UPDATED My book – It Gets Better: What I learned from 20 years of healing childhood rape

So here it is, my book draft. The working title is “It Gets Better: What I learned from 20 years of healing childhood rape” I was sharing it as a google doc, but that unfortunately had some privacy issues, so I’ve uploaded a pdf below, which I will refresh every so often as I keep working on it.  I converted it from a word document to a google document which introduced some errors I’m going to pick away at.  I’m also going to add in some of the more recent information from my blog.

Keep in mind THIS IS A DRAFT – so don’t expect perfection. I’m still working on it. You can help though. Having input from other survivors is important. I realized reading it over, that there are some sections I still have to add, so it’s not complete, but I’m actively working on it.

You can give me feedback in the comments to this post. What I’m looking for is *not* spelling or grammar errors, but comments like: “you should have a section on this topic” or “I didn’t understand this bit on page 10” or “I think it would be good to add this in to your description on anxiety” etc… So basically about the content and organization not the grammar and punctuation. I can hire an editor for that. If you’d like to write me a review and put it in the comments, I’d love that too.

View or download the pdf version (updated Feb 2015) here: MayWeDanceonTheirGraves


12 thoughts on “UPDATED My book – It Gets Better: What I learned from 20 years of healing childhood rape”

  1. Congratulations on having made it into this phase ! Writing about that stuff has always been too triggering and too exhausting for me. You’re very brave (but we already knew that). It’s a very good idea to have made it into an “it gets better” format, it will attract more attention this way.

    I’ll read your draft some days from now (I need to prepare myself to it), and I’ll give you feedback, but since my experience of incest did not include rape, I hope you’ll feel totally free to discard anything in my advice that will have no echoes in what you’ve been through.

    On another topic, I wanted to share with you that two months ago I wrote to the police and to the justice officers of where my father lives, to tell them of what I endured, and I also joined letters written by him to my mother (that she gave me since), on which he wrote death menaces against the woman he married after my mother divorced him. And I also warned them to investigate him if there were unresolved pedophilia crimes in the surroundings.

    I gave my birth name and I joined my birth certificate, but I did not give my current adress (in my country, it’s easy for police to find your adress if they really want it). I’ve had no feedback whatsoever yet.

    But I feel better, in myself, because I finally gathered the courage to write to the the authorities. I feel peace – that stuff I had to do, I’ve done it now. It’s behind me. I know and I’ve accepted that an answer is very unlikely – and I needed to be prepared for that, because otherwise I would be in pains now, having written “for nothing”. I feel good because I’ve done my duty, so from now on, I’m not at fault of not denouncing crimes.

    Although I can’t know for sure, I think reading here about other survivors helped me dare to write.

    Hugs to all survivors out there, and thanks so much to you for leading the way.

  2. This is a great first draft. It probably needs a conclusion at the end but the body of the text has been very useful for me. I book marked it.

    I read it in the middle of a trigger episode and it was very hopeful and calming.

    I especially liked the bit about getting a dog.

    1. Yes, I realized after I posted it, that the last time I worked on it was a long time ago, and it’s not actually finished. It definitely has some missing pieces, and a conclusion is one of them. 🙂

  3. Hello!
    I want to express my gratitude to you for writing all of this and sharing it with us! It came to me in a difficult period of my healing. I’m twenty years into it but feel like I have to go over it all again. I thought I had dealt with it and packed it up in a little box for storage. Well, as you know, that can’t be done.
    This time around, however, there is so much support and information that has helped me greatly. I count your story as one of the best and most comprehensive stories I’ve ever read.
    I especially appreciated the way you explain the memory issues. Putting things in boxes and then needing to connect them later describes exactly what I experienced. Finally a description that makes sense to me! Thank you.
    I also have done The Artist’s Way and found it extremely helpful. Self-care, unlocking memories through writing, and getting in contact with my inner child have helped. I thought of her as a separate person for a long time. I didn’t hate her. I felt guilty for neglecting her when she had done so much to help me. I had to earn her trust and remember how to play.
    I also appreciate what you wrote about PTSD. A couple of years ago I heard the symptoms and was shocked to realize that explained so much of the physical ills I had. Hyper-arousal, spacing out, anxiety, etc. That made me finally try meds to help which I’m grateful for. They help calm me down so I can do more difficult emotional work. It’s hard to feel things though, anger especially, and I identified with what you said about anger. Thank you. My friends keep telling me I should be angry but I just can’t muster it. I know it’s there because I can feel it in my body but it doesn’t manifest. I’ve been working on that recently.
    I have awesome friends but I think after reading your story that I need to talk with other survivors to meet my needs. Thank you.
    There is so much that I want to tell you about how much I love your writing, but I’ll finish up for now.
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing. I hope you know how important and inspiring your work is. You’ve made me feel braver and more hopeful than I have in a long time.
    Thank you and blessings.

  4. Your book is amazing and all your points are very true and very real. I am so glad you are taking the time to create such a magnificent story to tell because it helps others in the end and it helps people know they’re not alone. Most of the time, we go about our life, forgetting the pain that we experienced in childhood… thinking it will go away but I like how you talk about memory, how we do remember. I will come back and read more. Thank you again for sharing… it really does make a difference and it really is part of our cure.

    1. Thank you so much. It’s about being real, isn’t it? The more honest and authentic we are, the less shame has to hold us. Thanks for the feedback. It’s helpful to know what works for people. 🙂 SDW

  5. Hello – I only stumbled across your blog a few days ago, but it has been so uplifting to read. I didn’t experience child sexual abuse, but was sexually assaulted by several partners and friends (at the time) during adolescence. As a result, I developed PTSD, vulvodynia and vaginismus, and my life veered onto a path I was not expecting. Your words have been some of the most informative and hopeful I have come across since I began my own process of healing ten years ago. It’s quite startling, and validating, reading words that evoke how I have felt/continue to feel, but haven’t been able to express to others. Looking forward to settling down with some tea and having a read over your draft as well as your earlier posts. Thanks again for your courage and wisdom.

  6. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. I was especially impacted by the section on memory, I have been struggling with guilt and shame surrounded both the abuse and lack of memories and you framed it in a way that I could finally understand that I honestly and truly am not alone in this.

    Thank you for your courage to share.

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