her. Or go home and pray that, in the morning, it would be only a nightmare.
In the years that followed, Eden was met with disbelief by strangers, friends, and the authorities, often as a result of stigma towards her non-monogamy, sex positivity, and bisexuality. Societal conditioning of acceptable female sexuality silenced her to a point of despair, leading to addiction and even attempted suicide. It was through the act of writing that she began to heal.
“In her stunning and eloquent debut, Boudreau takes readers on a harrowing journey through some of her darkest days, while holding a mirror to a society that perpetuates the shaming of those who live in the margins. Readers will close Crying Wolf with a sense of having been changed by the story of healing and returning to oneself, but most of all, will find themselves hopeful for the future,” writes Kelly S. Thompson, bestselling author of Girls Need Not Apply and Still, I Cannot Save You.
We’re delighted to share an introductory video from Eden Boudreau. Enjoy!
In addition, we’ve selected excerpt from Crying Wolf, which touches on Eden’s first experiments with writing as a form of healing. Crying Wolf will be released on March 22, 2023, and is available now for pre-order now from our online shop or from your local independent bookstore.
Farrah’s voice interrupted my thoughts.“Let’s set our next goal—to get you experiencing life and not just floating through it.” Turning to a new page in my folder, pen poised, she asked, “What are some things you enjoy doing?”
Farrah rolled her eyes. “Anything else?”
“Drinking and eating?” I shrugged.
“Okay, let’s go back to a time when you afforded yourself a few more pleasures. When you were younger, what did you enjoy doing?”
I thought for a moment. “I played sports, went to the beach a lot with my family, spent an unhealthy amount of time reading.” Farrah smiled as she made notes. “I don’t think there’s such thing as an unhealthy amount of reading. What else?”’
“I used to write a lot. Had stacks of journals and diaries.” Farrah smiled again. “The kind with the little lock and key?”
“Yes!” The rush of nostalgia made me a little dizzy.
“I had those too. My brother liked to steal them and break the locks off with a hammer.” She held her belly, as if doing so would hold in her laughter.
“I used to hide mine under my mattress, but one time my mother found it.” The shift in my mood sent me off balance. “She was really mad about what she read. It was probably one of the last times I wrote in it, now that I think about it.”
“What we know our truth to be can sometimes be hard for other people to accept because to them it often looks very different. Everyone has their own perspective, but it doesn’t make yours any less valid.” Farrah took a small notepad from her desk drawer and scribbled an RX and two lines below.
I laughed. “What is this?”
“I want you to start writing again. Just journaling, twice a day. It doesn’t have to be about anything in particular. Just pick up your pen and write down whatever you’re feeling in that moment.”
I took the mock prescription she had written up. “Do you want me to bring it to our next session so you can read it?”
Farrah shook her head and closed my file. “Nope, not if you don’t want to talk about it. It’s just for you. No one has to read it; no one will judge it. There is no right way or wrong way to heal, Eden. You just need to find your way.”
It felt like a big ask, especially after I’d been lost for so long, but a new kernel of hope had appeared in the palm of my hand along with Farrah’s prescription. I wasn’t one hundred percent confident yet, but I held on to that kernel the same way I’d gripped the sides of the hospital bed as I pushed my son from my body. I was determined to do something other than survive.
Eden Boudreau was born and raised in a small rural area just outside Halifax. In 2016, she relocated to Ontario with her husband and three sons. As a bisexual, polyamorous woman who has survived her fair share of adversity, Eden’s work draws on her life experiences to inspire vulnerable and relatable stories. Her essays have been featured in Flare, Today’s Parent, and Runner’s World, amongst others. She is the host and creator of the podcast, Dear Lonely Writer, aimed at destigmatizing mental health struggles during the writing process. Boudreau lives in Georgina, Ontario. Crying Wolf is her first book.