I’ve chosen three books that I needed and read, over and over again, since I was a teen and first began remembering my abuse, just as Kendra, the main character in Scars, is.
Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt
I read Homecoming over and over as a teen (and still do). Dicey was a true survivor to me. When her mother abandoned Dicey and her sister and brothers, it was Dicey who found a way to save them all, to keep them together, emotionally and physically. She went through great challenges—extreme ones, such as homelessness, hunger, poverty—and having to look out for and protect others younger than her, as well as herself—and she faced all this as a pre-teen. And she made it. She survived. I identified with that so strongly. I, too, was trying to find a road to safety. I was also enduring extreme, unspeakable abuse (and torture). And I, too, was trying to protect other kids in abuse. I needed that message of survival and hope that Homecoming gave me. I needed the feeling of not being alone.
Tin Can Tucker by Lynn Hall
I desperately wanted a family who wouldn’t hurt me, who would love me for who I was. I had no real love or safety growing up—no real parents or family. It was a longing that never went away. And Ann in Tin Can Tucker creates a family of her own, surrounded by people who love her. Like Ann, I always knew what I wanted and needed to do. I needed to heal and to find safety and love, to write books, to create art—and I followed my dream, the way Ann followed hers. Like Ann, I found that the system did not work for me, and did not protect me when I started to speak out. I loved how Ann managed to follow her dream, even though it was a rough road to get there, to do the thing she was good at, escape the system that wasn’t working for her, and to make her own family. She gained a real family who loved her for her. I needed that hope and reassurance, and it met a need for me. I now have that—a family of friends who love me, and who I love.
The Courage to Heal by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis
This was the most powerful, compassionate, right-on-so-many-levels book that I found on sexual abuse, dissociation (and in later years, they added a section on ritual abuse). When I was a teen, first remembering the abuse I’d endured (and didn’t know was still going on), and feeling so alone and in such great pain, The Courage to Heal was my bible. I carried it everywhere. I read it cover to cover many times, and sections that spoke to me in particular over and over. I would show excerpts to people who were trying to support me when I couldn’t find the words to tell them.
Most of the really powerful books for me are fiction (mostly children’s and teen fiction), but this is one of the non-fiction books that helped my healing, and that felt like a counsellor, a nurturer, and a friend when I desperately needed one, and when I needed more than I could get.
Thank you so much for stopping by Cheryl and sharing just how important books can be to people!
To learn more about Scars or Cheryl, check out her webpage here.
Cheryl was kind enough to offer up a signed copy of Scars to one lucky winner! (US/Canada Only!)
You do not have to be a follower to enter this contest! There is extra entries by tweeting, adding to your sidebar or posting in a contest roundup post or a post specifically for this contest.
Will run until October 3rd(midnight).
Please FILL OUT THIS FORM to enter.
Also, keep on the lookout for my review of Scars sometime in the next two weeks!!