Nursing Book Club
Stepping Back from the Ledge by Laura Trujillo
A Daughter’s Search for Truth and Renewal
Stepping Back from the Ledge is a short memoir (only 195 pages) in which author and journalist Laura Trujillo details her personal history of trauma and her mother’s suicide. She tries to connect the dots as she blames herself for the death, but the reality isn’t so simple.
Little by little, Trujillo reveals her own past and its many unexamined questions. She had a great marriage and four wonderful children. She’d just taken a great new job that was a step up for her. However, for the previous 23 years, she’d moved around the country, always living great distances from her family of origin. She later moved again to be closer to her husband’s family. The question she eventually had to ask herself was “Why?” Was all this moving away a result of her childhood yet to be confronted?
We eventually learn that Trujillo had suffered childhood trauma at the hands of her mother’s husband, which had lain unresolved and unexplored for decades — never discussed, never acknowledged. After her latest move, she realized that even with all her successes, she still felt sad all the time.