Today, as the abuse summit begins at the Vatican, Avvenire, the magazine of the Italian bishops' conference, features an interview with me in honor of the Italian publication of my book My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints. Here is the interview in its original English; the questions are from Avvenire reporter Andrea Galli:
How did writing such a book cost you personally?
Aspect - Peace - Experience - Abuse - Experience
The most difficult aspect of writing My Peace I Give You was speaking about my personal experience of sexual abuse. I wanted to write of my own experience only obliquely, focusing instead on stories of saints who suffered abuse, but my original publisher insisted I share some of my own story as well.
Writing about what was perpetrated upon me was hard not only because of the discomfort in sharing something so painful but also because of the effort required to do so in a manner that took readers' sensitivities into account. Given that my target audience consisted of abuse victims like myself who might suffer from post-traumatic stress, I had to be careful not to write in a way that might trigger painful memories for them.
Time - Readers - Experiences - Victim - Place
At the same time, I knew that if I were to model healing for readers, I would need to write frankly and honestly about my own experiences. It's not necessary for healing that a victim go public about what took place, but it is necessary that the victim be able to admit to himself or herself that the abuse happened. Only when we do that can we begin to recognize that what happened was evil and it was not our fault. No victim is ever to blame for his or her abuse.
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