That ordeal manifests itself in the growing demand for ghostwriters like myself to help shape memoirs. Both organizations and individuals experience a compulsion to tell their story.
If that sacred mission succeeds, then those humans should have navigated to the other side of suffering.
"Healed" looks, walks and talks as The After.
An example is Elizabeth Smart. At age 14, she was kidnapped from her bedroom. She told her story through a number of formats. Now she transmits the message: I am different from before, but whole.
Unfortunately, too many don't leverage the experience of publishing a book as an exit ramp from the past. Instead that seems to harden their determination to make the trauma their signature.
Often, I gently inform prospects for books that they don't seem prepared to leverage the process as closure.
One was a lawyer who traded a lucrative career in sales for law school. That generated eight years practicing as a lawyer in a major firm. Then the ax fell. The boutique at which he landed next went out of business.
He can't get beyond that story. He recounts it to the psychiatrist, extended family, neighbors and to ghostwriters he approaches about "his book." He remains without a direction forward - and underemployed.
Not that it is easy to let go of what was such an intense episode in our lives. In 2003, I had that moment of clarity that my business, nest egg and mind were gone. The e-book I published had a million downloads. It wasn't easy to no longer provide that as a download.
Today, I am different. But there is no reason to keep telling the story of how that transformation happened. Actually, it would be counterproductive.
BTW, in myriad recovery programs there is that same reluctance to stand tall and showcase the new person lawyers have become. They seem to be pulled back into the horror. Yet, that doesn't have to be. That should have receded.
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