Day Breaks Over Dharamsala – A Memoir of Life Lost and Found

July 6, 2010 Comments Off on Day Breaks Over Dharamsala – A Memoir of Life Lost and Found

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Day Breaks Over Dharamsala – A Memoir of Life Lost and Found by Janet Thomas
Day Breaks Over Dharamsala was a 20-year writing journey that started in 1990. A year later, I moved to an island to finish it. I had no idea that I had another twenty years to go.  To begin with, it was a book full of anguish, fear and loathing–for both self and other. It had no redeeming humor, no redemption, and no India. It chronicled a different trip, to California, down a highway of recrimination, shame and rage.  I had a lot of healing ahead of me.

book excerpt:
I’ve tried to heal from the electric shocks that could never happen but did; the sexual slavery as a child that only my body remembers; the experiments that happened to someone else. In my body; the days and nights in the dark that made indistinguishable my self from all that did not exist; the places where I became an animal, where being debased for the enjoyment of others was my charm and my glory. I heal from it all, even as I know it could never have happened to me. It is what I don’t know that has both saved me and condemned me. And it seems, at times, as though there is no difference.

I do bear one visible scar. It’s four inches long and reaches down the inside of my left forearm. On my left hand are five-year old fingers and a thumb that does not bend. There is not much feeling in this hand. It is a hand that is always cold, always numb, always looked after by my other hand–the right one, the one that writes, that does everything. “The scar is real,” it writes. It is a huge scar. It is connected to medical experiments and electric shocks to see if the severed nerve would grow, and electric shocks to make sure I didn’t remember the electric shocks. And shocks to obliterate the memory of the sexual exploitation, the manipulation of my mind, and the banishment of my self to a place of hiding so profound it would take me fifty years to get her back….

Many children were experimented on in the 40s and 50s; they still are. Many children were used for child prostitution and pornography; they still are. Many children, and adults, too, had their minds experimented upon through electric shock and drugs and by the destruction of the bonds that make life possible. It is everywhere. Yet it is ultimately our healing that matters. Only in healing that which is invisible is there hope.
Nutshell Books (November 2009) ISBN-13: 978-0615329215
http://www.daybreaksoverdharamsala.com/

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