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The writer is a PhD psychologist now. She is wise and knowledgable. She is a true survivor.
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Re: Scared Selfless: My Journey from Abuse and Madness to Surviving and Thriving by Michelle Stevens
I am confused at my own feelings though when I read the blurb.
There's something about 'the success story', not just with the premise of this book, that has come to frighten me. It seems it only becomes 'safe' to tell when one has become 'successful'. I also think on a rational level it has to do with 'ableism', the following defintion is from wikipedia',
"Ableism (/ˈeɪbəlɪzəm/; also known as ablism, disablism (Brit. English), anapirophobia, anapirism, and disability discrimination) is discrimination and social prejudice against people with disabilities. Ableism characterizes persons as defined by their disabilities and as inferior to the non-disabled. On this basis, people are assigned or denied certain perceived abilities, skills, or character orientations.
There are stereotypes associated with various disabilities. These stereotypes in turn serve as a justification for ableist practices and reinforce discriminatory attitudes and behaviors toward people who are disabled. Labeling affects people when it limits their options for action or changes their identity.
In ableist societies, people with disabilities are viewed as less valuable, or even less than human. The eugenics movement of the early 20th century could be considered an example of widespread ableism. The mass murder of disabled in Nazi Germany's Aktion T4 could be an extreme example of ableism.
Sometimes healing is more about acceptance, not becoming 'successful', just being our selves, getting access to resources we need, based on our needs, and knowing we are valuable. Because being successful usually has a whole lot of other privileges attached to it, that are often outside of our control. If you come from money for instance, or just happen to be in a country that believe in universal health care, education and the right to a home. you will have a much greater chance of being able to build up your life, make some kind of recovery. of having what you need, and perhaps even being conventionally 'successful'.
I know there are survivors who grew up desperately poor and abused who eventually won a scholarship went to an Ivy league university or Oxford and then went on to have a wonderfully successful career. But those are in the 0.0000001 % And though I value their stories. I wonder if this is a path that can be expected to be accessible to most survivors? why do we have this need for this kind of story to be told over and over again? And what kind of message does it actually give? It doensn't really reflect the reality for most survivors.
From the blurb:
The other not so rational part Is, it makes me feel like a failure. Like I am doing something wrong, not working hard enough on recovery, not being enough somehow. even though I experienced extreme abuse too, I feel in the shadows and unseen. Even when I experience some 'success' I do not feel myself reconstituted or like I am whole."Michelle Stevens has a photo of the exact moment her childhood was stolen from her: She's only eight years old, posing for her mother's boyfriend, Gary Lundquist—an elementary school teacher, neighborhood stalwart, and brutal pedophile....
Michelle can also pinpoint the moment she reconstituted the splintered pieces of her life: She's in cap and gown, receiving her PhD in psychology—and the university's award for best dissertation."
I know this is just one person healing story. It's powerful that it is out there, and I am sure it will help a lot of people feel seen and recognized too. just felt like putting these thoughts out there. Please forgive me if I have misunderstood.
Reason: Changed MT to NT as you only mention difficult things
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