4 out of 4 stars
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When the Woman Abused Was You: A Guide to Healing from Childhood Sexual Abuse by author Pastor Dawn Scott Damon is a must read. Thank God not all of us have had our childhood heinously ravished from us. However, I believe it is imperative that everyone should equip themselves to empathize with out hurt brothers and sisters. Also, many of the healing tools and advice that Damon shares in this book can be applied by persons who are struggling with symptoms of any type of abuse or addiction.
This guide is neatly organized into four main parts. The first part is comprised of five chapters whereas the rest only include three chapters each. All the chapters begin with a relevant quote. One of them was a quote by my favorite author, C.S Lewis. Many inspirational quotes are sprinkled throughout the book, but unfortunately, it is not always possible to identify the person being quoted. For example, there are quotes attributed to Deloris. I am not provided with any other information about Deloris. Overall, the formatting of this book made it simple to follow Damon’s writing and find where you left off reading in your previous reading session. The subject matter is such that while this book is not lengthy, one should not read it in one sitting.The following four paragraphs briefly discuss key points in the four parts of the book.
'Part 1: Defining The Trauma' focuses on exploring the painful events of the abused person’s story. Damon, having been abused herself by her dad when she was young, shares her testimony. She encourages the reader to not let the past determine his/her future; There are a number of exercises that motivate us to not be swallowed by shame and other self-defeating thoughts and attitudes.
'Part 2: Demystifying The Problems' is all about examining the difficult aftermath of the trauma. In this section, we are made to see that someone who has been abused is very likely to have many physical, emotional and mental issues. This is not surprising. However, the abused may not realize that his/her ailments in life are due to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Damon differentiates between effective coping skills (good nutrition, reading, and learning, prayer, etc.) and destructive coping skills that serve only to mask the pain (binge eating, ignoring problems, excessive sleep, etc.). I was really impressed by how dealing with the fear of intimacy was addressed in this section.
'Part 3: Discerning The Truth' is purposed to help abused persons let go of a victim mentality. The author is a pastor of a Christian congregation so she preaches to us of the Truth that sets us free – Jesus Christ. Damon does not shy away from answering difficult questions such as, ‘Where was God?’ and ‘Why does God allow evil?’. As a Christian, I found her answers very biblically sound. Actually, the entire book is laced with biblical truths.
'Part 4: Dancing in Triumph' asks the abused to forgive themselves, others and God. It lets us know that it is okay to grieve for what we have lost. We are also reminded to hold on to our faith in God and decide to live a life with a victorious mindset.
Damon’s writing deeply impacted me. Some of the stories shared moved me to tears. There were a few instances where her narration seemed a little mechanical but it was obvious that she poured herself into this book. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. In summary, I reiterate my proclamation that this book is a must read!
When The Woman Abused Was You
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