Trauma and the PhD

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Virginia Tech

In writing this autoethnography, I invite you to enter into my world. It is not a world that is easy, or altogether happy. In the end, though, it is a story of survival and of perseverance. Trauma touches almost every person in some way. War, sexual abuse, physical and emotional abuse, death, and difficult life events color how we make sense of the world. Trauma may happen in one blinding moment or slowly eat away at us for years. Writing is often a way to cope with that trauma. This dissertation represents a small portion of my traumatic lived experiences that led me up to the doctoral process, and those that occurred in the ten years it took me to complete my dissertation.

trauma, adoption, chronic illness, borderline personality, autoethnography, family secrecy