When I entered therapy at age 32, I learned the first task for the trauma survivor is to establish a sense of safety. Healing cannot begin until an inner sanctuary is established, one where gradually the survivor begins to distinguish between past and present, between safety and danger. “When was a time you felt safe?”Continue reading “Diana”

Another Aftermath

Joe isn’t done with me yet. He and Laura have been best friends for years, and they decide it will be good for me to talk with him on the phone regularly. I don’t know what his girlfriend thinks about this, but she apparently doesn’t get a vote. Neither do I. My stomach clenches everyContinue reading “Another Aftermath”

The Third Assault

All children are curious about sex. But teenagers are downright thirsty for it. I’m 16, and I may be Mormon, with big glasses and ankle-length skirts and hair down to my waist. But I’m no different. At church, in my Young Women’s class, a teacher asks, “And why should we wait to have sex untilContinue reading “The Third Assault”

An Abuse of Power

I haven’t told you this yet, but when I was six and my parents were shopping around for lessons, it was a tossup between ballet or karate. I mean, I’d watched The Karate Kid, and I was hooked. I wanted my own training montage of kicks against a blood-red sunset. Yes, please. I asked my fatherContinue reading “An Abuse of Power”