I think it was October of 2022 when I ordered a book called Enough: A Memoir of Mistakes, Mania, and Motherhood by Amelia Zachry. I started reading the book almost immediately after receiving it and sent Amelia a message about her story’s impact and that I was gleaning so much from it. The more I read, the more I connected to her story, and it was painful—in a good, healing way. Amelia’s story felt familiar, but I also needed to pull back and read it as her story so I wouldn’t become overwhelmed. Then, I had to disconnect from my story to keep reading hers. You see, people who have trauma do that—fight, flight, freeze, or fawn. My disconnecting was a form of flight.

Amelia contacted me recently to ask what I thought of her book. It wasn’t a cold call, and she wasn’t looking for a 5-star review. No, we have a connection; without that connection, I may not even know the book exists. I met her through a project we have been working on with several other women—a book that will hopefully come out in the next couple of months. She was and is genuinely curious about my thoughts on Enough. I told Amelia I would happily tell her what I thought of her book. I don’t think she was expecting me to do it publicly, but I felt it essential as an integral part of my continued healing journey.

To give her a proper response, I cracked open the book again on March 17th at a coffee shop (because coffee is life) and began perusing through it one more time. I took six pages of notes (it only seems like a little, unless you know how small I write). The more I scanned, the more I started feeling as though I wanted to disconnect again. I didn’t disconnect this time though. I needed to give the book and myself an honest look. The pain of Amelia’s story, which caused me to look at mine with more curiosity, settled in my gut, made my limbs feel weak and tingly, and my head started to buzz. That is the ultimate indication that I am triggered. Yes, Enough was triggering FOR ME. Not all triggers are bad, and not everyone has the same triggers. I am happy I experienced what I did when reading Enough. DO NOT avoid the book to avoid a possible trigger. Triggers tell you something, and they can push you to grow and heal. See below.

Just a few of my thoughts:

  1. Amelia wrote beautifully, and along the line of triggers, she handled the extremely sensitive topics gracefully. Her story is challenging for anyone to read, yet it is relatable for far too many people. For someone who endured what she endured, it is an eye-opening story of healing, growth, understanding, love, compassion, friendship, and redemption.
  2. My therapist emphasizes trusting the process often, and the process, more often than not, is non-linear and messy. Amelia’s process is no different. In fact, Amelia’s story bears witness to the complicated and frustrating struggle with symptoms of PTSD, bipolar disorder, depression, sexual assault, not belonging, and more.
  3. Triggers can cripple you if you aren’t ready to do some of the necessary work. Triggers can cripple you if you don’t have the skills or support system you need to help you work through whatever it is you need to work through. Personally, I have found myself putting one foot in front of the other more easily in the past few months. My readiness is a direct result of hard work, willingness to have curiosity, and having a therapist with a considerable amount of patience and compassion. Thanks to Amelia’s resilience modeling, I have also found some encouragement over the past several weeks to keep moving forward. She is one of many people who came out on the other side of trauma and is thriving.
  4. I want everyone to read Enough. It is easy to, as an outsider, hear someone’s story of trauma and say, “Of course it wasn’t your fault.” Understanding the person’s personal experience of shame and blame is entirely different. Amelia’s narrative is not too different from any survivor’s, and I believe it is a helpful book to read for two specific groups of people—the ones who have experienced trauma and those who haven’t. The ones who haven’t experienced trauma will gain a valuable glimpse of the thoughts and emotions of a trauma survivor. Those who have experienced trauma will know they aren’t alone and may have a little more hope for themselves.

Amelia’s story gave me the courage to ask my therapist a question. “Was it rape?”

If you have the same question, I encourage you to read the book, talk with a therapist, or do whatever you need to do to get an answer and heal.

At some point, I will share what it was like to ask Dr. C. “Was it rape?”

To buy Enough: A Memoir of Mistakes, Mania, and Motherhood, go to Amazon or Amelia Zachry’s Website.

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