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Carbon Under Pressure

Carbon Under Pressure is the extraordinary story of an ordinary young woman called Rose. This emotional book starts with an account of Rose’s daughter Sophie attempting suicide. Then, the book follows Rose through the next three years of her life as she tries to save her daughter. As if this is not bad enough, more troubles follow this family as they try to wake up from the nightmare they are living and get through to the light.

Author Meg Heart tells her story in a manner that if the reader didn’t know beforehand that this was based on a true story, it would read like a fictional novel. The people portrayed in this book take on the appearance of a set of characters, with a relatable protagonist, a supporting yet devious husband, and a teenage daughter going through a dark phase in her life. While the entire story seems fictional on the surface and anything but ordinary, the most significant message of the book is that it can happen to anyone. The author adeptly carries the story forward while focusing on the mental state of all the characters involved and thus manages to evoke strong emotions in the reader.

This book is intended for mature audiences and covers topics of suicide and sexual assault. However, it is done with great care. The author only mentions the details that are required to tell the story without making the book too heavy to read. The book revolves around the themes of suicide, dealing with depression, family, and sexual assault and covers the topics in fair depth and accuracy.

Carbon Under Pressure is the memoir of one woman named Rose and about the darkest point in her life. How she survived and made it through is detailed with the cautionary tale that it could happen to anyone. This biography will appeal to readers that are interested in women’s studies, depression, sexual assault, and family issues. This book does an excellent job of describing the lesser talked about realities of life.

Page: 176 | ASIN : B09KY45J7P

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This or Something Better

While tracking the rural environment of Placerville, Sacramento, Glenn Ellen, and California’s rural foothills, This or Something Better by Elisa Stancil Levine presents an alternate shift from childhood reminiscence to dark, intense memories laced with perseverance and adaptability. The memoir begins in 2017, with a fire scorching acres of land in Sonoma Country, including the residential area of the author. It then shifts back and forth between adolescence and maturity, following the author’s frantic journey from self-containment to the never-ending pursuit of truth.

When the decorative artist leaves the fire land without informing any of her neighbors, the firestorm not only causes havoc with the natural animals and property but also prompts a series of introspective questions in her mind. Her story of estrangement and persistence takes readers on a journey through her eventful and incredible life. Having grown up in a reproachable neighborhood, lost her first child as a teenage mother, and having been labeled a murderer by her grandmother, the author takes readers on a roller-coaster journey through her past and present. It is at the end of the story that she discovers how to forgive herself for many of her self-proclaimed acts of accusation and discover the ultimate question that nudges her curiously from childhood- ‘what it means to be a human?’

The narrative is full of genuine viewpoints and a critical analysis of the numerous issues that plague a child’s head after experiencing sexual abuse, as well as their parents’ disapproval of their dreams and viewpoints. In addition to the spiritual inquiry, the fact that nature has a vital hold on the human psyche manifests itself in the reflections of the author, a nature girl. This or Something Better takes readers on a spiritual quest that comes with the inevitable questioning of who we are as human beings. 

Beginning in 1953 in Northern California’s Sierra Nevada foothills, every memory and experience from childhood is dusted off the memory attic in the memoir, complete with nostalgia, anguish, and ambition. It’s a terrific prescription for women of the times, as it aids in the healing of wounds created by uncertain relationships, child loss, adolescent parenthood, and the relentless efforts to silence the passionate and compelling voice of an assertive and insistent woman. It’s also a motivational read, with the uplifting message at the end of each chapter: “It’s your reaction to adversity, not adversity itself that determines how your life’s story will develop.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf

This or Something Better: A Memoir of Resilience takes readers on an introspective journey as they listen to the author’s stories. Sometimes, a biography is just the history of one person’s life; this is more, it is a book of hope, perseverance, and healing.

Pages: 253 | ASIN : B09CYPNNP2

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You Can’t Live Your Life From a Place of Fear

Denise Bossarte Author Interview

Thriving After Sexual Abuse shares your story of recovery and gives other abuse victims a starting place on their own road to recovery. Why was this an important book for you to write?

As part of my healing journey, I did a lot of journaling and poetry writing. My husband always encouraged me to share my story to help other survivors, but I didn’t think I could write a memoir about my experiences. As a survivor of trauma, I have difficulty placing the abuse memories in the context of my life outside of the abuse. This is pretty common for survivors. I didn’t feel I had enough of a storyline to put together a meaningful memoir.

And then the story about Dr. Larry Nassar and his abuse of so many girls and women gymnasts came out, and my heart was broken open by how many were suffering because of this one man. I thought to myself that someone should do something to help these women, and others like them, to heal from the trauma of their abuse. And that is when I realized that I could do that; I could write a book about my experiences in the context of my healing journey. I could share the practices and activities that helped me heal as an inspiration for others to begin, or continue on, their own healing journeys. That was the motivation I needed to write my book.

I appreciated the candid nature with which you told your story. What was the hardest thing for you to write about?

It was very challenging to write about how much the abuse affected me before I started my healing journey, to delve back into those years of shame, confusion, anger, and suffering. It was incredibly difficult to put those words on paper and to relive those experiences. But it was also very healing to see how far I’ve come and where I am in my life today compared to where I started.

The other most challenging part to write was the “Who Knew What and When?” chapter. To go back and consider who could have known about the abuse and had not stepped in to help me was tough. And to write that chapter in a way to help others go through the same process took quite a while to piece together. But I think it brought clarity for me to understand how and why I dealt with the relationships with those people they way I did as I moved forward in my healing journey.

What is one piece of advice someone gave you that changed your life?

A friend of mine once told me “You can’t live your life from a place of fear.” I was angry at him when he told me that! But I came to realize he was right. That I was keeping myself from living a life of thriving and joy because I was afraid of people finding out about my childhood abuse, afraid of being rejected or pitied, afraid of being my true self. Once I took his message to heart, I was able to be brave in my authenticity and live from a place where no one and no past experiences could control me or the life I wanted to create.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your story?

That healing from sexual abuse is possible.

That you are strong enough to start a healing journey that will take you to a place of thriving, and you deserve every minute of that joyful life!

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Thriving After Sexual Abuse is an eloquent and empathetic self-development book laying out a blueprint for survivors to heal themselves. Denise Bossarte writes with fierce candor as she shares her own traumatic experience with childhood sexual abuse. Thriving provides tips and suggestions for readers to seek help, self-reflect, and pursue healing through a range of activities and practices and offers tangible strategies for readers to reclaim their lives and move forward to a life of Thriving.

Thriving After Sexual Abuse

A walking guide on healing practices and experiences from the victim of sexual abuse, Denise Bossarte’s Thriving After Sexual Abuse intends to help victims break free of the shackles of self-blame and feelings of unworthiness following sexual abuse.

The book is broken into four parts, each of which attempts to introduce and educate the reader about different methods, approaches, and self-analysis they can use to come out and win over abuse, transforming into a confident, more vital being with a sense of self-esteem and being loved.

With its four sections, the first part is the foundation of the healing journey, which includes choice of therapy, meditation, and reading self-help books. These sections encompass the author’s own experiences, options that she has explored and adopted for her healing process in her journey towards choosing from a variety of anxiety-provoking steps for a newcomer off on the path of release from the trauma of abuse.

Part two of the guide concentrates more on practices that are easy to adhere to and adapt and that have been scientifically proven to contribute to an overall feeling of well-being among humans. Here are some fun ways to improve connection with suppressed emotions using interesting, engaging, and convenient options such as yoga & creative art. A therapist’s constant guidance on some trigger-inducing practices is advised, just as in part one of the book.

Part three focuses more on the insecure questions that keep coming to the surface in the survivor’s mind that must be answered for overall healing. It presents explicit information about dealing with body triggers and memories and confronting the blocked memories of abusive experiences to overcome fear and anxiety related to such memories.

The fourth and last part contains the journaling of the author, a healing practice highly recommended by her. It includes the poems, which result from the healing process that allowed the author to identify & address her suppressed traumatic emotions. From a victim filled with fear, anxiety, and self-doubt regarding her worth to a healed, confident survivor who flourished in the world, these poems describe the journey of Dennis Bossarte.

Denise Bossarte, a victim of incest at the hands of her grandfather, shares in an easily perceivable manner the step-by-step process for healing that she applied. The resources such as books, meditation apps, and links to numerous support programs are an added bonus for readers who lack any external guidance. There is a considerate and polite tone to the book that leaves the ultimate delivery of healing to the survivor. Each section ends with a question that allows the survivor to reflect on the entire process and the subsequent effects, giving them complete control over how to proceed. 

Thriving After Sexual Abuse is a valuable guide that offers excellent support to a traumatic abuse victim, as they get first-hand knowledge of the process of healing directly from someone who successfully applied it and eventually transcended her journey to thriving.

Pages: 252 | ASIN : B0937GR5MR

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Life Growing Up

Life Growing Up by Marta Nater is a heartbreakingly true story of child abuse. In this book, Marta shares her life and invites the reader to discover the horrors she and her siblings endured while growing up. This important story needs to be known since it’s constantly repeated worldwide behind closed doors.

What are the things that some children have to go through in their lives? This book opens a discourse surrounding the mental and physical abuse that children sometimes have to endure and showcases the many ways in which this sort of abuse ruins their development. The story has a strong emphasis on sexual abuse and how horrific it can be to a child. In the book, we see Marta’s story through the eyes of a child, getting to see the hurt, the pain, and the inability to run away from the torture since it’s a horror that starts in her own home, committed and ignored by her own family.

Many questions are raised throughout the book. What are we willing to do as a society to protect children? Are we doing that right now? What needs to be changed? Currently, the problem of child and sexual abuse is very complex, with a tendency to be hidden and ignored, so it can never be dealt with with the urgency it needs. The authorities and Child Protective Services often make the problem worse and ignore their role in protecting and securing the lives of children. All of this is showcased throughout the book with great detail so the reader can grasp the state of the situation.

The story that is told is definitely a very hard one, but it’s essential to share it, given how many people there are out there dealing with this sort of abuse. The author also takes an opportunity to explore the origin of child and sexual abuse, sharing how often the children that are abused turn around as adults and cause the same abuse to others, their minds completely changed and damaged. Despite the horrors recounted in the book, the author finds a way to understand her abusers and tries to forgive the people that caused her so much pain and ruined her childhood. The importance of raising children with love and care is shown, understanding that many are trapped in hell inside their own homes, and something needs to be done urgently to fix the situation.

Each chapter reads like a diary entry where we get a glimpse of the different forms of abuse that were going on in the author’s home throughout her childhood. I feel that this book would benefit from another editing; there are a few instances where a few grammar errors and writing mistakes appear; however, the story told is incredibly relevant and gets the message across.

Life Growing Up is a heartwrenching memoir showcasing a severe and universal problem that affects and impacts children worldwide. It’s not often that people get to understand and view directly the sort of suffering that others have gone through. This profoundly personal biography will open the eyes of readers that have never experienced abuse, and for those that have, it is a hand reaching out to say you are not alone.

Pages: 114 | ASIN :  B00D4X8NEA

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When to Run, Born Scared

When to Run, Born Scared by Stephanie King is a book about a young Canadian girl who suffers through an abusive childhood. She struggles to find a way to survive her horrific home life and tries to escape several times. But she ends up back in the same terrible place again and again. In a bid to finally be free from her father’s control, she finds herself in a situation that is just as bad as the one she was so desperate to leave behind. Will she ever be able to put the past behind her and make a good life for herself at last?

The theme of this story was finding a way to survive somehow. Reading about the things Stephanie had to endure in her life, like childhood abuse, rape, drug and alcohol addiction, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, domestic assault, and medical issues that required multiple surgeries and a long recovery, it was amazing that she was able to survive. In addition, she had the strength to persevere after going through so many terrible things. I was surprised that she continued to put her trust in people after her own family had shown her the true evil that could be found in the hearts of people. Sometimes she had to trust other people because she had no other choice. However, Stephanie proved that she was a survivor. No matter how many times she stumbled along the way, she never gave up and kept fighting to survive. Stephanie’s story continues in Book Two, Among the Guilty, Under Attack.

The first chapter of the story jumps around, talking about Stephanie’s father’s childhood and mentioning him fighting in the war, then relaying experiences that happened during Stephanie’s own childhood, then going back to before her father left to fight in the war. This is how memories work sometimes. They don’t always follow a logical path but are connected in one way or another.

I felt that it wasn’t always clear how old Stephanie was during certain incidents that happened throughout the book, and I would have liked a clearer picture of the timeline. The inclusion of the graphic descriptions of sexual abuse of a child was hard to read through, but it also allowed me to connect with Stephanie and understand the depth of suffering she endured.

When to Run, Born Scared is a deeply personal memoir of what one woman had to do to survive the life she was dealt. Readers looking for a personal account of hope and survival will appreciate Stephanie’s story.

Pages: 245 | ASIN : B08TH74KR9

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The Confessional: A Peerless Short Story

The Confessional: A Peerless Short Story by [Kuykendall, A.K.]

Reinhold Commons Webster likes being in church. His family hopes he will follow the priesthood path, and his only desire is to be an altar boy. However, he is thrust into an abyss of sadistic abuse. He watched his friend penetrated with impunity until he could no longer hold on to life. The same end awaited him. Therefore Reinhold makes a deal that provides him with a little reprieve. With no one else willing to help him or the others, this deal is his only hope. The deal does nothing to erase what has already happened but what comes next will have to be enough.

This story, albeit short, is aggressively evocative. Written in such detail, the candor of it is well justified by the desire to shine a light on this abomination. The author also puts a spotlight on the role of parents and other authority figures in all of this. Their adverse reactions to the damaging situations the victims are plunged into. Figures who choose to ridicule these children rather than save them from their plight.

This is a very purposeful book. It might seem a bit crass, but the painful detail in this story is very necessary and intentional. It works to ingrain an image that would potentially start a movement for the rescue of actual victims. The end is quite alarming and should serve as a warning to perpetrators.

The confessional is a place where people go to seek solace and relief from the burden of sin. However, in this instance the title serves as a reminder that these places represent personal hells for some people. As a reader, one cannot help but weep for the poor boys. One cannot help but advocate for the punishment of the perpetrator. This is the extent of the writer’s to appeal to the reader’s soul by use of words and language.

This story should be used as a rallying call against child abuse everywhere and especially of the sexual sort. It should stand as a war cry for abused children everywhere to appeal to their parents for help. It is evocative and stern in no uncertain terms. The author’s passion for this cause is obvious and this story is engaging and thought provoking.

Pages: 49 | ASIN: B07PGTS8LC

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Sam’s Theory

Sam's Theory by [Mendivel, Sarah]

Sam’s Theory by Sarah Mendivel is a magical realism novel hitting major elements of mental health. We follow a teenage girl named Sam through her heartbreaking and triumphant journey to escapes tragic abuse. When she runs away she stumbles upon a tree house in the forest where a magical old woman lives who is compassionate and kind. It is here where Sam’s journey takes her through healing, acceptance, becomes a healer herself, and learns family can also consist of the people we choose.

This book is a fantastic magical, heartfelt, and heartbreaking journey. Sam endures many challenges in her life that lead to her feeling broken and betrayed. She no longer feels as if she is worthy of anyone’s love, she no longer feels safe, and does not trust anyone. I could really feel the hurt and the story does a great job of creating deep feelings of empathy and sympathy. There are many dark themes to this book and is riddled with stories of abuse of all kinds. One of the aspects I appreciate about this book is that it does not go into gritty detail of the abuse and instead focuses on the emotional impact and subsequent journey. The author treats these events as they are, terrifying and ugly, but also shows how the abuse is not the fault of those who are abused. The story also made me feel like those who have been abused are still worthy of love, can find love, and can heal. That they do not have to go through anything alone.

The book is incredibly relatable to anyone who has faced abuse. It is heartwarming to be reassured that what happened was not the fault of abused, and that they can turn the situation around and become a stronger person through the bravery of sharing their stories. From a mental health perspective, I think this book can be a great way to learn about the impacts of violence, neglect, and other forms of abuse. And also teach those who have been in those situations that they are worthy and loved. This is an incredibly important message to send to people.

While the book dealt with heavy topics and made me cry on numerous occasions, it is written beautifully. I love this book and highly recommend it to everyone who wants to learn more about abuse and see a persons value. Even though it can be a heart-wrenching read at times, I think it is powerful story with a lovely message.

Pages: 352 | ASIN: B078TQMRRQ

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