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New book helps children and young people who have experienced trauma

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Author Juliette Ttofa is launching her latest book, The Silent Selkie, at Three Storeys in Nailsworth.

The Silent Selkie describes a character who is unable to communicate in words and whose only way of communicating is through the weather, which leads to disastrous consequences not only for the Selkie, but also for everyone around her.

But behind her golden scales, the Selkie hides a secret wound that even she is unaware of, and it is only when the Selkie’s skin becomes uncovered by the force of the sea that she remembers the terrible story of what caused her hurt, long ago.

Only then can the Selkie awaken to come to terms with her wound and begin a journey of healing that will bring her face-to-face with what she has needed all along.

The story uses the metaphor of trauma as a ‘hidden wound’, which is an emotional or psychological pain that needs both acknowledgement and expression, within the context of a safe, supportive environment, in which to begin to heal.

DSC03663 | New book helps children and young people who have experienced trauma
Juliette Ttofa. Picture: Matt Bigwood.

“I wrote the story of The Silent Selkie just before the pandemic and as lockdown went on it seemed to become even more important to write a guide for adults to go with the story,” explained Juliette.  

“Because of my own experiences of childhood trauma, I wanted to write a book that described some of the difficulties trauma survivors face like low self-esteem, hypersensitivity and emotional reactivity.  

“But this is ultimately a hopeful book – it’s about what we can do to dissolve unhealthy habits or patterns of behaviour that no longer serve us and become who we really are inside.  In the story, the Selkie grows out of her old skin and develops a new healthy and more resilient skin. 

“This is an internal process – and it is not a quick process. We have to really work at this in order to heal from the inside out.  However, just as a caterpillar’s metamorphosis into a butterfly is an internal process, without a safe cocoon in which to transform, the butterfly never emerges.

“It’s the same when it comes to human transformation: a healthy environment – in particular, when we are around nature, animals and emotionally safe adults –  is crucial to us being able to heal from within, allowing who we are inside to grow stronger each day.”

Anyone wishing to attend the launch event at Three Storeys on September 5th, 7.30pm, should send a message to Juliette on Facebook www.facebook.com/JulietteTtofaAuthor as spaces are limited.

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