NOT MY SECRET TO KEEP by Digene Farrar

NOT MY SECRET TO KEEP

A Memoir of Healing From Childhood Sexual Abuse
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A model and nurse endured 9/11, but the experience reopened scars from a childhood trauma, as recounted in this debut memoir.

After winning a contest sponsored by MORE magazine, Farrar found herself pursuing her dream of modeling in New York. On the morning of Sept. 11, she was preparing for a casting when the planes hit the World Trade Center. Her training as a nurse kicked in, and she quickly responded by caring for wounded survivors. But while Farrar wasn’t physically injured, the attacks left her deeply traumatized. “It seems as if someone has snatched me out of my life, pulled me apart, and put me back together, leaving major pieces behind or reconnecting them to all the wrong places,” she recalls. Worse, the experience brought to the fore long-buried memories of the sexual, physical and emotional abuse she endured as a child, recollections which severely disrupted her life, her career and her marriage. As her modeling career thrived, Farrar committed herself to the often painful process of coming to terms with the horrible violence and violation she suffered as a child. Farrar’s firsthand account of the 2001 terrorist attacks is gripping, as is her dawning realization of the invisible damage that experience inflicted. She skillfully interweaves anecdotes about her career (including some entertaining tales about her time as a bit player in the 2004 film The Stepford Wives) with recollections of her efforts to work through her experiences. It was a painstaking process—she struggled to find a compatible, trustworthy therapist and was often beset by guilt and self-blame. Yet her writing is candid and unflinching as she unpacks the connections between the “lack of power” she felt as a child rape victim and “the sense of vulnerability” she had on 9/11. As she delved deeper into her past, she was finally able to speak openly about her experiences and to own her anger as she learned how to “express what I’ve had to lock deep inside for years.”

A wrenching but inspiring account of a woman’s journey to self-acceptance.

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-9904597-0-5
Page count: 273pp
Publisher: Portage Bay Press
Program: Kirkus Indie
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