'The body holds trauma far beyond the brain’s ability to remember. Telling the story of trauma involves negotiating the conflicting needs to craft the story and live within the reawakened pain. This article will examine the impacts of critically engaging with one’s own memoir of survival while living in a body forged by early childhood trauma. The external outcomes of trauma, the bodily reactions, will be linked to the processes of research, with this analysis demonstrating the potential for complex responses to trauma to be understood emotionally, critically and creatively.
'Autobiographical Higher Degree Research sits on the intersection of practice and research and questions of self-care and rehabilitation are core to understanding how future researchers in this field do so while remaining emotionally safe. The research to be discussed explores memoir as a form of self-surveillance, positing that similar disciplinary forces are in place when surveilling one’s self as is demonstrated by contemporary surveillance theory.
'The role of the self-writer who examines trauma will be resituated beyond the concept of ‘victim’, showing how by examining and questioning our own narratives it is possible to find the seeds of self-realisation that are inherent in surviving and creating with the traumatic response.' (Publication abstract)
Author's note: Author’s note: in writing this article (and my thesis), interesting fluctuations in POV and focalisation appeared when writing about difficult topics. While I was careful to eradicate as much of this as possible from my research, apart from in analysis, I’ve made a conscious decision to leave it here for experimental purposes. Now buckle in and play ‘spot the defence writing strategies’.