Reading can be therapeutic and although books are never a replacement for counseling or therapy, they sure come in at a close second (words spoken by an authentic book lover). Of course, you can’t engage in immediate dialogue while reading a book. Readers don’t usually talk to the writer or characters in the story and you can’t get immediate feedback. But chances are many books will address some of your own personal struggles. Besides that, you always have the choice to follow-up after your readings by writing down your own thoughts in a journal therefore engaging in meaningful self reflection. Also, you can actually take action after reading a book by visiting a health care professional.
Reading about other Survivors builds a sense of community, soothes the pains of loneliness and inspires Survivors to speak out. Books, especially those written by other Survivors, seem more like a conversation with a trusted friend, mother or mentor. The words are encouraging and the stories compelling. When Survivors write about obstacles they’ve overcome, they are actually sharing their personal testimony or a gift. Whether the book is fiction or non fiction, the moral of the story is the same: although childhood sexual abuse is devastating – Survivors are able to grow on, to live and thrive, and to fulfill their destiny. Remember, reading can be done in the privacy of your own home and can be the first step of many you take before you reach out for help and speak to others. So consider not only reading the following books, but take notes, send a letter to the writer, join a book club or put together your own autobiography.
Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer
I am not a Mistake, I am Meant to Be by Garlena Hines
In the Meantime by Iyanla Vanzant
Peace from Broken Pieces, How to get Through What You’re Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
Survivor Prayers: Talking with God about Childhood Sexual Abuse by Catherine J. Foote
The Confident Woman, Start Today Living Boldly and Without Fear by Joyce Meyer
When a Man You Love Was Abused: A Woman’s Guide to Helping Him Overcome Childhood Sexual Molestation by Cecil Murphey
Woman, Thou Art Loosed!: Healing the Wounds of the Past by TD Jakes
The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis
When your Child has been Molested: A Parent’s Guide to Healing and Recovery byKathryn Brohl with Joyce Case Potter