Pierre Janet, French philosopher and psychologist, wrote in 1889, “Personal unity, identity, and initiative are not primitive characteristics of psychological life. They are incomplete results acquired with difficulty after long work, and they are very fragile.”

I began to realize how the mirrors of other people and of the surrounding culture created a self that at the age of 18 lacked a sense of boundaries, a core, a sense of what violation was. Writing was initially an act of rage, an attempt to integrate what lay beneath the surface. It was an attempt to create wholeness within myself, to understand what had formed me and those close to me.