Silent Lucidity: Finding the Words Through the Illusion of Normalcy
In Judith Herman's book Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence from Domestic Abuse to Political Terror, she emphasized how "the conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma." Finding the words to tell my story has been a long journey. My coping was entrenched, and denial was strong. Healing from the messiness of childhood incest in and of itself is so shrouded with secrecy, shame, and humiliation that putting the words together in a way that will envelop an understanding of this atrocity that refused to be buried in my mind meant allowing myself to be vulnerable to the possibility of being shunned and dismissed as crazy. It is about getting well enough to speak about without emotionally unraveling and becoming vulnerable to the stigmas that get attached to mental health. While I have learned the significance of remaining silent until emotional health is obtained, the silence kept me isolated and ashamed for far too long. My book, my words, will shed light on how complicated the journey to health and wellness is while trying to maintain normalcy. It entwines normal life experiences and looks closely at the systems (family/relationships, educational, medical, mental health) and how they either helped or hurt the process. Without looking at the progression of my life, one could not see the dynamics of recovery. Sharing this journey will provide practitioners, both medical and mental health, with a personal perspective of the road to recovery. More importantly, I have tried to communicate my journey in a way that will allow all of us to come a little closer to facing the unspeakable, to take the power out of the word incest, and to help adult survivor's break the cycle of silence.
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