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More Psychology Club Talk

Sarah Peterson-Guada, the teacher who invited me to speak at the Psychology Club, shared her impressions of the talk in an email to me and I include it below, followed by an excerpt of my email response to her.  I welcome anyone who attended my talk, PTSD: Life in the Aftermath of Infant Surgery, to either email me (please indicate whether I can share your feedback on my blog) or comment directly below under Comments.  Again, thanks everyone.

Hi Wendy, It was wonderful having you speak today at the Psychology Club.  Sharing your personal healing journey with the students was powerful and invaluable.  I wanted to apologize for mentioning that you were like a “case study” because that might suggest you were like a specimen for us to analyze.  Perhaps, I used that word choice because I just finished research methods in one of my classes today, so that language was at the top of my mind.  What I meant was that you are living testimony to the healing journey.  I imagined different puzzle pieces of your life and as you began to heal, the different pieces of the puzzle started to fall in to place, and now there is a masterpiece where from hindsight it all makes sense.  You seemed to have a lot of clarity, and of course, it is an ongoing journey of discovery and it was beautiful to witness your growth, the journey you traveled and that you seem to be at a good place now.  All the best Wendy and again I am touched to have heard your story and had a glimpse into your healing process.

Warmly, Sarah Peterson-Guada/Psychology Instructor/College of Alameda

Hi Sarah, Thank you for your wonderful words. They are heartening and magnificent.  Did I flinch at the words “case study”? When I heard you say this, this is what went through my head-yeah, I am. The feeling that accompanied that thought though was, that’s cool. So thank you for reframing it in your email, but I felt really comfortable with you saying this because I trust your intentions and never doubted that you meant the best by it. I loved presenting to the students (I’m just finishing a thank you post on my blog to all of them and to you) because they were such good listeners and so earnest. I felt completely embraced and accepted by them. Their questions were thoughtful and interesting.  Perhaps most astonishing was I felt that we were all in it –whatever it is– together. A real sense of community  Again, thank you for your generous invitation and participation.

Much appreciation, Wendy/English Instructor/College of Alameda

At the College of Alameda Psychology Club

I am so lucky and so privileged to have presented my talk about infant surgery and PTSD to a group of students. Their faces and their openness encouraged me, helping me feel comfortable and safe.  I am also excited about having shown my artwork, which illustrates the way I’ve coped with my early trauma.  These images… Continue Reading

Anesthetized or Not?

In 1978, trying to understand the depression I was experiencing and hoping to find some relief, I made some drawings. As I look closely at this image from that series, I see that nothing inside my body is connected:  the ribs are separate; my sternum is an isolated plate; my shoulder bones aren’t touching my… Continue Reading

Heaven on Earth: Day Three

I kept up my positive self-talk and really trusted that I could find an answer to the riddle. Amazing that within the very material of the second part of the first chapter, I found the solution–rearrangement!  However, at one point, I entertained the idea of taking the material out of Chapter One and creating two… Continue Reading

Puzzle Pieces: Day Two

Ok, I’m off my high from yesterday. Today I began reading the second half of chapter one and oooh, I found some problems. Initially, I was disappointed because a solution did not jump into my head. But then I remembered what I tell my students at community college when they peer review a classmate’s essay… Continue Reading

Re-seeing Sea Creature: Day One

I am sitting next to my manuscript, begun many years ago and finished no less than four times.  The last time, I was certain The Autobiography of a Sea Creature was ready to go.  Last November, I finished a first draft of a book proposal, venturing closer to the final hour when I would send… Continue Reading

Stitches and Me

David Small‘s new graphic novel Stitches is a must read. My mouth is still hanging open from the impact of this astounding work–a memoir in comic book format but definitely not funny. I can’t believe how deeply I connected with it and feel the author and I have lived parallel lives.  Or perhaps this type… Continue Reading