MEMOIRIST AND CREATIVE NONFICTION WRITER
I HAVE A B.A. IN FRENCH AND A MASTER IN EDUCATION FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA.
MY WRITING AWARDED ME THE 2018 MONTANA HONORARY FELLOWSHIP AT VIRGINIA CENTER FOR THE CREATIVE ARTS.
I LIVE WITH MY HUSBAND IN MISSOULA, MONTANA AND NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA.
I thought it was depression, then I learned it was Complex-PTSD.
As Indira Gandhi said, “Nothing that is worthwhile is ever easy.” For decades, I believed something was wrong with me. I felt inferior to everyone, and was often unable to shake the waves of sadness that accompanied stressful times. I solved my problems by turning to self-limiting beliefs, thinking if only this part of me were different then everything would be fine. I put on a good face, believing this was normal. Little did I know I was stuck in a cycle of trauma, burning precious energy and time in the trenches while the world seemed to grow in importance and significance around me.
When I finally faced my mental health, I uncovered a childhood filled with hostility and negligence. The story flipped, and similar to the first time I went to France, I grew by learning to live in unfamiliar territory. Once the culture shock dissipated, I embraced my trauma as a beacon of light and hope for dramatic change. I hope to share what I learned with you. Thanks for being here.
PACES CONNECTION: PACEs Connection amplifies and supports the worldwide positive and adverse childhood experiences (PACEs) movement by sharing its stories, solutions, and science, growing healing communities, and valuing equity and diversity.
I believe trauma is a subject sorely missing from American culture. My writing aims to shorten the gap of misunderstanding to support and advocate for survivors and victims of abuse.
In this memoir of identity and social responsibility, I explore the psychological abuses woven into our societal tapestry. Raised in Montana’s highest-ranked county of death by suicide, I was destined to learn that my worth hinged on compliance to systems meant to break me down. Masked behind laws, social norms, and familial obedience, patterns of negligence and control had dire consequences to my spirit as I struggled to find my way in the world.
PHOTO BY CHARLIE BEATON
I ENJOY TRAVEL, DOGS, FIGURE SKATING, HIKING, CASHMERE SWEATERS, AND BELGIAN BEER.