Michele’s Journey & Research

Transforming Conflict

Journey Into “The Black Hours”

In the Black Hours

Select Stories and Art


"I’ll never forget that night, although for years it’s all I prayed for. I can still see the scene in my mind as if I’m watching it. There was a curve in the road, which was kind of desolate. I came around it as I always did, only this time...I was just some nondescript kid from some nondescript town with a nondescript life—but it was a good life, in a good town, and I was a good kid. Only I wasn’t anymore..."


"I remember as a little girl, staring at the dark, walnut urn that held my father’s ashes, thinking, 'I want to save lives too.' He was a fighter pilot in the Vietnam War—shot down on his last trip back to the base after flying through enemy fire to recover wounded soldiers. I opted for medical school instead of the military. I guess I didn’t think the hospital would be a combat zone. And then it did..."


"I chose Demon as my gang name because I had no soul, and I wanted to torment. When the gang found me, I was almost 16 and alone. My mother died having my sister when I was seven. And my father died driving drunk when I was 13. That’s what gangs look for, your vulnerabilities. So, when I got the chance to join, I did. I figured I'd be okay if I was one of them—but nothing would ever be okay again..."


"You don’t remember the day you were born or the day you die. But you do remember the day when your innocence is shattered. April 4, 1945. It was a sunny morning in Ohrdruf, Germany, and my battalion was on patrol. We'd heard rumors of Nazi camps, but at that point none had been found. —And then they were, by us. At 94, I still can’t wrap my head around that experience; it caused an invisible wound unlike anything I’ve known, one that I struggle to put words to even now..."

We cannot recreate our lives going backward.
We can only reclaim our life moving forward.
-Michele DeMarco, PhD, from Holding Onto Air: The Art and Science of Building a Resilient Spirit

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