Lucky by Alive Sebold takes readers through her adolescent life into adulthood as she deals with a traumatic rape occurring during her freshman year of college. As Sebold returns home for the summer she tries to go back to her “normal” life but finds that things aren’t the same after this event. Upon returning to school Sebold find that her voice can do something and after encountering her rapist on the street, her fight for justice begins. Readers follow her as she takes us through her journey of the trial and college career eventually leading her into a heroin addiction.
To me this memoir although hard to read at times is a truly remarkable story. For Sebold to tell her story in complete detail takes a type of bravery that not many people have. The book flowed in a way to allow readers to understand every aspect that was going on and I enjoyed when she made comments about thinking one way at that time and learning something different, as she got older in life. For me personally, this book was something that I needed to read in order to understand another person’s story. Being a survivor myself, there is a good amount to relate to in the book and Sebold is able to portray exactly how “victims” of this horrible event react, feel, and think. On the other side, it gives others an inside look of how someone can react to this event. I especially enjoyed the way that Sebold was able to make jokes and try to get on with her life, she showed a type of strength that is inspiring. Often a rape victim is portrayed as weak, losing everything, and a complete mess basically but Sebold was able to prove that although it is a life changing event, it doesn’t have to be one that controls your life forever. I actually cheered when Madison was sentenced due to the fact that not many survivors of this are able to see their rapist put behind bars. Sebold didn’t sugarcoat anything which although is difficult for many to read and take in, it is the truth and needs to be told. I would recommend it because not many people are informed of an event like this and also, like Sebold portrayed throughout the book, know how to react to it.
Although it isn’t said until the end of the book, Alice Sebold suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). “I had post-traumatic stress disorder, but the only way I would believe it was to discover it on my own” (p.240). Again, this was interesting since after the incident many don’t want to go to therapy and reject the crisis center counseling just like Sebold had so the symptoms get brushed off. Sebold showed symptoms throughout the book that match those in the DSM- IV criteria for someone who has PTSD. There are five main criterion to the DMS-IV being: A. Stessor
B. Intrusive recollection
The obvious stressor being the event of the rape especially since her life was threatened. Sebold experienced intrusive recollection through the way in which she would have nightmares about the rape. On page 113 it stats how she woke up screaming from the dream and later in the book after her friend, Lila is also raped the nightmares and images come back to her causing distress. She often woke up in cold sweats and lay awake the remainder of the night. Also, while the event was still new to Sebold she has described how driving through an urban neighborhood and seeing mass amounts of black men had made her anxious, how it seemed as though she had laid with all of these men since her attacker was black.
Under avoidant/numbing Sebold constantly thought that people were looking at her and judging her as the “girl who had been raped.” This caused her to drift away from many relationships that she had cherished prior especially she believed that she was tainted and unworthy of the proper affection anymore. On page 69 she describes herself as “changed, bloodied, damaged good, ruined,” all of the negative words used with...
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