Tammy Traber

41-year old, divorced mother of 3 (2 daughters, 1 son). Honorable Discharged U.S. ARNG—Military Police. Worked as a caseworker for former Congressman Hamilton Fish, Jr. (R-NY). Grew up in Maryland, lived in NY and VA. A.A. graduated ’92 from Dutchess Community College—Poughkeepsie, NY.

At the age of 13 I discovered Emily Dickinson and have dreamt of being a poet ever since. After the birth of my 1st daughter my seemingly perfect life spiraled into a wave of deep depression and memories of the sexual abuse I suppressed as a child and adolescent. I was diagnosed with delayed onset PTSD and after 4 years of psychiatric care, I began to self-medicate with prescription narcotics. This addiction led to my current sentence of 12 years for robbery of which I am in my 7th year.

I wrote “War” hoping to express the daily struggle between my brain and the memories that haunt me. The harmony (peace) between my heart and my head was taken—the control when I was raped by the “faceless man.”

Get the Free Speech News You Need

protesters in face masks carrying old Belarusian national flags

PEN America has a new weekly newsletter, PEN Points, bringing you a digest of the biggest free expression news of the week, plus the analysis and insights you trust from PEN America experts.