The Final Girl Support Group – The famous horror novel
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Lynnette Tarkington is a real-life final girl who survived a massacre. For more than a decade, she’s been meeting with five other final girls and their therapist in a support group for those who survived the unthinkable, working to put their lives back together. Her story is chronicled in the book Final Girls, out Tuesday from Riverhead Books. She joins Midday to talk about what she’s learned about coping with trauma, and the importance of telling your story.
A final girl is a survivor of a mass shooting. When concerned people want to know what it’s like to live with the trauma, they ask you yourself, someone who survived and comes from the perspective of someone who survived. But what do you know about living post-traumatic stress in mainstream America?
We don’t talk about it enough. And the last survivors are dying off. There are survivors who live in the shadows. People that can’t talk about it because they don’t want to be seen as weak, like if they went to a therapist or a support group, they think it would make them seem weak.
A woman I know got asked by her boss at work if she was alright. The next day she was gone, and it was like, “Oh my gosh, this is happening to everyone! We need to talk about it. We need people talking about mental illness. This is not normal.”
There is a stigma attached to mental illness as well as on being in recovery because you’ve been through something traumatic.