Date of Degree

9-2022

Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Liberal Studies

Advisor

David Humphries

Subject Categories

Creative Writing

Keywords

Memoir, Trauma, Journal, Healing, Childhood

Abstract

My capstone project is a memoir centering around my relationship with my aunt. I lived with her on and off for many years throughout my childhood. I had a very complex and volatile relationship with her. She was a menacing figure during my childhood, through my adulthood until her death. As a result, I spent a large part of my life filled with anger, resentment, and sadness. I didn’t know it at the time, but the response I was having to these memories was trauma. I wanted to write about my experience but whenever I would try, I would end up in a dark place consumed by the memories, so I stopped trying.

I was determined to make this the subject of my project, so I had to find a way to overcome my trauma. In time and with therapy, I was able to restart this project. Through integrating the writing process, therapy and texts on trauma, healing and writing memoirs, I was able to complete this project without getting lost in my own mind. Though initially it was not a project focused on healing, I found some peace in telling my story.

However, I want my objective to be clear. I am not promoting healing through writing or saying that I am 100% healed. I can discuss my trauma without falling back into those dark places from my past and that is part of my process. In life there are somethings to which there are no resolutions and that is fine. It is okay to not have the resolutions and acknowledging that concept is a form of healing. Not everyone’s trauma experience is the same and not everyone’s healing experience is the same. I don’t want to call this a journey of healing or forgiveness. It is a journey of acknowledgement and release from which some healing may come about. And if that can resonate with one single person, then my job as the writer is successful.

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