Jessica Stern

Readers Respond to “Denial”

(The letters are posted with permission from the letter writers.)

Aug 9, 2010

Dear Jessica,

I am almost finished reading your book Denial. I want to thank you for writing something that finally speaks to my professional and personal experience(s). I was sexually abused from the ages of twelve through sixteen and I pushed the experiences and memories as far away as they would go. After many years of running, falling down, picking myself up, therapy and finding myself, I now understand who I am and why I do the work that I do.

I have been working with dying children and their families here at SickKids in Toronto for the past twelve years. I also facilitate support groups for women with eating disorders at a centre called “Sheena’s Place.” And, I work with private clients, mostly women, who have experienced trauma in their early childhoods.

I now know that my engagement in and passion for this work are not coincidences.
I am now forty-one years old, married to a wonderful man who loves and understands me. We have a beautiful daughter who is almost four years old. I strive to find joy in the “here and now”—and some days have it easier at achieving this than others.

Your courage and strength are inspiring.
Thank you, thank you, for sharing your story.

** 3 of 7

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