RIC Alumna writes book on surviving sexual abuse
What's News At RI College, March 2006 by Rob Martin
“It was time to do what I always thought was the ‘unthinkable’…it was time to tell,” wrote Meri R Kennedy ’85 of Cranston, in her new book, My Enemy, Myself. Now a local reporter for the Cranston Herald, she endured sexual abuse, molestation and rape as a child and young teen. She had kept her silence for nearly four decades.
Beginning even before she was old enough to enter kindergarten, Kennedy was sexually abused by her oldest brother. She told her mother about the abuse, but the issue was brushed aside and never told to anyone else. The trauma led Kennedy into a spiral of major depression, post traumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder and self-mutilation.
As a child, Kennedy cut and burned herself, and crushed her bones with a hammer. She continued to injure herself in adulthood, as a way to release her pain. The scars are still visible. However, over the years, Kennedy has turned to writing poetry as a way of making her pain subside.
Through a balance of poetry and prose, Kennedy’s My Enemy, Myself is able to get the reader into the mind and heart of an abused child, and into the mindset of a woman in the process of recovery and healing.
Michael J. Silvia, M ’92, a therapist who has successfully treated Kennedy for over a decade, also wrote the introduction to My Enemy, Myself. Kennedy credits Silvia with saving her life.
Kennedy’s message is that there is life after abuse. She makes herself available to the community to educate others about symptoms of abuse and self-mutilation and how it affects lives.
My Enemy, Myself, published by PublishAmerica.com, is available on Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, and on many mental health Internet sites. The book is also now available in local bookstores.