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Torah Bontrager ~ 06/15/18 ~ Cosmos Connection ~ Hosts Janet Kira Lessin & There

  • Broadcast in Education
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An Amish Girl in Manhattan: Escaping at Age 15, Breaking All the Rules, and Feeling Safe Again is the true story of Torah whose Amish childhood was so crushing that she literally escaped in the middle of the night at age 15, without telling anyone goodbye. She left the only world she had ever known, crash-landing into one that didn’t speak her language, wear her clothes, and understand her problems. She gave
up everything—family, security, community—in the hopes that one day her dreams might come true.

Torah began her new life with only what she could carry: the clothes on her back and $170 in her pocket. Her journey for answers about why her parents didn’t love her and why bad things happened to good people took her through nearly 30 countries, a 3year break from college, and an Ivy League philosophy degree. Her parents had been so abusive that she had had no choice but to figure out a way to leave or kill herself. Her uncles had raped her repeatedly over the course of a year, the same uncles who had helped her escape and promised shelter and safety. She lived in fear, terrorized by threats of death if she ever reported the assaults, a fear that brought her silence for 13 long years and kept her imprisoned in flashbacks.

New York City embraced Torah and gave her a home. At long last, she learned to take back her voice and feel safe again––despite C-PTSD (complex post-traumatic stress), Stockholm syndrome, and attacks on her life for speaking out. If you think you’re stuck or trapped, read this to know that you’re not crazy or alone, become accepting of your PTSD, and understand the trauma recovery process. Some wounds will never heal but it’s possible to love yourself and create meaning for your life.