The Other Side of The Curtain is an amazing non-fiction story of coma survival after a motorcycle accident! Instead of a fatal statistic, this book delivers messages of prevention at any stage, hope, tenacity, and triumph. It’s also an introduction of the power of dreams.
The author loved living in the South of France and studying French literature and poetry, until the riots of May 1968. After one year of torments, consequences of the political events of May 1968, she was pronounced dead after a serious motorcycle accident. Yet, she entered a three-month coma. A couple of years later, she moved to the United States, trying to forget about it. But there are things in life that one cannot forget, especially with the guilt of still being alive, when meeting or hearing about families of teens who died in accidents.
Eventually, Bijaoui acknowledged what she wanted once to disregard from her life, driven by the urge to understand her recovery: “Why did I survive the way I did when unfortunate teenagers with less injuries did not make it?” The reason of her survival and of her recovered physical and mental faculties (in spite of a severe head trauma, coma, and amnesia when she woke up) became her secret search. She found seven reasons or elements. Some of those elements started in her early childhood in Tunisia, orientating the two first parts of this book as a case study and a memoir at the same time. Seven dreams illustrate further her narrative. The creative integration of Nadia’s dreams to research fuses a dimension of surrealism into science.
The Seven Elements, the last part of the book, demystifies her total recovery within a scientific breakdown of her survival. It also includes healing suggestions to prevent or alleviate certain injuries and conditions. The author academic path and her professional life reflect her search with studies and careers from to mind to body and from body to mind. While decoding the steps of her own recovery, she created Bio Health Education for physical, mental, and social wellness/health.
Upon ending her research and writing of The Other Side of The Curtain, the author felt for the third time Rabbi Susan Laemmle’s words: ”Humility – Gratefulness – Joy”; words that she heard at her graduation ceremony at USC – Keck School of Medicine. The first time, there were no words, only confused feelings she experienced a few months after waking up from her coma and could not express herself then, as she had lost the capacity of translating feelings into words for quite some time.
By the time this last edition was finished, Dr. Bijaoui earned two doctoral degrees, one in health education, the other in psychology with specializations in psychoanalysis, dream science, and PTSD. She also earned degrees in neuroscience, preventive medicine, and in psycho-educational counseling. Her professional activities include higher education courses design and instruction. She now offers online consultations and workshops on physical, mental, and social wellness at Bio Health Education (https://biohealthedu.com/bhe-introduction). She also travels to introduce “Discover Your Nightlife Workshops! Dream Mysteries Decoded”, a workshop she designed for the dreams of this book and to assist others in decoding their dreams.
Nadia Judith Bijaoui was born in Tunisia (French Protectorate at the time) where her father was head of La Gendarmerie, French military base. She was 5 when her family moved to Paris, then Nice, and Marseille. Trying to forget an accident that left her clinically dead at 18, she moved to the US at 20, California first, then the Mid West. Unable to disregard a past that she was first escaping, and which was blurred by amnesia, her quest to understand her survival after a 3-month coma guided her academic and professional paths. Dr. Bijaoui holds degrees in fields that helped her understand and explain her recovery. Her dream research is based on science, Freud, and the book 7 dreams. She stated, “Professionally and personally, I value the relationship between mind, body, and emotions”. Her search led her into the creation of Bio Health Education to give a practical framework to the theories and programs that made so much sense to her, but that most people didn’t know, unless in academic settings.
“From her childhood in Tunisia and France, to a devastating motorcycle accident, to the dreams that led to her higher self, Bijaoui’s narrative tells an emotional true tale of recovery, love, and faith. Her story is as inspiring as it is jaw dropping.
“Her unique model for her book leads the reader into various doorways of her life at different time periods, which offers an intriguing glimpse inside the thought process and dreams she experienced throughout the years. The interconnectedness of her seemingly unrelated experiences is fascinating; her attitude and outlook on the world are equally mesmerizing.
“Bijaoui spent her early childhood in the then-French-controlled colony of Tunisia, where she was exposed to the realities of a cruel world. Childhood memories, both good and painful, blur into that tragic night in 1969. A motorcycle crash sent Bijaoui flying 36 meters, and she landed on the pavement without a helmet and was pronounced dead. She writes about her time in French hospitals, the vivid dream she had about her three-month coma, the spiritual aspects of being in that transcendental state.
“Bijaoui also details the time spent decades later undergoing an emotional and psychological healing that she did not allow herself to engage in immediately after the accident. It is during this time period that she evaluates her dreams, some of them profoundly prophetic, and looks back at her life with a clear mind and open heart; she evaluated her dreams, some of them profoundly prophetic. She sought the ultimate recovery, which took her into her own psyche and to healers who extracted years of deep, buried pain that still existed in her once-broken body.
“The Other Side of The Curtain is a compelling memoir of a woman whose life has been dotted with both joy and tragedy, but always with courage. Spirituality mixes with shocking true tales and the history of the past in her memorable book.
“Bijaoui grew up in the South of France. She moved to the United States to escape the memories of her motorcycle crash. Currently she leads psycho-educational groups and workshops that focus on topics such as dream analysis, acculturation stress and post-traumatic stress disorder.” — AuthorHouse, 2009
“A Mystery from a real life experience that may help you making sense of your own life.” — Tony Batocchio, English instructor, Saint Tropez, France (2009)