Wide Open is a memoir about faith and loss of faith, about sexual assault and about the astounding human capacity to heal. I was sexually assaulted by a series of men when I was between the ages of eighteen and twenty five. My story is a raw and emotional account of how I became so vulnerable to assault, of the depths to which I fell, and of my excruciating recovery from my resulting post-traumatic stress disorder.
Wide Open begins with the start of a promising relationship. As I fall in love, I am forced to confront my past: a fundamentalist Christian upbringing, family secrets, and a sexual assault so devastating that it left me showering in my sleep, trying in vain to wash the darkness away.
When my partner leaves, I throw myself completely into my recovery and detail my healing process in near real-time, sharing my physical experiences as my body convulses and my muscles release the trauma they stored for fifteen years.
Wide Open is a peace offering to the past and present versions of myself as I develop greater self awareness and learn to treat myself with kindness.
Wide Open is the roadmap to recovery I sought and was unable to find when I was at the depths of my illness.
I read story after story of those who endured unimaginable hardship and triumphed over their darkness. But I didn't see the stitches that sewed them back together. Because I didn't see their rise from madness, I didn't know if I too could get better.
My story brings the reader through my complete recovery process in order to offer survivors hope -- maybe even proof -- that they too can heal.
Wide Open was originally published on May 1, 2019 through Coteau Books. When the Saskatchewan publishing company went bankrupt, my book was essentially out of print for a year. Now that all rights have reverted back to me, I'm re-releasing it.