Eve Ensler tells the story of how her father physically, sexually, and emotionally abused her and how these experiences shaped her world view in Insecure at Last: Losing It in Our Security Obsessed World. The central premise of her book is that striving for security does not, in fact, protect us. We must rescue ourselves. Peace will come from securing basic human rights and from making our end goals compassion and honoring all people.
In addition to Insecure at Last, Ms. Ensler has written The Vagina Monologues, The Good Body, and Necessary Targets: A Story of Women and War. All are great books.
Who Do You Think You Are? by Alyse Myers
If you loved The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, you will love Alyse Myers’ memoir.
It’s a miracle that Alyse Myers survived her hellish nightmare of a childhood. It’s a greater miracle that she has a thriving career and her own loving family. How did she do it?
. . .in some fashion most of us grew up in dysfunctional families. And, we most likely attended some dysfunctional schools and worked in one or more dysfunctional organizations. So, how do we, as individuals, do more than just survive?
– Michael Lisagor
What is the secret to successfully crossing the bridge from domestic violence to thriving and finding joy? Tina Turner did it. Elizabeth Gilbert did it. They embraced the empowering teachings of Buddha to reach their full potential.
I started seeking a teacher who could explain the mystery of Buddhism ~ someone who could tell me why Buddhas are either laughing or serene ~ someone who could show me the link between peace at home and peace in the world. I was ready, but the teacher didn’t appear for a very long time.
Michael took much of the mystery out of Buddhism for me and simplified the philosophy in terms I can comprehend. I give this book five stars.
Victor Rivas Rivers’ memoir A Private Family Matter is by far the best survivor story I’ve read. Mr. Rivers is the national spokesperson for the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV). Yes, a former NFL offensive guard for the Miami Dolphins and an actor who has been in dozens of movies is the spokesperson for an issue that many think is reserved for women.
As Father’s Day approaches, I believe we need to acknowledge that a whole lot of us grew up in homes where father didn’t know best. Many of our fathers were abusive tyrants who terrified the hell out of us on a daily basis. Some beat us with fists. Others beat us with words and glares. We weren’t protected by a strong and gentle man. We were on our own to survive as best we could. I think Mr. Rivers’ story of child abuse and neglect, starvation, and emotional abuse will feel quite familiar to many child abuse survivors.