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