Phases of the Moon #5 is a book-length zine by Stacey-Marie about being in a relationship with an abusive alcoholic. A young woman in a relationship with an abusive alcoholic man.
It’s really beautiful. It’s disturbing, smart, and good. The writing is fantastic.
It’s memoir with interspersed quotes from other texts. I preferred Stacey-Marie’s words to the quotes, but I did value some quotes that explained abuse bonding. They were insightful.
I grew up as a child of an alcoholic–I am familiar with alcoholism from a child’s perspective. I never thought about my mom’s perspective very deeply–I didn’t dare.
So this zine was triggering for me. Just when I thought the story couldn’t get any more disturbing, it did. Around page 50, I felt sick. Around page 80, I told Ming, “This zine is killing me.”
(We were walking down the street, walking through sunlight, away from the cafe where I’d been reading. I felt stuck in a nightmare, disoriented, and unwell. But good writing can do that to me…)
And the ending is worth it. And I could relate to the speaker a lot. These are two quotes I loved from toward the end, ideas I’ve thought about over and over, through the years.
Was that my true self? What does a “true self” even mean if we can so easily change based on our surrounding environment?
I felt like if I accepted the disease model of alcoholism, then I would have to accept that all the fucked-up behaviors resulting from addiction were merely symptoms of a impersonal disease.
I noticed some repetition in the storytelling, but it seemed okay there–the repetition worked–that’s how we think.
It’s text-heavy but there’s some visual art that definitely adds to the experience.
Overall I loved this zine and recommend it to anyone who’s strong enough to read about abuse. And I wish Stacey-Marie lots of readers and success.