The Courage to Heal, written by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis and published in 1994, was one of the first books to not only blow the cover on sexual abuse but also to show us how to get the hell out of Dodge. Their united voice is loud and clear: there is life after abuse whether it is remembered clearly, in blurry snapshots, as vague sensations or impressions or not at all. The authors describe simply yet thoroughly the impact of trauma, remembered or not, and the intrusive, pervasive and surreptitious ways that it trumps our capacity to live our lives with awareness and personal power. It was on my bedside table for years while I was piecing together my history. Whenever I thought I might be losing my mind, especially when the twists and turns overwhelmed me, I would read or reread a chapter to settle back into my healing journey.
“The Courage to Heal is an inspiring, comprehensive guide that offers hope and a map of the healing journey to every woman who was sexually abused as a child—and to those who care about her. Although the effects of child sexual abuse are long-term and severe, healing is possible.
“Weaving together personal experience with professional knowledge, the authors provide clear explanations, practical suggestions, and support throughout the healing process. Readers will feel recognized and encouraged by hundreds of moving first-person stories drawn from interviews and the authors’ extensive work with survivors, both nationally and internationally.”