She needed to recover. His father had died in January; it was only the end of May. They needed to stick to the routine they'd established during the intervening months. In that way, their life would return to its original shape, like a spring stretched in bad times but contracting eventually into happiness. That the world could come permanently unsprung had never occurred to him. (223)
Public truth telling is a form of recovery, especially when combined with social action. Sharing traumatic experiences with others enables victims to reconstruct repressed memory, mourn loss, and master helplessness, which is trauma's essential insult. And, by facilitating reconnection to ordinary life, the public testimony helps survivors restore basic trust in a just world and overcome feelings of isolation. But the talking cure is predicated on the existence of a community willing to bear witness. 'Recovery can take place only within the context of relationships,' write Judith Herman. 'It cannot occur in isolation.