It’s this way: I’m writing a memoir of recovering from sexual abuse, abuse I didn’t identify until I was an adult. So my process involved going back and reinterpreting my family, my role there, and my relationship to love and trust. I had to reinvent myself with the new knowledge somehow integrated.
That’s the abstract, grownup way of saying it. The emotional way to say it is that I needed to find and love the inner child. The young child was the one who suffered the violation and betrayal. She was the one who had to hide it and “act normal.” She had to grow up as best she could, hiding the knowledge even from herself. Once I found this girl, she needed a lot of care and attention in order to grow up again, this time with respect and safety.
My memoir is that recovery story—not a reconstruction of the distant past but a present-day journey to healing. In this blog I want to give voice to the adult who’s guiding the writing process and also the child who is at the center.