The experience of those injured or betrayed as children is often wordless. Children are silenced and robbed of their stories. As a therapist and as a writer I am aware of the power of words to give voice, and to heal. My book Baffled by Love; Stories of the impact of childhood trauma inflicted by loved ones, is where my passion for stories and my experience as writer and as a psychotherapist find each other.
The writers I admire appeal to the best of their readers’ humanity. They refuse to put themselves above the fray.
No matter what the disorder or condition a client or a family may experience, these writers refuse to see people as other. The people they write about move them and inform them.
Oliver Sacks, neurologist and best selling author says “In examining disease, we gain wisdom about anatomy and physiology and biology. In examining the person with disease, we gain wisdom about life.” Andrew Solomon, author of Far from the Tree, affirms our collective humanity, “Everyone has a defect, and everyone has an identity, and they are often one and the same.” Both authors wrote about themselves and others with awe, curiosity, and respect. They disclose their own personal narrative simply as another human tale.
Baffled by Love is written in this tradition. Like many of my clients, I did not grow up with good models to emulate. I too needed to learn to navigate a wilderness in order to find the good kind of love.
Baffled by Love includes strands from my story interwoven with my clients’ stories. These narratives travel parallel paths, creating resonance, meaning, and a more human and textured tale. The truth is, between the client and the therapist is our shared humanity, flawed and glistening.