Liar Liar- Finding my Sunset After Sexual Assault
A version of this post was published on the Trigger Publishing Blog
Go through many years of mental turmoil. Write a book about it. Find a publisher (Trigger!). Promote that book. Launch it. Ride off into the sunset…or something like that...
It still floors me that I wrote a book and that people have actually read it and continue to read it. It feels terrifying, thrilling, a bit awkward, but oh so amazing. You may be wondering what this book I keep mentioning is about. So here goes, in September of 2011, when I was 18 and away from home for the first time, I was sexually assaulted by a student at my university.
My college discouraged me from going to the police and then covered up what happened. As you can probably imagine, this led to those many years of mental turmoil I previously referred to. My friends abandoned me, my grades suffered, and my self-image tanked. I struggled with depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide. I felt worthless and utterly alone, until finally in the spring of 2015, when I was able to get help and piece back together my life. If you’re curious about how that happened, you’ll just have to read the book!
I really didn’t know what to expect when I contacted Trigger in January of 2018. In March of that year came the amazing news that my book was getting published and a year later I got to
launch my book at my absolute favorite bookstore, Brookline Booksmith. It is very surreal to have your own event at a place where you buy all your books and Christmas presents! This event was one of the best nights of my life and so many friends, family, co-workers, and old teachers came out to support me. That night I truly owned my story and didn’t let it own me. My heart felt full and I was able to honor the 18 year girl who suffered so much so I could live on.
Last summer, I got the amazing news that my book was getting a new launch with a new title and cover. The news was a bit surprising, but still very exciting. I fell in love with my new cover and the pink color and flowers really feel like me. I think the team who redesigned it did a stunning job and this cover suits the story.
It was hard at first to let go of the original title, Liar Laurie, as naming my book this had helped
me to empower myself (an administrator at my school called me “Liar Laurie” when I tried to get help), but I do feel that the name Liar Liar can help this book reach a larger audience and find more people who could benefit from reading it. The new title put together with the new cover looks fantastic.
So, back to riding off into the sunset. I don’t think this really happens for anyone, because when one “battle” is over we get to keep on chugging along in our lives. Things don’t end in a neat or perfect way and the best part is, things don’t end! So here’s my “sunset” that I get to keep growing in:
Finding my person and getting engaged in 2019 and married in the summer of 2020.
Guest lecturing multiple times at Northeastern University to victimology students about my experience.
Spending many a weekend going to every bookstore in a 50-mile radius and signing copies of my book.
My sunset is being a teacher and getting to spend my days teaching young children how to read, subtract, and what a noun is.
It's sleeping in on Saturdays, lattes, and that moment when you find which smoke detector is chirping.
It’s getting messages and comments from people expressing how much my story has helped them in their own lives and it’s especially amazing to learn that someone is getting help after reading my book or hearing me talk. It’s been my dream – in taking the plunge and sharing the most painful time in my life – to positively impact people who have gone through similar suffering.
It's the incredible fact that Liar Liar will be out on October 1st 2020 in the U.S!
I want people to know they are not alone and their trauma does not define them. And that though I have written a book and lead a pretty normal (boring) life, that I still can struggle and things can never be “perfect” for any of us, but that’s ok. I still enjoy my lattes and my many “good” days.
I am so grateful for the experience to launch my book and I hope that reading my story will
help you find your own never ending sunset, lattes and all.
P.S -And if you’re in the U.K you can find Liar Liar here!