Dear Dr. Ford

Dear Dr. Ford:

I would like to recommend to you a recently published book, The Choice, by Dr. Edith Eger. Dr. Eger, a psychologist who has worked with victims of trauma, details her own process of healing from the brutal, dehumanizing experience she suffered as a young adolescent in Auschwitz and in two Nazi labor camps. She made her “choice” to return to Auschwitz, 36 years after she was liberated by U.S. infantry, to confront the demons of guilt that plagued her for all of her adult life. Hers is a story of courage and redemption. I trust that you will find some parallels in her story to your own journey which led you back 36 years, not to a physical location, but to a time and place in your memory. Trauma as we now know, and as you detailed in your testimony, resides not only in information in the hippocampus, it also contains the residue of all the bodily, visceral sensations experienced during the trauma.

I am a psychologist myself, and teach Kabbalah here in Denver. As such, I am often in discussions about letting go of the past and the healing power of forgiveness. The lens through which we understand how a process comes to completion (fully or partially) is the Tree of Life and the flow of energy from the infinite down to the finite; from beyond what we are aware of, can perceive or have planned and what winds up manifesting in our lives. While there is always choice involved, we are often guided by serendipity and the challenges and opportunities presented to us.

For Dr. Eger there always was the possibility of returning to Auschwitz but it was an invitation to share her expertise with chaplains at a trauma victimization conference in Germany which led her to the choice of returning to the concentration camp where her parents were murdered in gas chambers. For you Dr. Ford, your secret of the sexual attack was shared just a few years ago in therapy. Your journey of healing though was not what you planned, but was revealed, both as an extreme challenge and opportunity. The choice was yours. Instead of declining you pushed forward and in so doing, heroically modeled for others the choice to heal.

Dr. Eger: “ I was not able to have the joy and the compassion until I was able to return to Auschwitz. Until I was able to somehow able to reclaim my innocence, assign the shame and guilt to the perpetrator and forgive myself.”

I truly hope you have reclaimed your innocence, assigned the shame and guilt to your perpetrators and forgiven yourself.

David Sanders

Comments 3

  1. Our painful experiences are not a liability…they are a gift…
    Prejudice is to pre judge. You were victimized, but did not end up broken,and you certainly have not run away from your past. There are lives that you are trying to save,as the past did show up…right in front of all our TV sets. You certainly can’t change the past,but you have shown up in front of a senate judiciary confirmation proclamation pannel,to make sure the future of women are not imprisoned,held hostage…like you were bound down and silenced, by Kavanaugh’s attack on your person. His attack had not used you up and caused you to deny your innosence.
    Your speaking truth to power,certainly caused the masks of Kavanugh to fall apart.
    You wanted them to take responsibility for the way their senate hearing was going to contribute to the further suffering of women by a known perpetrator.
    The Anita Hill hearings should have been the end all,to monsters lurking in the halls of the supreme court of the U.S.
    Moving forward meant circling back…back to Dr Anita Hill and when she transformed from victim to thriver, by breaking the conspiracy of silence.
    The darkness that comes out of the senate hearing is that women do not matter. Nothing will make up for the universal loss that women feel…as we have been taught to believe that we do not matter, and we have internalized the feelings of unworthiness…and then this!?!?!?
    We have a choice to pay attention…to really pay attention.
    We are heading towards a place worse that any of us have yet seen.
    To be a hero requires us to take effective action at crucial junctures in our lives as well as the life of a nation.
    We all sat with with a gut feeling on our stomaches that some things was terribly wrong at the senate hearing-
    a calamity institution and discriminatory law…rigid,blaming,punative,stuck in the past, pessimistic,arrogant,angry,untrustworthy….the same old same old…
    For the dark side of our Senate needs to clue in and get with it….
    You can’t hid and deny the dark side that come out of this hearing and was broadcasted across our TV sets…It is high time you got authentic,and stop giving lip service to women.

  2. The upset is that it is business as usual.With Kavanaugh… we will have the usual ground hogs day…with women not having the right to choose what happens to our bodies, our ovaries, and he could turn over Roe vs Wade. The job is a life time appointment. What is going to happen if Trump lasts till Jan 2025?. The 60 minute interview with Trump,had the president claiming, that he got Kavanaugh confirmed, as he made fun of Dr Ford. He mimicked Dr Ford. He won by making fun of her. Kavanaugh is required to be an open book, when he asks to sit on the highest court of the land. RBG was put through a fine tooth comb. So why do the rules get changed in the Kavanaugh case?

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