A song, a movie scene, or book can trigger memories both good and bad. These recollections are fragments of our stories, which in many cases have brought us to the social work profession. In your life, you may have encountered a situation that changes your perspective forever or gives you that fire in your gut to do something meaningful—to right all the wrongs in the world. Given the prevalence of mental illness, most likely you or someone close to you may have suffered from a tragedy or mental health disorder. These events are a powerful call to action, and how you harness your unique story makes a difference.
I’ve thought a great deal about my own history and how it has influenced me. My story is intertwined with the taboo subject of pornography. My father distributed the classic adult film Deep Throat in the 1970s and was prosecuted by the federal government on obscenity charges. Chaos ensued in my family after dad’s indictment. My mother suffered from depression and attempted suicide. We all survived and eventually thrived, and my family’s experience culminated in the publication of my memoir, The Pornographer’s Daughter.