Tonya’s Top Picks for Best Sexual & Domestic Violence Storytelling for Survivors

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One of my best writing teachers taught me a great lesson.  

Read, read, read.  Write, write, write.

The best way to learn to write is to study the story telling skills of others.  

Like building a house.  Now, we take our materials and build on top of that.  How about we come up with some great books that help. 

But will anyone listen?

I’ll admit.  

It is a challenge to get people to listen to lessons around trauma and abuse now. They are all ‘sadded’ out.  

That whole period of the sadness, abuse, and trauma Olympics that we went through for about three long decades just exhausted everyone. (My hand is raised too).

I don’t know who was at fault I just know that it happened.

You remember.  Everyone’s book highlighted the fact that their author had THE most difficult life experience. And somehow that was supposed to make those of us who were victims feel better?

I HATED that.  

Too many counselors that I went to didn’t want to hear my story and the pain wrapped in it. 

Nah, they wanted me to read the ‘NY Times bestseller’ because it could tell me what I was feeling, what I was going through, and in just a few short weeks I would be “normal”. 

Never happened.

I believe that was a dark time for victims of all backgrounds. People are so wonderfully complicated. Their families, where they reside, their beliefs, their thoughts, their talents.  Complicated.

In no way do I fault the victims/Survivors. There were glimmering lessons inside of each experience. 

But, perhaps while they were handled like the romances, business books, and comedies-they were very different. I think that they could have been handled differently. 

Can You Feel a Brand New Day?

I’m looking forward to a new day. Millions of stories. Millions of combinations.  Folks from here. Folks from there. 

This way, as people move towards becoming Survivors they get a lot of different clues, hints, tutorials, wizards, cheat codes, crumbs, and hugs shaped like words.  

Just because you encountered evil, doesn’t mean you have to go mad as you are trying to get away from the aftermath.

Sampling the Goodies
Can we examine some of the stories that were Survivor favorites?
What gives them that healing power?

I know writing critics will be looking for certain things. But what about us?

What about WE?  
What about WE who have survived abuse?
If it isn’t about the “most” or the “worst”?  What makes a good healing story? 

Tonya’s Criteria
Perhaps you have your own criteria, but this is just a snapshot of mine…

~A good healing story places emphasis on the unique experience of being a victim of a crime that no one wants to talk about. 

~A good healing story talks about the unique experience of having no idea what steps to take once someone turns you into a victim. 

~….Helps victims feel that they aren’t alone in their suffering.  It talks about what it is like to live as a human being who is carrying too much weight-sadness, shame, guilt, confusion.  

~Victims and Survivors almost feel like you are speaking in a code that others don’t understand.  That is okay.  You have had experiences that others have not had.  

What you don’t feel is that you are reading the tenants of someone’s agenda, just because you are desperate and in agonizing pain. 

I’m telling you,  people will wrap their thoughts and beliefs in a book like a burrito and write the words, “For the Hurting” on it.  

Then WE beat ourselves up because we have paid for 12 sessions, still sleeping on a relative’s couch, and feel more confused than when we met that person. 

Anyway, these are mine.  BUT if you know of any others, please suggest them.  Write them in the comment section, fill out the contact form, or connect with us on one of our social media pages. 

Unfortunately, there are now millions of Survivors of domestic and sexual violence.  We need those lessons, healing, wisdom, and stories.

As promised, here are my picks:

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