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By Jessica Stern

ISBN-10: 0061626651

ISBN-13: 9780061626654

"I have listened and i've been quiet all my existence. yet now i'll speak."

one of many world's prime specialists on terrorism and post-traumatic pressure affliction investigates her personal unsolved adolescent sexual attack by the hands of a serial rapist, and in so doing, examines the horrors of trauma and denial.

by myself in an unlocked condo in a secure local within the suburban city of harmony, Massachusetts, stable, obedient women, Jessica Stern, fifteen, and her sister, fourteen, have been raped at the evening of October 1, 1973. the women had simply come again from ballet classes and have been doing their homework while an odd guy armed with a gun entered their domestic. later on, once they pronounced the crime, the police have been skeptical.

The rapist used to be by no means stuck. For over thirty years, Stern denied the discomfort and the trauma of the attack. Following the instance of her relatives, Stern—who misplaced her mom on the age of 3, and whose father was once a Holocaust survivor—focused on her paintings rather than her terror. She grew to become a world-class specialist on terrorism, a lauded educational and author who interviewed terrorists around the world. yet whereas her profession took off, her good fortune hinged on her indicators. After her ordeal she couldn't consider worry in usually scary events.

Stern believed she'd disassociated from the trauma altogether, until eventually a loyal police lieutenant reopened the sisters' rape case and taken her again to that harrowing evening greater than 3 a long time earlier. With assistance from the lieutenant, Stern begun her personal investigation—bringing to undergo all her abilities as a researcher—to discover the reality in regards to the city of harmony, her kinfolk, and her personal brain. the result's Denial, a candid, brave, and finally hopeful examine a trauma and its aftermath.

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One of those old-fashioned gunmetal gray cabinets. I hate those. The same kind my physician grandfather kept his X-rays in. The Concord PD keeps the records of certain crimes for a specified number of years, and the records of other crimes forever. The “forever” crimes include violent sexual assaults. In the forever-crimes file cabinet, a couple inches back, was another fat file, another cold case. There had been a rape, two years before ours, right around the corner from where our rape occurred.

He was strong and able enough to protect us, I thought. When I had croup as a small child, he took me into the shower with him. I remember his holding me to his naked flesh, a flash of electricity in me, a mixture of comfort and discomfort. Was this comfort an acceptable substitute for my mother? Was she dead by then, or just too sick to hold me, too sick to intervene? And later, too, I don’t know when, perhaps when I was eight or nine—another shower, another encounter with naked flesh, which by that age I was old enough to recognize as repulsive.

But I also felt something like fear. Later, he took me to the seaside, to a tidal pool that you could swim in, with narrow openings to the sea on either side. The pool was pristine—constantly washed by the shifting tides. And in that pool were tiny jellyfish. They didn’t sting, but they slipped against your body like a hundred flaccid penises. No pain other than the agony of disgust. Eventually, it was more than I could bear, the terror of surreally soft flesh sliding against my unprotected skin.

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Denial: A Memoir of Terror by Jessica Stern

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