What I Learned -or Remembered- when I Read Brave
There are (at least) 2 kinds of being brave. One is an illusion in which we tell ourselves a version of events that we would like to be true. The other is the real deal. It involves facing our fears head on and living to tell the tale. In a future ATN blog post, Janyne will talk more about these two kinds of being brave.

What I Learned -or Remembered- when I Read Brave

photo of Brave book cover1) There are (at least) 2 kinds of being brave. One is an illusion in which we tell ourselves a version of events that we would like to be true. The other is the real deal. It involves facing our fears head on and living to tell the tale. In a future ATN blog post, Janyne will talk more about these two kinds of being brave.

2) Even the most “together” person in the world can be falling apart inside. Remember: it is absolutely impossible to know another’s story unless they choose to tell.

3) Bad things happen to children. Unspeakable things. Sometimes many times. Adults are the only ones who can protect them. It is up to us to be that adult.

4) An “overreaction” pretty much always has an explanation, especially if the person “overreacting” is a child.

5) The body remembers. Our likes, dislikes, passions, and fears all find their expression in our body, whether it be physical illness or inability to engage in the behaviors that social life demands.

6) Touch is everything. It is one of the five senses, the ways in which we know the world and are known. Bad touch destroys lives. Healing touch restores them. 

BRAVE - book review7) Everyone needs a mom. This is one of the best accounts I’ve ever read of what happens in the absence of maternal connection and care, told from the child’s perspective.

8) Not everything has to be disclosed. Processed in a therapeutic way? Yes. Shared with the whole world? Not necessarily. Although I wondered at this at first, I ended up finding it completely understandable and actually freeing as I fight my own demons to get my family’s story down on the page (or screen). Janyne will hopefully share more in a future ATN post about deciding what, and how much, to tell.

9) Listen to the author when she warns that this book may trigger you. She says it in the book’s introduction and she blogs about it too in To Read or Not to Read. My children and I have survived something very different and in many ways less horrific, yet there were moments in the reading that awakened my own secondary traumatic stress. I would guess this is especially true for survivors of sexual abuse.

10) Healing is possible at any pace and at any age. Brave shows us that it’s never too late to pass through rather than over or around our pain so that we can truly live. If it happened for Janyne, it can happen for us and for our children too. 

Remember to stay tuned for more from Janyne about being brave vs. being brave and how she chose what parts of her story to share.

Meanwhile…

Learn more about Janyne and her Brave journey on her website: https://www.janyne.org/

AND

Get the book, now available on Amazon, Powell’s, or the bookseller of your choice (I found several on bookfinder.com)

I am a solo mother of three, all adopted as older children from India, all of whom have been affected by early childhood trauma, particularly my youngest, who was diagnosed at age six with RAD, ADHD, and ODD. We had struggled along as best we could for more than two years before that, whereupon I started learning all I could about trauma and attachment. It has changed our lives for the better. Not only has it set my son on a path that could –maybe– lead to eventual healing, it taught me the type of help my eldest would need as she dealt with her own past en route to young adulthood. Perhaps best of all, it led me to ATN, who not only helped our family, but also gave me the chance to pay it forward by helping families like ours find the support they need. In my “real” job, I am a World Languages professor and department chair at a private liberal arts college in the Appalachian mountains. I have found a way to merge my passions by researching the depiction of intercountry adoption in world literature and film and guest-lecturing for education classes about diversity, inclusion, and trauma-informed instruction. In what passes for my free time, I enjoy long walks, reading, writing, playing piano, and caring for our dog and cats.

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