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After 9/11: One Girl's Journey through Darkness to a New Beginning

After 9/11: One Girl's Journey through Darkness to a New Beginning


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“You are a herald for your generation....Thank you for using your voice to help us make sense of that dark day, and forge a new beginning.”—Hillary Rodham Clinton, in a letter to Helaina Hovitz

Helaina Hovitz was twelve years old and in middle school three blocks away when the World Trade Center was attacked. Her memoir encapsulates the journey of a girl growing up with PTSD after living through the events firsthand, chronicling its effects on a young girl at the outset of adolescence and following her as she spirals into addiction and rebellion, through loss, chaos, and confusion.

The events and experiences that are now common knowledge to everyone were a very real part of Helaina’s life and are still as vivid in her memory today: the sickening thud of falling bodies hitting cars, the crumbling towers, running for her life as she tried to get home, her universe literally engulfed in a cloud. Hundreds, including Helaina, were stranded in the neighborhood, also just blocks from the towers, without phones or electricity or anyone to help. For fear of subsequent attacks, not to mention the toxic substances in the air, everyone was urged to stay inside their debris-filled apartments.

Anyone who has survived a horrific event knows that just because a body remains in motion does not mean everything will simply “go back to normal.” The chemistry of the brain and the body changes, impacting our relationships, our choices, and how we experience the world around us. Yet, we rarely find out what actually happens to people as they try to move on from a life-threatening experience—especially children, who are just beginning to develop an understanding of the world around them.

It would take Helaina more than a decade to overcome the PTSD — and subsequent alcohol addiction — that went misdiagnosed and mistreated for so many years. In many ways, After 9/11 is the story of a generation growing up in the aftermath of America’s darkest day. And for one young woman, it is the story of a survivor who, after witnessing the end, got to make a new beginning.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631440625
Publisher: Carrel Books
Publication date: 09/06/2016
Pages: 492
Sales rank: 733,545
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Helaina Hovitz is a journalist and editor, specializing in positive and inspiring stories. She has written for the New York Times, Salon, The New York Observer, Forbes, Newsday,Glamour, VICE, Huffington Post, UpWorthy, Teen Vogue, and Newsday. She lives in New York with her husband and their rescue dog, Wiley.

Jasmin Lee Cori MS, LPC, is a psychotherapist and author of Healing From Trauma: A Survivor's Guide to Understanding Your Symptoms and Reclaiming Your Life.

Patricia Harte Bratt, PhD, is the Director of the Academy of Clinical and Applied Psychoanalysis (ACAP), the President of the National Association for the Achievement of Psychoanalysis (NAAP), and the author of Reciprocal Resilience: Surprising Benefits for Clinicians of Listening to Stories of Trauma.

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