Until it's Safe to Return to My Body

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Virginia Tech


Until it's Safe to Return to My Body is an autofiction novella that follows the narrator as she recounts her tumultuous childhood and attempts to understand why she survived while her best friend did not. The novella delves into the ways in which violence can manifest in subtle ways, particularly in intimate relationships, and explores the underlying trauma that can result. The story takes place across four states as the narrator revisits the people, places, and events that shaped her life. She grapples with the ways in which her family's poverty and the precariousness of their living situations were not solely a result of her parents' shortcomings, but also a result of the systems and institutions that they were forced to navigate. The novella examines the ways in which humans hurt each other and the links between desperation and survival. Ultimately, this novella is a powerful exploration of the complexities of human relationships and the ways in which people navigate the trauma and violence of their pasts.



grief, loss, violence, survival, friendship, love, devotion, body, illness, death, community, poverty, girlhood, boyhood, coming of age, trauma, healing, recovery