By Virginia Heywood.
Me: “I am going to start a book.” Number 4 Child (seven years old): “Oh, please don’t. You will spend less time with me and all the time on that.” Number 3 Child (fifteen years old): “Mum, I love you, and I think you should. It will be nice and good for you, and it will be a good book. What will it be about?” Me: “I am not completely sure. Things in my life, I think. I could be here a long time.” It took eight weeks to write but forty years to tell. A story of tumbling and turning yourself inside out to get answers buried deep within. Of growing up in a large, lively, and loving family with the dark companion of sexual abuse. This journey pulls apart the deep and complex puzzle of sexual abuse and the ripples of pain that then occurs. However, it also presents a beautiful example of how intoxicating and emancipating it can be when we give ourselves permission, time to grieve, and absorb and love who we have become. How a four-year-old girl manages to adapt her mind and imagination to ensure mental and emotional survival and then, when ready, as a forty-eight-year-old woman, is reunited with her child self in poignant and beautiful spellbinding moments. Childfulness demonstrates how challenging the subject of sexual abuse is in families and society. How knowing what to do is almost impossible for everyone concerned.
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