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Abstract

Suicide is taboo, as is sexual abuse. In this reflective essay, I consider my mother’s final choice, to end her life, inviting the reader to sit with me, to recognize the self in the other. I discuss my mother’s narcissism, her suicide, and the sexual abuse she endured as a child—all taboo. These taboo subjects naturally had massive impacts on my life, and I demonstrate fissures and impacts in this re-storying, as I call it, as I have begun to reframe my life in a post-suicide lens. I invite the reader to consider how breaking the taboo might create a world geared toward social justice and engage various approaches to doing this, from engaging perhaps new ways of seeing the world to the seemingly simple work of compassion and sitting with. Through these approaches, we may break cycles of oppression toward healing.

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