She found that many people cannot bear to hear about trauma. It is too painful in itself or it reminds them what life can become at any moment.Perhaps the reviewer hasn't done a good job of presenting Brison's experience, but this leaves me confused. Her mother failing to mention the attack was hurtful, but her aunt acknowledging it as a "horrible experience" is just as bad? Was it not a horrible experience? Is it intrinsically offensive to wish to remind a suffering person that there is good in the world? What is the appropriate thing to say?
The first card I received from my mother, while I was still in the hospital, made no mention of the attack or of my pain and featured the "bluebird of happiness," sent to keep me ever cheerful.Her mother's second card bore these words: "Isn't the sun nice? Isn't the wind nice? Isn't everything nice?" Three months afterwards, an aunt with whom she had been close all her life, sent a birthday card, saying she was sorry about her niece's "horrible experience" but adding that the victim would now be "able to help so many people."
Wednesday, January 08, 2003
This article from the Spectator reviews a memoir by Susan J. Brison. Brison was raped and nearly murdered in France over ten years ago, and her memoir deals with the aftermath of that life-changing event: