Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Arts (MA)




This thesis is a memoir that explores the evolution and disintegration of two major relationships in my life, one insidious, the other toxic, as well as the factors that led to those relationships. The first two chapters explore my relationship with Adam, a twenty-one-year-old man who forced his way into my heart, while the final chapters navigate the relationship with my college boyfriend and ex-fiance, Cameron, as well as the aftermath and slow path toward healing after his departure. The two sections are divided by a middle chapter that shows moments in my childhood that, while small, signify powerful messages about what it meant to fit in and be accepted in my world. Altogether, this thesis explores the idea of trauma. While many other memoirs touch on the same theme, my thesis differs in the type of trauma experienced, particularly in the relationship with Adam. Statutory rape is rarely talked about, and when it is, it seems to be met with derision, condemnation, and marginalization. The speaker in my thesis does not take the stance of a victim or a perpetrator, but as someone who is confused about the situation and how she feels, particularly in relation to how others tell her how she should feel. As the memoir progresses, the speaker has to grapple how to find her own voice after she's been silenced her entire life.



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