A compilation of real-life essays and stories which build to create a window into the world of chronic, lifelong disability. Jennifer takes us deep into her world of loss, physical and emotional pain, as she determines to break the chains of family dysfunction and find the voice she always knew she had.
More than merely a list of events or symptoms, through deep, raw, and yet somehow incredibly hopeful snapshots, Jennifer shares a sweeping story spanning over four decades and six countries. Each snippet is a moment from her strangely nomadic life. An outsider always, a leper if you will, with an unknowingly desperate need to find her place in a very lost world.
Starting with the very first of her symptoms in her preteen years, one gets a taste of Jennifer’s family of origin, which helps to make sense why she has no idea how to speak up, or that her symptoms aren’t just “what everyone else experiences”.
Her stories take us right through to the present, where she is close to a diagnosis and the care she needs, a successful writer, author, mentor and coach.
The last few chapters in the book speak of why it’s so important to find our voices, how to articulate them in ways that help us to express them well, and in turn, how to listen to others. This book is a crucial resource for both sides of the conversation.
There are hints of the troubled childhood which silenced her voice in the first place, which will unfold in the next instalment of her memoirs.
Truly a global citizen, Jennifer Peacock-Smith is a South African Australian currently living in Europe. Having recently turned fifty, she’s heading into the second half of her adult life with the same warrior spirit that helped her survive the first. Penning her memoirs has become not only a priority but a coping mechanism as her body has gradually fallen apart over the last few decades.
Jennifer is not only someone who has a life-long disability… she is way more than that. She’s an artist and art teacher for twenty years, a mentor and life coach, A writer for The Mighty, Author of “The Lion and the Peacock”, first lady in the relative limelight of husband with a very public job, and head of various Chronic Illness Support groups.
She brings her depth of experience in counselling, writing, survival and parenting to her deeply personal and encouraging writings of not only her raw stories but of how she pulls herself out from the various pits to lead a full and vibrant life… if mostly from her bed.
Where you can find me:
The Mighty: https://themighty.com/u/jennifer-peacock-smith/
Twitter and Instagram handles: @JPeaSmith