From xo Jane: Caitlin Thomas writes in WHAT IT'S REALLYLIKE: I'M A DRUG-ADDICTED STRIPPER: Empowerment comes in the front door when I can make rent in a singular evening. Yet, it leaves through the back door when I blow it all on pills.
I like this woman’s honesty, but it does make me wonder what the correct response is from the reader.
Should we be happy that she’s coherent enough to string together words?
Should we rub our hands together with glee because we knew all along that strippers were all a bunch of druggies?
Should we think it’s so cool and edgy to write about one’s own vices while in the midst of them with that oh-so-cooler-than-thou-attitude of superiority?
Or do we examine the role of memoir as it is used here to hopefully enable this woman to see her demons out in the open and perhaps start dealing with them before it is too late?
Personal writing can be used to help people in the midst of traumatic experiences process the experience and see it for what it is. Thomas’ simple act of reflecting on her experience, which she admits is stereotypical in most people’s eyes, will hopefully allow her to understand herself better and deeper.