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Sunday Times Books LIVE

Anne Townsend

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

No barking please, we’re in recovery

no barkingIt’s come to my attention that three groups of people shun trauma survivors who put in the slog of recovery, who speak out, who dedicate years, or decades of their lives to identifying, processing and integrating trauma:

1) Abusers themselves, who find the trauma/recovery process embarrassing.
2) Trauma survivors who’re too lazy, scared, or fearful to do the recovery process, or who can’t afford the time/money/estrangement that often accompanies recovery.
3) The silent accomplices, the enablers, the armies out there who watch, who know, who hear, who slyly avoid taking a side, or taking a stand.

To those of us who’ve dedicated years of our lives to the labour-intensive slog of therapy, writing, art, blogging, tweeting, and the long silent days of processing the obnoxious reality of incest, we, in my case, aren’t particularly interested in your ”advice”, your sly little emails, negatively-laden questions and unsolicited tips. We aren’t listening.

”I think you should see your sisters, warts and all,” I get from an alcoholic.

”It’s incredibly selfish of you not to go to family gatherings,” from a longstanding online friend whose childhood was so abusive he was taken into foster care!

Has he discussed it with his family? Has he been in therapy?

No, he silently suffers, pretends all is good, carries a Titanic load of unresolved trauma rather than rock the ocean liners of ”family.”

Folks, stay out of it.


You have lived experience of what we’re doing.

If you’re Martha Beck, Natalie Goldberg, Augusten Burroughs or Ronan Farrow, I’ll take your feedback without necessarily following it.

The rest of you?

Zip your lips, thank us for the back-breaking labour we do, unasked, unpaid.

There you go now, back to your happy anonymous lives of blog reading Xxxx



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