1. Title of Book: The Bible
Age I Was Traumatized: 4
I am not saying that the Bible was written by a sexual sadist. I am saying that my 1986 edition children’s Bible was, without question, illustrated by someone who regularly tied their partner to a cave wall and flogged them to ecstasy while in a Hebrew slave-Egyptian overseer roleplaying situation.
(For a kid whose parents barely let her watch TV, some of my Sunday school lessons were intense.)
2. Title of Book: Little House On the Prairie, Laura Ingalls Wilder
Age I Was Traumatized: 7
The prairie is on fire. A snake is twisting itself around your leg, having mistaken you for a source of safety. Inside the sod house, Ma is making rabbit stew with dumplings, only she has no more meat, only flour and grease. Pa tells you to bring him a drink of water from the dipper. “This is fine,” he says, staring out the window at the burning world. “Everything here is just fine.”
3. Title of Book: The Hiding Place, Corrie Ten Boom
Age I Was Traumatized: 9
Third grade is a normal and developmentally appropriate time in a child’s life for reading vivid first-person memoirs about hiding from Nazis and surviving Ravensbrück for over a year.