Jessica Stern will “feel about this later.”
She used the personal motto as a reminder to compartmentalize her feelings about traumatic events in her life. She put her rape, her mother’s death, failed relationships, and an assortment of other life happenings on a shelf, purportedly to deal with later.
The avoidance gave Jessica the courage to come face-to-face with terrorists in a host of intimidating and dangerous situations in her job as a social psychologist and terrorism expert. She ignored her personal issues while her posttraumatic stress disorder became a “normal” part of her life, dictating her response to most situations.
When police reopen her more than 30-year-old rape case, Jessica could no longer shelve her demons.
Denial: A Memoir of Terror is about Jessica’s investigation into the serial rapist who attacked her 15-year-old self and her 14-year-old sister. She wanted to understand the man who raped her and her sister and was thought to be responsible for at least 44 other rapes in just a few years.
While she really never understands what happened to her rapist to make him the demon he became, Jessica learns a lot about herself during the research. She shares with the reader how much she missed or failed to experience while waiting to “feel about that later.”
Denial: A Memoir is a powerful and honest look at the life of a multiple trauma survivor, suffering from the mental illness that results. The book is difficult to read at times, but it’s worth the struggle.