Reading & Writing a Life

Carla Pineda's blog


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The Long Tail of Trauma: A Memoir by Elizabeth Wilcox


A fascinating and beautiful read! We hear and read a lot about PTSD and what that looks like in individuals, victims of abuse, trauma, war. We’re learning more and more about how trauma impacts the individual and what the paths for healing can be. Yet, this is the first book I have read that untangles how trauma impacts across the generations. This book is a deeply shared and touching examination of the story of the author’s mother and the far reaching tentacles of her mother’s adverse childhood experiences (known as ACE). The separation of her mother from her own mother during the time of WW 2 in Europe all set the stage for the author’s exploration into what happens when trauma is inherited and how the maternal past and present is affected. The forward of the book states, “It represents a living autopsy of sorts, a dissection of the seen and unseen, of what lies beneath.” It is a touching “imagined history of maternal memoir” as well as an educational primer written by someone who has a grasp of the psychological wounds of early childhood trauma, its scars, and of healing.