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Rooted HEIR

Rooted HEIR by Christina Somera is a memoir focusing on the traumas and events of Christina’s life and her path to understanding and healing from them. Starting on her childhood and the abuse she experienced that later put a wrench in her relationship with her mother and children, Christina acknowledges the unresolved feelings she’s been burying over the years. Yet, sharing her thoughts and feelings about each chapter of her life continues to bring her closer to the woman she wants to be.

Scared of becoming her mother and her family falling apart, Christina does everything she can to keep her family together but, in the process, grows distant from her kids, struggling to form the relationship she lacked growing up. Constantly seeking validation and love from men, Christina repeatedly tries to fill a hole she’s had since childhood. Rather than taking the time to love herself, she does everything she can to get the men in her life to love her or find new men to love her. All of these struggles Christina goes through are part of the journey she shared in this inspirational book.

From the first page to the last, this book wrapped itself around my heart. It was absolutely inspirational. Christina’s story is a heavy one; after all that she has been through, the steps she took to heal are genuinely unique. I loved this book so much; I don’t often give a 5/5, but Rooted HEIR deserves it. As Christina shares the events of her life and the trials she overcame, she inspires others to heal. I love that there are so many lessons we can take away from this book, the most important to me being that you can’t give something you don’t have for yourself. You can’t properly love or be loved until you love yourself first. Forgiveness and healing are a journey; neither can be rushed, and neither should be put on hold.

Christina’s book is not only well written, but it is empowering and inspirational. Yes, her story is an emotional rollercoaster, but her words prove the steps she took to overcome her past and show her strength. This book is eye-opening because you never know what people are going through, even if they’re smiling. This book definitely has sensitive topics: physical abuse, emotional abuse, rape, and suicide. However, they are all raw truths about Christina’s life that took a lot of strength for her to reminisce and process, reflecting on her strength and courage and inspiring others to keep going.

Rooted HEIR is an intensely emotional memoir about survival and learning to thrive after abuse and trauma. Christina’s story is as inspirational as it is heartbreaking. Through all the trauma, she has found who she really is and is learning to thrive and sharing this message with others so they too can break free from their shells and be who they are meant to be.

Pages: 155 | ASIN : B0BGCS3NHR

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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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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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Sudden Widow

In Sudden Widow, Bella Thompson writes of finding the love of her life only for him to be taken away from her by a heart attack. Suddenly alone, she had to figure out how to survive and raise her two boys alone. She speaks of her experiences, of grieving, trying to keep her household afloat, and keeping it all together for herself and her two sons.

Thompson’s words spoke to me and made me feel for her. I cried reading this book because they had such an incredible love that most people wouldn’t understand, it was a real love that lasted each day he was alive. When the author describes her experience of the moment her husband died, I began to cry because I felt her pain. This is a testament to how well the author is able to relay emotions through text, along with the profound experiences shared in the book. Reading about the author and her son’s grieving process makes you reflect on your own life and how you handle grief. After losing everything, she had to find a way to live and survive while making sure that her children could survive as well. While this is a story of loss and love, it’s also the story of a mother who would do anything for her family. She writes at the end that her love for Paul will forever be a thing of beauty and joy, and that was the sweetest thing I had ever read. It was disappointing to hear the author describe how others would tell her she should be over the pain of losing her husband. As author Bella Lynn Thompson writes, time doesn’t heal the wound, you learn to manage it better and learn to get through it.

Sudden Widow is a heart wrenching, honest, enlightening and humorous read. This book will not only take you on an emotional journey but will also have you reflecting on your own life. This is a great read that will not only provide support for those grieving but guidance to those who know someone who is grieving.

Pages: 122 | ASIN: B08QSFJ2JJ

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Life Interrupted: It’s Not All About Me

Dealing with a disability or other debilitating disease is hard to begin with. When you don’t get the help that you need to deal with the changes your life is taking, it can cause irreversible harm to your relationships. Self-care is important; and is a burden that should not be placed on the people you love. It is alright to ask for help, but ultimately you are responsible for your own actions, how you deal with your situation, and making sure the people you love know you care about them. Chris Tatevosian gives readers an honest look into his life with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and how he let his attitude destroy his marriage. He shares his insights into what went wrong with his “it’s all about me” mentality; and how he learned to overcome that and build healthy relationships in life.

Life Interrupted, It’s Not All About Me by Chris M. Tatevosian is a short read of less than 150 pages. It is however, filled with deep topics covering depression, anxiety, abuse and recovery. That is a lot of emotional energy packed into a few pages. Chris Tatevosian’s purpose in writing this book is to help others avoid the mistakes he made. He is very honest about the mistakes he made and offers the reader ideas on how to avoid making the same mistakes. There is a good mix of positive and humorous stories mixed in with the challenges, so it is not an all-out depressing book. He talks about the good times and bad with his ex-wife. Hearing about the struggles to get disability and social security is relatable to many with disabilities of all kinds and he explains how the stress impacts both the people in the relationship, not just the one with the disability.

At times the book feels like it is a personal journal where Chris is just writing out bits and pieces of his memories. I feel this is important though to the reader because you see him before MS took away his independence. You see him as he was, and it helps to understand why he became so bitter and fell into the “poor me” attitude that eventually ruined his marriage. Letting others see this makes it more real and relatable. In the end this book is not just about him complaining about all he lost due to MS, it is about how he learned to adapt and how he learned from his mistakes. This is a good book for people that are struggling and feel alone and feel that they can’t ever change the situation they are in. You may not be able to change your disability or disease, but you can change your attitude and how you relate to the people in your life to make your situation a little better.

Pages: 148 | ISBN: 1606045636

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Successful Recovery and Relapse Prevention

Successful Recovery and Relapse Prevention by [Bill McCausland Ph.D.]

In the year 2000, 12.4% of the deaths worldwide stemmed from drug and alcohol abuse. This problem is a global pandemic with prevalence higher than diabetes. It is estimated that about 5% of the global population suffers from this problem. In the 1700’s, addiction was declared a disease.

Bill McCausland has outlined every step in the recovery process. He has done a fantastic job of explaining every step in the recovery process, provides a solid understanding of the principles, and talks about the three types of recovery.

The book gives an important tip on the use of denial. It is never intentional. An addict rarely knows they are using denial as a tool for maintaining the relapse. The discusses the difference between a slip and a relapse and assures you that the key is in recognizing each for exactly what it is and taking the necessary steps to getting back on track.

The comforting part is that neither a slip nor a relapse should exclude you from trying to get and stay clean. These could act as motivators to work harder and more consistently. The book reiterates that being in recovery is not recovery. You have to work at it every day of your life. This book does a great job of dispelling myths that could easily discourage you from trying.

This book makes it clear that family and friends are an integral part in the recovery process and building a support system for the recovering addict. I really liked how this book explains and encourages the development of this support system. Motivation from the system is great but essentially, the decision to clean up lies with you. These grounded observations are the many gems in this book.

For a book about addiction and recovery, it’s very engaging. The information is clear, concise and to the point. It gives the reader questionnaires and real world examples that fit the lessons therein, and provide an overall path through the recovery process. There is frequent use of familiar AA sayings and quotes, but it never becomes overwhelming. It feels like having a an AA meeting ready and waiting for you on a bookshelf.

Successful Recovery and Relapse Prevention is not an instructional booklet but a guide. It helps you understand the recovery journey better. The author is not condescending or judgmental. He does not discourage or admonish. The tone is very friendly. Every word sounds like it comes from a place of concern for the recovering addict. The concepts of the recovery process though difficult, are made much easier and actionable by Bill McCausland.

This book is useful to all stakeholders in the journey of recovery and will increase the chances of success at staying clean.

Pages: 140 | ASIN: B01NALH57G

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Black Sky

Black Sky will take you on a  personal journey of addiction through the eyes of a physician, Dr Y. What is addiction? Addiction can come in all shapes and forms and does not discriminate against race, color, age or social status. Addiction has a grasp on our society and Black Sky shows how discovering spirituality and understanding of addiction can awaken someone from the brink of destruction. Follow Dr Y as he unravels the web of addiction and shares his story of life as an addict, his recovery and how you too can overcome the battles of addiction.

Black Sky, written by Dr Y, is a book inspired by addiction and discovering the human soul. From the first few pages, you feel a connection to the author and feel inspired to push through your adversities, regardless of whether you have experienced addiction yourself or not.

Addiction is portrayed in the book as being “asleep” and in order to awaken and begin a life of sobriety, one must overcome their circumstances and begin to feel the void and emptiness that addiction has created. Addiction can also come in various forms such as wealth, drugs, alcohol and sex or even just a compulsive behavior that is rewarding, despite the negative consequences. Regardless of your addiction, each individual must go through a similar process to recovery.

There are religious tones throughout the book, however Dr Y. explicitly states that this book is not centered around one particular religion, and instead is based on the spirituality illness that addicts suffer. One particular quote summed up this sentiment perfectly “It has been said that religion is for those who are afraid of hell while spirituality is for those who have been through hell”.

As I was reading the book, there were multiple times where I felt like I had experienced a “light bulb” moment with understanding people who are battling addiction. It enlightens the reader on the mentality and challenges that addiction creates, but also focuses on the possibility of recovery. There are sections of this book that I believe will be quoted in years to come as Dr Y beautifully explains life and the importance of living. Black Sky shows how complex addiction can be and how hard it is to break free from the chains it has on our family, friends and relationships.

Dr Y allows the reader to explore his personal life and the roads that led to addiction to various substances. Interestingly, there are events which occur due to his addiction earlier on in his life which lead to certain career paths and choices. But addiction is always knocking on the door and it takes a series of events and mistakes that lead to Dr Y’s realization and sobriety.

I would recommend this to anyone suffering from addiction, or for anyone wanting to understand addiction and the hold it has on the human soul. I found the book to be extremely uplifting and truly believe that anyone suffering from addiction would find great solace and understanding from Dr Y’s words.

Pages: 260 | ASIN: B06Y3MVXSX

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