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One of the important things I've been doing is giving voice to experiences I've had, accepting some hard truths about those experiences, and moving forward in healing.
That's why I decided to take the advice given to me from multiple people and read Shannon Thomas's Healing from Hidden Abuse.
The book is written by a licensed counselor who specializes in helping people heal from psychological abuse. In addition, she is a survivor herself, giving her perspective that not all therapists do. She speaks with authority not only because of her education and career, but because of her personal experiences, as well.
It's structured well. The book begins by explaining what psychological abuse is (and how it differs from other forms of abuse), common characteristics of psychological abusers, and how to recognize this type of abuse in different parts of your life. The second portion of the book goes through six phases of recovery from psychological abuse, explaining what the phases are and how survivors (survivors, not victims) can incorporate these phases of healing into their own lives regardless of who is abusing them. At the back of the book are workbook/journal/reflection pages that the reader can use to apply what is learned from the book to their own situations.
This book was valuable to me. It gave me a foundation of education on an important topic in my life and is providing me with terminology and education I can use to speak my truth about what has happened to me throughout my life.
Most importantly, the book has shown me that I'm not alone in what I've experienced.
And I'm not crazy.
And I didn't do anything wrong.
And if that had been all I'd gotten from the book, it would have been worth the read. It gave me much more than that. I have more reading to do on this topic as I heal and recover. but this was an excellent start.