In the final months of 2015, my much-beloved partner of eleven years, Jason, was the victim of two brutal attacks. After the second, he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In August 2019, after a failed attempt to check him into a behavioral health crisis center, we realized that our mental health and our relationship weren’t improving. They were eroding, close to collapse.
I am an academic and an investigative journalist. When faced with an existential threat or deep question, I research. I write. I read books. PTSD Bookclub is where I’ll share my journey through great books about trauma and its aftermath.
Starting April 2021, I’ll re-read the twelve books that most helped me cope: provided a crucial new insight, made me feel seen and validated, or simply offered hope and courage. I’ll try to read a book a month, posting weekly short reflections on the book’s most resonant contributions, insights drawn from my own experience, interviews and related research.
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While there will be room to talk about the traumas that brought PTSD into our lives, from sexual assault to military service to systemic racism, this space won’t be geared toward peer support or group therapy. There are other great venues for that important work. Check out the Trauma Book Club, the Spouses & Family Members’ PTSD Support Group, or find a PTSD support group through NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness).
If you or anyone you know is in danger or crisis, here is a good list of numbers to call or text or TTY for support: https://autistichoya.net/resources/crisis-resource-list/ (via the indomitable Lydia X. Z. Brown).
If you are a US veteran who needs support, contact the Veterans Crisis Line:
- 1-800-273-8255, press 1
- Send a text to 838255
- Chat online Confidential Veterans Chat
I am the author or co-editor of three books, most recently Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor. My investigative reporting and personal essays have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Scientific American, The Nation, Harper’s, and Wired. Since 2015, I’ve been supporting my partner, Jason, through the process of healing from PTSD. Read more