Outlander – Question of The Week

outlander,outlander starz, caitriona balfe, claire fraser, outlander 1x08 both sides now, outlander 1x08

(Trigger Warning: this post contains references to rape) (Also, it’s spoiler-y)

This week’s question is for the Outlander book readers.

I am a rape survivor.  I was raped twice when I was in my 20’s. The second time was a gang rape.  For a very long time I was a victim, not a survivor.  I couldn’t leave the house for about a year and then when I finally did, I’d have panic attacks if a man looked at me or stood too close.

For several years I was broken.  Then I found Outlander. I could barely get through what happens to Jamie at Wentworth. (I have no idea how I’m going to watch that) But I read it. Every word. I felt for Jamie. Knew his pain. Understood it. I knew why he wanted to die. It made me cry, for him and for me. And then, something happened. Claire helped Jamie fight his demons. They fought, and they won. They won.

That book motivated me to survive. To live and not let the men who raped me have power over me for another second. Now, I’m not saying that I finished that book and was all better. I’m almost 50 and I’m not all better. I still have the occasional panic attack (Christian Kane songs help with those, specifically Still Comin’ Down and Different Kind of Knight) but that book helped me see that you can win. As bad as what happened to me was (and it was very bad) Diana (by way of Jamie) seemed to understand and speak directly to the place inside me that was closed off. All the ugliness and pain that was locked up in there, the stuff I was afraid would kill me if I let it loose, came flooding out.

I fought. I won. And it was thanks to Diana and Jamie.

So this week’s question is:  How has Outlander touched your life? Did it help you through a troubled time? Help you find your soulmate? Motivate YOU to write? What is it about this book that has kept you with it all these years?

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About Dede Taylor

I'm a reader of books, writer of tales, dabbler of .. things. I'm also an avid TV watcher, have been since M.A.S.H. first aired ...(that was a long time ago). I've been to the Berlin Wall (when it still was a wall), shaken hands with Ronald Reagan, and lived in Puerto Rico...among other fascinating things, and I ain't done yet.
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31 Responses to Outlander – Question of The Week

  1. Alex says:

    This is so amazing! Thank you for sharing. I only discovered Outlander a couple of months ago but it’s already brought me so much joy. I’ve been severely depressed for years and it’s given me hope for the first time in what feels like forever. It’s dragged me out of the dark hole I was in. I’m not better and I probably never will be, but living everyday knowing that I have this story in my life is what helps to carry me through some of those rough times.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing. What happened to you was beyond words horrible, and I am really glad that Outlander helped you deal with your experiences and move on, at least to a great degree. I had an experience similar to Claire’s (in DIA) of losing a pregnancy somewhat late in the game. The descriptions in the book were pretty accurate and, as such, pretty traumatic for me. I think I dealt with it okay when it happened – by grieving for a long time, then accepting what happened, and then, fortunately, conceiving and carrying to term another child. So I can’t say that Outlander helped me deal with trauma, but this was an instance where what Claire experienced echoed what I had gone through a number of years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dede Taylor says:

      I’m sorry that happened to you. I know a little of how that feels, I had a miscarriage, but it was in the first trimester ..so it’s not really the same, but enough so I can empathize. I’m glad you found a way through it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Andi Norwich says:

    Wow…Dede…first off, I’m so, so sorry that you had to go thru such horrible things. My heart goes out to you.

    My situation is much different, and very much on a lighter note, but still has been my ahha…

    I married a Scotsman about 5 years ago. He’s an amazing man, filled of what I can only now describe him as, is Jamie. The sense of Loyalty, integrity, Charisma (THE MOXIE BABY) that makes people WANT to follow him, his sense of obligation to people in general – to lead and guide them, his compassion, and his all out alpha personality. I left his love And passion for lust because it’s something only for me.

    From the first time I met him -to now, I continue to ask myself “is this guy for real?” Ive met his scottish friends and family and yes, they could be Any one of the characters in the book (Diana really bails down the personality type of a Scot), which no other description than “Scottish” would /could suffice.

    But Kitt- my husband, he is the diamond in the rough. So yes, it’s like living in some dream state with him at times, just to watch him interact with me or others.

    I picked up the Outlander series about 2 months ago now, because my sis wanted to do our own book club together. (She’s on book 2, and I’m fighting to read short slow on book 5, to let her catch up. Lol.) But when I was introduced to JAMMF, before I even knew he’d end up being the major player in the story, I kept giving the mhmph out loud (something I’ve picked up a long time ago from kitt lol), thinking “did she write about my husband?”, and I read faster. And faster still. The interactions between JAMMF and Claire are so scarily similar to how Kitt and I interact, I’m drawn further into the story in the book – and validated in the real world that I married a storybook hero.

    My husband may not be a ginger, and he only stands to 6’1″, but the “insides” are the same. I have my very own living, breathing, hot -bodied Jamie and I couldn’t be more humbled by that notion.

    On a writing standpoint -Diana has penned up a whole new realm for me. The WAY she writes has been an eye opener. Her stories flow very well between not enough detail and too much. The way she goes about a chapter, it in itself is almost a mini story- all tied together. I think back to the story that I published -Turn of the Lykoi- and think “SHIT! WHAT I COULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY! ” Let’s hope the I can invoke Diana as I slowly write the sequel, Chains of the Turned.

    Those are the two ways Outlander, Jamie, and Diana have influenced and validated me. ..♡♡♡♡♡

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Dede,

    thank you very much for sharing…I fought. I won….thats my Words too. Jamie and Claire escort me during every depressive Episode and after most of the panic attacks i find peace reading the books again…so keep hoping because it get better……

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Cyn says:

    DeDe it’s a remarkable thing to put your story
    Out there and encourage healing in others. Too many people in our society are stigmatized and pushed to the quiet and darkness.
    My experiences are not quite as remarkable, but what the books did for me
    Was bring me out of my self created shell and get me out and
    Involved with more ppl. My shell was created due to disability and weight
    Issues and a fear of rejection. But these fellow fan – atics LoL are
    Quite the excepting bunch!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on Outlander Musings and commented:
    Powerful post from fellow Outlander Blogger and Fan, Dede. Amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for sharing yourself, your experience. Words can change a life.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dede,
    Thank you for sharing your story. First off, I am honored to be allowed to read this. To be able to put your struggle into words and share with us is a blessing. I am so sorry that this happened to you, but that the words of a brilliant author have helped you cope. You are encouraging to others and giving them the hope that they can begin to heal as well.
    Outlander has been in my life since I was about 12 when my mother became a fan. She knew how much I adored history and all things Scottish so she told me that when I was older, I could read the books (I couldn’t read them yet because of the nature of some of it). I always remember my mom telling me how much I would adore Jamie and Claire’s story. About 6 years ago, a friend of mine who I met via Twitter through the Twilight fandom told me about the books. I asked mom if I could borrow and I was hooked. Reading these gave me peace from where it was lacking in my life.
    The show beginning in August has given me life again. I have met so many amazing women on Twitter that have become my friends and confidantes. It is like having a breath of fresh air blown into my lonely soul. The books and this fandom have become a happy point in my day. I have met several lovely people from around the world and have bonded over our mutual love for Diana’s amazing work. It has given me a bond to my mother again. We were struggling with out relationship for years, and this has mended a lot.
    I hope and pray you continue to heal and I thank you again for sharing with us your words. You are a great person and I am grateful to have you as a friend as well.

    -Julie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dede Taylor says:

      It really is amazing how this book has brought so many people from all over the world together. I appreciate all the friends I have made over the years because of it, and look forward to making many many more 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  9. karolmonroe says:

    I am so glad that Jamie’s experience was able to help you in a way.

    To be honest, as much as I loved the novels, there was one aspect of all of them that touched a cord in me-Jamie’s particular spirituality…and that of Diana herself.

    When Claire spent time in Adoration of the Sacrement in Outlander while Jamie was recovering from his physical wounds touched a part of my soul. I had no idea until I re-read the books while becoming a Catholic in the from Easter 2004-2005 that this was the exact feeling I get when alone with God was exactly how I had started to look at the Adoration and my prayers.

    Jamie’s spirituality touched me too, and as I went through my Catechism, I read the novels again, knowing that this was how I wanted to be as a child of God. Jamie’s morals guide him, but his heart leads the way.

    So, in its way, Diana, who is Catholic and used her spirituality to guide Jamie, and often Claire, was the one who inspired my own, it helped shaped my journey. She also inspired me to write and take up my pen in poetry too.

    I know that is an odd thing, all things considered…to be able to identify with Herself as I was being guided by God to become a Catholic, but that is definitely what had happened. -g-

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Stephanie says:

    Wow! I am so very sorry to hear about your experiences. And I am so very happy for you and grateful that you found the strength to begin your recovery through Outlander. I can’t imagine the pain and constant fear you must have felt, but I did come close to finding out. When I was 19 I was sexually attacked by someone I knew and was extremely fortunate to have been able to get away. My parents were out of town and he knew I was home alone. When he knocked on the door I let him into the house, not suspecting he had anything malicious in mind. Next thing I knew he shoved me into a corner and pinned me there with his body while he proceeded to touch me where he shouldn’t and trying to get my clothes off. I was trying to fight him off and begging him to stop but he pressed me harder into the corner and whispered in my ear that he just wanted to touch me. After about a half minute of struggling (seemed like a lot longer, though) I was able to bend one of my knees and put my foot against the wall. I shoved him off with everything I had. It was enough to allow me to duck under his arm and run. My dog, Duke, was locked up, as was standard when visitors came over due to him being fiercely protective of those who lived in the house, and I ran to his cage as fast as I could and opened the cage door. Duke charged out and ran toward my attacker, but he had run out the front door just before Duke got to him. It took me a couple of years after that to trust a man enough to allow him to touch me in any kind of intimate way.

    I discovered the Outlander books a few years later and fell in love with them. Characters like Jamie and Ian and Roger and Ned and all the other good men there are in the books reminded me that men are all different, not all are bad and some are even honorable. I told myself that I shouldn’t allow what one man tried to do to me to jade my views of all men. All I had to do was look at the examples of the good men in my family to know that they truly exist. And if I was really lucky, I might one day meet a good and honorable man like Jamie or Roger. And I eventually did.

    To this day the Outlander books are a comfort zone for me. A place to escape to when life becomes a little too stressful. I find peace of mind there when surrounded by all these characters I love so much. I know it is an odd thing to say considering all the horrors and dangers the characters face, but there it is. It’s my home away from home, so to speak.

    Like

  11. analoria says:

    Dede, I have not walked in your shoes but I commend you on your ‘Your WIN’. You are ‘One Tough Cookie’!! I don’t know you but I can appreciate you, pray for you, an love you from afar.
    God Bless you Dede.

    Like

  12. Cindy says:

    Dear Dede,

    First I must tell you thank you for sharing your story and how Diana and her books helped you.

    As a child I was sexually abused before even starting kindergarten. I hid the pain and shame for most of my early life. I barely made it through my early teens until I finally told what happened to me. I met my husband my first year of college and soon we married, had two children. I began reading Diana’s books about twenty years ago and in the pages I found love, purpose and hope. Sixteen years ago I had the opportunity to go to Scotland. Before going, I had a biopsy on a suspicious lump. In my heart, I knew what the result would be. While in Scotland, I purchased a Fraser clan badge. Je suis prest – I am ready. I held tightly to the badge through surgery, recovery, chemotherapy, radiation. If Jamie could bear his scars so could I. A little over two years ago, my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer. And a year ago, I learned I had not escaped the dragon. It had been caught in the early stage so I was very grateful. But three weeks after surgery, I would lose my husband of 37 years. For these last ten months, I have been so lost. When the television series began, as I watched, my heart remembered and I have started to reread the books. As I do so, I find that there is still love, purpose and hope but there is so much more. I hope to regain Jamie and Claire’s strength and courage so I can once more say – I am ready.

    All the best to you.

    Like

  13. KateLeslie1 says:

    Dede — First, I applaud your courage in sharing your story of surviving major trauma, and the role the Outlander series played in your recovery. Thank you so much. Second, I hope you will tweet this page to DG, Ron, Sam and Cait. I also hope you’ll consider sharing this piece on the #AllBecauseDianaWroteABook Facebook page. What you’ve written about here fits perfectly with the vision/mission of that page. Lori Renfro or Luanne Uttley are the admins.

    Blessings,

    Kate

    Like

  14. snarkland78 says:

    Oh dear… **hugs** I’m terribly sorry for what you went through but I’m grateful that Outlander gave you what you needed. I also don’t know what I’m going to do when Wentworth comes along… but hang in there. You’ve got a group of friends who care very deeply for you. 🙂

    Like

  15. vic_canuck says:

    You shared extremely dark and terrifying moments of your life and I’m glad the book was able to help chase away some of the shadows and demons. Its hard coming to terms with the why’s because sometimes there just isn’t any. But I’ve seen your tweets…played your game and I know that you laugh. Being able to laugh makes us all winners I think. Its something I make happen every day..I go looking for it if it doesn’t happen naturally. And it feels good..the heavy baggage rolls off and I become lighter.

    I think the benefit I gained from the book is that although Claire and Jamie are star crossed lovers and their relationship is something you only read in books (had to pun there)…I love that Claire never loses her identity. She knows who she is always and doesn’t fade behind bright, shiny Jamie. They are partners..and each of them pick their battles when it comes to putting their foot down. They are both considerate of each other. The biggest admirable trait they both have is that they think first before answering too quickly…they consider the situation…mull it over! I’m still learning that!

    Like

    • Dede Taylor says:

      It’s been a long time. There were years between then and now where I couldn’t laugh, couldn’t cry even. I’m better now and it is in no small part due to Diana & Jamie.

      What you’re learning from the books is an important lesson, it’s more difficult to share a life than people think and Jamie and Claire do it well I think.

      Like

  16. What I love about the Outlander books is how true to reality the author depicts emotions – it really stands out in the aftermath of a traumatic experience the character may face. For example in Snow and Ashes, after Jamie is accused of scandal, the description of how Claire feels afterwards is astoundingly true to life. What I mean is that feeling that suddenly you feel a stranger to yourself and others, and your home feels like someone else’s. When people face tragedy or trauma, they are kind of almost outside of themselves until they can process it and adjust.
    That is just one (fresh in my mind as I just finished the book) example, but there have so many times where I am hit with how strikingly real Diana’s characters are!

    Like

  17. Becca says:

    While Outlander didn’t exactly change my life (except to give me some MIGHTY FINE & WONDERFUL books to read!), my life was changed dramatically by my partner. Long and short, my ex was abusive – mentally and physically. I hope none of you have EVER been mentally abused as one tends to view anything that is said in just that way. It is hard to “see” the forest for the trees. D has (from the beginning) treated me with kindness, honesty and faithfulness. While occasionally he will be nasty (honesty hurts at times), he always tells me he never wants to hurt me and has maintained that for almost 11 years. I left the ex at 20 years and have never looked back..because D gives me more than I ever would’ve expected.

    Liked by 1 person

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