What My Bones Know by Stephanie Foo is a deep look at complex PTSD and how it can affect not just the individual but everyone around them as well. It’s kind of weird how I decided to read this memoir, as I myself don’t suffer from this syndrome, but interestingly, it just somehow got my attention. I remember hearing about Stephanie talking about her book on an NPR podcast and her being a member of the Snap Judgement crew in the past. I had a feeling she had a knack for storytelling, and I was not wrong. This memoir is raw and lays out everything the author had to experience on the table for everyone to see, no holds barred. Her sadness, anger, resentment, happiness, confusion, and weakness are all here.
Healing is never final. It is never perfection. But along with the losses are the triumphs. - Stephanie Foo
What I admire most about the author is her willingness to understand her own diagnosis of C-PTSD by researching and doing a lot of studying on her own. Although she obviously tried many therapists, her drive and motivation to get a better grip on this condition, I’m assuming, can’t be done by many. The despair must have been a mountain to overcome. Although the book is only 330+ pages or so, it’s not an easy read in that I wouldn’t consider this one of those books that you’d likely complete in one or two sittings. Although I found some parts to be a bit repetitive, I figured that was the point for sufferers of C-PTSD and other syndromes in that some advice and tricks may work for some while not for many others. However, I’m glad the author does sprinkle in some quirky and funny bits of conversations and thoughts once in a while to lighten the mood.
“Pain is about feeling real, appropriate, and valid hurt when something bad happens. Suffering is when you add extra dollops to that pain.” - Dr. Ham
While you obviously don’t need to be inflicted with C-PTSD to enjoy this memoir, it’s great that there were still so many things that I learned from her trials and tribulations that could be applied to my own personal life. I’m truly happy for Stephanie and any others out there who have battled and are likely still battling this complex issue. It’s horrible that people have to go through this, and I’m hoping her book can be of some comfort and help.