Written by: Prerna Vij
“I had only one friend – fear,” says Dr Priya Saklani, describing her childhood. In her memoir The Wounded Healer, the Mumbai-based author recalls the trauma of sexual abuse that she underwent for 19 years.
A firm believer that the only way forward is by addressing the past and to attempt to heal oneself, Saklani feels that otherwise the trauma subconsciously begins to affect the person, making it difficult to lead a “normal” life.
She was in Chandigarh on June 28 on the invitation of the Chandigarh Literary Society for the launch of her debut book. The author spoke to Supreet Dhiman of the portal End Incest.
During the discussion, Saklani shared how her childhood was traumatic in numerous ways and how that shaped her idea of human affection. Her idea of physical touch pushed her to detach herself. Born in Dagshai, she was abandoned by her mother. She suffered abuse by those “closest to her”.
It was after moving to Mumbai at the age of 24 that she began to discover herself. She started a new life and adopted two dogs. Soon she became a certified “holistic life coach” and began to help people heal. “Your childhood holds the key to your mental wellness today,” says she.
The book The Wounded Healer brings her story to the forefront and acts as a catharsis. While it helped her deal with her traumatic past, Saklani says that through it she also attempts to dispel the stigma attached to discussions on sexual abuse.
She hopes that once people read her story, they will gather the courage to share their own struggles or even be more comforted knowing that they aren’t alone in this fight.
The author says it is important to share such stories to overcome a conservative mindset. “I have been brutally honest about my life in this book because that was the key to my healing. I had to embrace every part of me in order to heal my soul. I had to be completely honest with myself first. I had to feel my pain and express myself.”
During her coaching sessions, she interacts with people who have had traumatic experiences and encourages them to self-heal. Also an animal healer, she also practices reiki — the Japanese art of healing — on animals.