December 1, 2013
Full Body Burden
“The cost of silence and the secrets it contains is high, but you don’t learn the price until later. Secrets depend upon the smooth façade of silence, on the calm flat water that hides the darker depths” (Iversen 300). Full Body Burden, a memoir by Kristen Iversen involves her past life experiences as well as the environment she grew up in. Iversen grew up in a small Colorado town nearby Rocky Flats, a secret factory developing nuclear weapons. However living next to a secret nuclear weapons plant was not her only troubles; her father also held secrets that unfolds themselves. Throughout the book there are many secrets that lurk and haunt both Iversen’s family and the community she grew up in. With secrets being upheld, consequences will arise, eventually surfacing and leaving a devastating impact on both groups. Although there were different secrets for each individual group, Iversen’s family and the community she grew up in both experience tragedy throughout. The effects both groups experienced left an unbearable wound on both the community and Iversen’s family that ultimately may not heal. Secrets in time, will always surface no matter who holds it, and eventually it will get out leading to an effect that can simply multiply. Some secrets are good to keep but not all. For example a surprise party for another is good, but information that can cause harm to others is not. I believe if the secret involves you and you are at risk of being in danger, then you should know about it. When you keep a secret, you are not only putting stress on yourself, you are also held responsible for the information. Keeping secrets from others that involves and affects them negatively shows dishonesty. There are many effects secrets can cause such as destroying relationships, raise suspicion and resentment and a false sense of reality. When destroying relationships, the people involved may lose communication, honesty and break strong bonds that were created. People whose lives are involved may become paranoid, act differently, and set an uncomfortable environment for all. Finally they lose sense of reality. It is hard for them to depict what is true and false, they are stuck in denial, which can lead to psychological problems. There were many secrets Kristen’s father kept from his family. A father’s role is supposedly to nurture, care, and make lives easier for all his love ones. Kristen’s father was not a fatherly figure, instead of making their lives easier; he put them through a lot of difficulties causing a bumpy road for them all. He puts the lives of his children in extreme danger due to his alcoholic issues, is deceitful, causing unordinary problems to surface, and abandons his family leaving them wounded. Overtime his shroud of secrecy is slowly revealed. Kristen mother is constantly being bombarded with problems in which she states “until it finally becomes evident to her that there is now to hide the dust and chaos of our household and the constant parade of half hidden bottles of bourbon. She quietly drops out of the group and never mentions it again” (Iversen 63) from this quote it is clear her father is tearing their family apart as well as killing her mother slowly inside. You can also conclude how dysfunctional her home is. In the first couple chapters, Kristen makes known that her father is an alcoholic. His drinking problem results in Kristen’s mother being depressed. However she does not show it, she is continuously denying how awful her relationship is with her husband. Instead she is putting on a mask as if nothing ever happen. In addition her father has been in car accidents before due to overly drinking then driving. Kristen’s father is willing to drive drunk with his children with him, putting their lives at risk. The sad thing is he denies he was ever intoxicated when driving under the influence. He claims there was another...
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