Underwater Daughter: A Memoir of Survival and Healing (Paperback)

Underwater Daughter: A Memoir of Survival and Healing By Antonia Deignan Cover Image
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Tuni's father began sexually abusing her when she was just four years old. Her mother, though aware of the abuse, was a silent witness--one either incapable or unwilling to intervene--and the abuse continued until Tuni was eleven. Three years later, when Tuni was fourteen, she was raped by an adult actor who was part of her cast in a professional theater production. These traumas would go on to shape much of her life.

Underwater Daughter follows how Tuni grappled with her relationship with her parents, the aftermath of her rape, an eating disorder, drug and alcohol excesses, and shame as she came of age and began to build a life. In order to not lose her inner innocence, in order to protect herself, in order to believe in love, she began early on to create imaginary worlds into which she could escape--to use dreams to transport her away from her fears. By early adulthood, she was well practiced at slapping lipstick (pink, frosty, kiss-me, gloss-over, perfect lipstick) over whatever darkness might be bubbling beneath. Hired by a dance company right out of high school, she found success as a dancer in Chicago and New York, but in her personal and emotional life, she continued to struggle. Ultimately, it took her decades of dancing, hiding, faking, fucking, costuming, implanting, dissociating, marrying, divorcing, and purging--all while staying silent about her past trauma--before a bike accident at age fifty-five forced her to stop and truly take stock of her life. As she did, she came to a resting place, finally, in regard to her father; developed the loving relationship she'd always wanted with her mother; and came to understand that, in the end, love is all anyone wants--or needs.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781647424220
ISBN-10: 1647424224
Publisher: She Writes Press
Publication Date: May 2nd, 2023
Pages: 280
Language: English