What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing
Have you ever wondered, “Why did I do that?” or “Why can’t I just control my behavior?” Others may judge our reactions and think, “What’s wrong with that person?” When questioning our emotions, it’s easy to place the blame on ourselves, holding ourselves and those around us to an impossible standard. It’s time we started asking a different question.
Through deeply personal conversations, Oprah Winfrey and renowned brain and trauma expert Dr. Bruce Perry offer a groundbreaking and profound shift from asking “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?”
Here, Winfrey shares stories from her own past, understanding through experience the vulnerability that comes from facing trauma and adversity at a young age. In conversation throughout the audiobook, she and Dr. Perry focus on understanding people, behavior, and ourselves. It’s a subtle but profound shift in our approach to trauma, and it’s one that allows us to understand our past in order to clear a path to our future – opening the door to resilience and healing in a proven powerful way.
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Human beings are no strangers to trauma. What has changed throughout our evolutionary history are the ways in which we heal from trauma. What was once a tribal, community-based family system has become desperate, individualized, and spread out. We have traded the healing powers of community for rugged individualism, and it hasn’t always been the best thing.
I had so many “aha” moments while listening to WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU. So many times when I heard a description of an experience that fit me to a tee, so many times when I thought, “So that’s why!” and so many times when I wish I knew in my past what I know in my present. And, just when I thought I had gathered together all of the moments from the narrative, Oprah’s epilogue hit me. Or, rather, her astounding definition of forgiveness hit me: Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different than what it was.
From the structure of our brains to how remarkably resilient we can be when healing is approached the right way, I found this book truly captivating, emotional, and valuable.
Author: Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D.
Additional Author: Oprah Winfrey