I’m Jessy. I grew up in the Mojave Desert in a meth lab on the edge of nowhere and writing saved my life.
I write as if I’m writing into a black hole — as if no one will ever read it. Then I post it here. It’s not always pretty, but it’s always true.
This newsletter is where I can share raw, often unglamorous musings on motherhood, pieces from my memoir, essays about navigating the chaos that comes with loving someone who struggles with addiction, and other uncomfortable truths about the human condition.
I’ve created this Substack in hopes that it will be much more than a newsletter — that it will be a community. I’ve spent the last few years building a community on Instagram, but due to the algorithm and caption character limits, I need a new place to share my writing. A place that’s unrestricted.
I hope you find something here that resonates with you.
This is more than just words on a page.
This is a life lived.
My life, and yours.
This is a place where we can be ourselves even on our worst days.
This is us growing, noticing, being.
This is us in all the in-between places.
It’s free to subscribe, but the best way to support me and my work is through a paid subscription ($5/month).
Paid subscribers will get full access to the newsletter [community], including long-form private essays and stream-of-consciousness writing that I don’t share anywhere else, memoir writing advice, excerpts from my self-published book of creative non-fiction — From the Dust, early access and discounts on any of my books, access to book clubs and community events I host, and chapters from my full-length memoir that I’m currently pitching to literary agents.
What is the memoir about?
At thirty, I was pulled back to the shit-hole town off Route 66 in the dust of California that I’d spent my life trying to escape because Mom was facing felony charges—again. I get her out of the desert for a weekend and away from her drug-fueled lifestyle so that I can explore our shared past in search of truth. On the road, the narrative of Mom's life unfolds throughout the pages like a labyrinth: tales of home invasion well into the hundreds, her imprisonment with cellmate Susan Atkins from the Manson Cult, the meth lab Dad built in the garage of our sun-bleached house, the cast of homeless addicts I was raised around, and her role in the dissolution of our family.
These two narratives braid together, exposing the story of my life, but also my mother’s life. Of her unwavering love for me and her struggle to stay clean long enough to show it. Of my fight to understand her and accept the love she had for me all along, so that I could finally start a life of my own. The book explores some of the most raw and unseen aspects of drug addiction, redemption, and what kind of women we become because of, and in spite of, our mother’s love.
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This is AFTER/WORDS, a newsletter about the contradiction of motherhood, the time I grew up in a meth lab + other uncomfortable truths.