Posted in Blog, Mental Health, Reviews

Review: Sheila’s Men by Jenna Ashlyn

Sheila’s Men is about a woman, Sheila, who is trying to do the best she can for her daughter. However, through doing what Sheila thinks is expected of her she ends up marrying a man who turns out to be extremely abusive. The story is based on the author’s experience in hopes to shed light on abusive relationships and help others get out. sheil

The book is written from Sheila’s perspective and the author does a beautiful job narrating through Sheila’s inner dialogue. The inner dialogue gives us glimpses into the thought process of staying in an abusive relationship. Society condemns women for staying but it is not as simple as a choice of staying. The narration shows a side of life that, luckily, most of us don’t have to experience; the fear, pain and hopelessness of being with a spouse who consistently berates and abuses.

The author does a great job of bringing the reader into the story and becoming invested in Sheila. Rooting for her to escape. Cheering her on as her confidence grows.

In the first half of the book there are off scenes that are like dream sequences about ‘the gray’. A place that is scary and has hungry, evil individuals prowling for Sheila. I did not enjoy these off scenes because they took me out of the story. I had a hard time transitioning from the story to these parts then back again.

Overall, this is a well-written book that shows life outside of our often shielded worlds.

Get your copy here (affiliate link – thanks for supporting).

 

**if you are in an abusive situation please seek help, there are often shelters available to help you escape

Posted in Blog, Mental Health, Reviews

Review: Thriving After Sexual Abuse by Denise Bossarte

Sexual abuse is a hot topic; more and more people are coming forward with their stories to shed light on a complex Thriving After Sexual Abuse: Break Your Bondage to the Past and Live a Life You Love by [Denise Bossarte, Beverly Engel]issue. More often than not, the abuser is someone you know (in the case of Denise, it was her grandfather). This book shares some of Denise’s story about her sexual abuse, but more importantly, it shares ways to thrive afterward (perfect title for this book).

I love how the book focuses on the strategies that helped Denise overcome her abuse; each chapter focuses on a different part of the healing journey. She is able to articulate in great detail and emotion how and why each strategy is helpful. Even if you haven’t come forward about the abuse, this book is a helpful first step in the healing process. There is a list of resources at the end of the book, including other books, websites, and meditations.

This book can help many people struggling with past sexual abuse. It is one of the best self-help books that I have read. Get your copy here.

Posted in Blog, Mental Health, Reviews

Review: Mommy I Need You by Regina Hall

This book is an easy read that I finished in two nights, but the topic of this book is not easy. This is the true story of sexual abuse that a young girl (Regina) had to endure. The book chronicles how she felt when it first started; scared and unsure, to a teenagmommyer who didn’t understand her own sexuality, to a woman who overcame the trauma.

There are excellent nuggets of wisdom and self discovery. Trauma can stay with you forever but Regina shows how you can use that trauma for good – by sharing her story.

The last few chapters were in-depth and I felt a real connection to the author. The first few chapters shared the story but were not as in depth as what was to come. Overall, for those that have suffered sexual trauma or are the parents to someone who has suffered sexual abuse this book gives great insight. Emotions can be difficult to explain and Regina does an excellent job of sharing those.

Posted in Blog, Reviews

Review: Redefining Normal by Justin and Alexis Black

Children should never have to suffer, but the reality is that many children do. Many children endure a life that others can only fathom through nightmares. If those children are lucky they may end up in the foster care system, but that doesn’t mean that their nightmare ends. Not all foster homes are loving or supportive. There is a need for loving families to become foster parents.

Justin and Alexis were two of those children living through a nightmare. As a parent it was a struggle to read the pain that they had to endure at the hands of those who were supposed to protect and love them. It makes me want to hold onto my children even tighten.

Though they were both in the foster care system they had significantly different reasons for entering. Throughout the book they each share what caused them to enter the system and their experiences within the system. It is interesting to see how different their lives were but in the end found love with each other.

Each section has an ‘Alexis’ and a ‘Justin’ portion where the reader learns more about each of their pasts and understand how they are similar. Culminating in the ending section that is written together.

Trauma in the past does not need to define who we are in the present. For anyone who is struggling with their past this is an excellent book to read. Even if you were not in the foster care system this book has something to offer. If you have ever thought about fostering a child but unsure due to their past trauma this is a must read. Just because these children had traumatic experiences does not mean that they are not worthy of love and respect.

Given the chance most children will shine through. If you don’t put a plant in sunshine it will wilt and die but if you give it what it needs it will flourish and bloom.

To purchase their story click here.

 

Posted in Mental Health, Reviews

Review: Breaking the Chains of Transgenerational Trauma: My Journey from Surviving to Thriving by Dorothy Husen

The title is a bit of a mouthful but the book will make your heart full. Right from the start of the book I was hooked; the author jumps right into her story and I wanted to know more! When she shares about her mother and grandmother’s stories it made sense how she was raised. It wasn’t a lack of love, it was what they knew and that is what they had to pass on.

I have heard about transgenerational trauma in the past; trauma that is passed on from generation to generation. It is quite common until someone finally learns how to break that cycle. That is what this book is really about. As much as I loved hearing about Dorothy’s story I was more interested in how she became the cycle breaker.

Throughout the book I could identify with some of the struggles that she had learned from her parents. I understood that certain lessons I had learned needed to be relearned. The trouble is how?

At the end of each chapter Dorothy gives you exercises that you can use to help break the cycle in your family. It is not an easy thing to do and I am a huge advocate for therapy if you have the opportunity. This book is a great starting point with the real life examples and the exercises. Don’t skip the exercises, they are worthwhile and will help you along your journey.