Hello! I’m Hazel Katherine Larkin and I’m a (single) mother, feminist, writer, teacher, student, doula, victim / survivor of incest, trafficking, date rape, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, abusive and neglectful parents, and a coffee drinker.
My daughters are 15 and 17, and have taught me more than any other person, place, or thing in the world. I am pleased, proud, and humbled to be their mum, and to be journeying with them as they grow towards womanhood.
My feminism informs how I live, parent, work, and move through the world.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by words. I was reading before I was three, and writing my own little stories by the time I was four. At the age of 12, I was published for the first time, and my work has been published ever since. For ten years, I lived and worked in Asia (Singapore, India and Indonesia mainly), where I wrote for stage, screen and publication.
Much of what I write is from my own personal experience. I am very much of the opinion that there is nothing unique about what I think, or how I feel about things: If I’m having an experience, chances are someone else has had the same experience before me, or will after me. The difference is, I am willing to talk and write about how I feel and think about these experiences. It was in that vein that I published my memoir ‘Gullible Travels’ in November of 2015.
Teaching is one of my passions – I have taught, and delivered lectures in Dublin City University, Trinity College Dublin, The Liberties College, Dublin. I also have workshops that I deliver to midwives, doulas, and other birthworkers (my next one will be in Cork in November).
I returned to education as a thirty-two-year-old lone parent of two girls – who were then aged 18 and 44 months, respectively. I graduated from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth with a BA(Hons) in Psychology and Sociology in 2009. Two years later, I undertook an MA in Sexuality Studies at Dublin City University. In 2013, I was invited to undertake a PhD in Trinity College, Dublin and I spent a year there researching the experiences of pregnant and birthing women who were survivors of child sexual abuse. Then, my supervisor retired, and in 2015 I went north to Queen’s University Belfast, where I earned an LLM in International Human Rights Law. In September of 2017, I returned to DCU and am currently enrolled there, working on my PhD. My research focuses on the relationships between mothers and daughters, where both have a history of child sexual abuse.
I spent my entire 20s married to the wrong men (yes, plural!) and they were both abusive, and violent. My first was a psychopath, my second a narcissist. I was lucky to escape with my life from each of those relationships, and I know that many women are not as fortunate.
In 2005, I was the only doula working in Ireland – and I brought the first doula training to the country later that year. It’s very satisfying to see how many doulas practice in Ireland now, and how many different types of trainings there are. Sadly, none of the training provided addresses the different, and other, needs of women who were sexually abused. I still work in the area, but I have chosen to deliberately work exclusively with women who have histories of abuse. I feel my skills, expertise, experience, and education are best used working with women like me – not least because I believe that birth can be a healing experience. If you would like to hire me as your doula, please get in touch.
I have chosen the work I do as a result of the abuse I went through as a child, teenager, and adult. My earliest memory is of being sexually abused by my father when I was three years, and one month old. Later, he would take me to other men’s homes and allow them to abuse me, also. My elder brothers sexually abused me from the time I was 6 until I was 17. My mother is a narcissist and damaged me in the way that only narcissists can. If you are a daughter who has is recovering from similar damage, I have a secret Facebook page for daughters of narcissistic mothers, and I encourage you to join. To do so, please get in touch.
I believe that we all deserve to heal from the damage of abuse and trauma. I’m here to help you, to the best of my ability, do just that.