4 out of 4 stars
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Little Girl Lost: A Real Story of PTSD by Angel Vetrano is a heartbreaking autobiographical emotional exploration of feelings. The cover art immediately draws you in as you see a little girl standing in the midst of a long tunnel, looking deep inside. One almost immediately knows that sadness will be found among the pages to come. Then you turn the page and see a vivid tattoo of a warrior princess; it's clear this is going to be as emotional a ride for the reader as it was for the author.
The story is told through the author’s thoughts, poetry and song, which are presented as a diary. However, this is more of a story of emotion rather than of “what happened when.” In the beginning, the author shares briefly about being abused as a child and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She shares that writing and sharing are her ways of healing. Most of the time, it is clear that she is remembering the past and is dealing with the happiness of love and the loss of love, but there are few concrete facts given so the reader must infer what has likely happened. It is her story of who she is and who she wants to be, of trying to become free from the past.
The organization is somewhat scattered and confusing until you realize later that, when put together, it all makes sense. The entries are not in chronological order; some are dated, some are not, while some are titled, and some are not. The book is divided into a couple of main sections: Childhood, LUVSIK, and Beyond the Pain. It’s not like a book of poetry, though, as one doesn’t pick out a favorite poem. One often doesn’t notice one has ended and another has started; one just feels as if they “hear” the author lament and, at other times, shares joy. There are times when I wondered if the author was telling the story from the point of her parents and their emotions as they hurt her. For example, there is a poem that starts with, “I will find another victim…”
The author addresses so many themes through her emotions. It was difficult to watch her blame herself for much of what had happened to her. The feelings of guilt and fear perpetuated her most inner thoughts. Vetrano shares that writing out her emotions is a part of the healing process, as is her reliance on spirit guides. The question, in the end, is whether she truly heals or empowers herself to keep moving forward.
I rate Little Girl Lost: A Real Story of PTSD 4 out of 4 stars. Without a doubt, my favorite part of the book is Vetrano’s ability to express her emotions. The subject matter itself is something that no one can possibly “like” and is, in a way, the thing I disliked the most, as it is heartbreaking, was to be reminded that such horrible things exist in our world. It feels repetitive at times, but for the author, this is part of the therapeutic value in writing out how she feels.
This book will most appeal to victims of childhood trauma who are searching for a way to get through it themselves, as well as those that want to be understanding towards those who are suffering. Mental health professionals and teachers might also find it helpful. This is definitely a book for adults as there are themes that require maturity, as well as occasional coarse language.
Little girl lost a real story of PTSD
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