"Compelling...gripping...a triumph of the human spirit."
—Nashua Telegraph review of The Box of Daughter
Winner of both the 2012 New England Book Festival and Reader's Favorite Book Awards, and a Finalist in the 2013 Maine Literary Awards, The Box of Daughter: Healing the Authentic Self is the story of the author's journey to recover from Complex PTSD caused by emotional abuse in her family of origin, raise her self-esteem, and create a life that is truly her own. The Box of Daughter offers a close-up view into a daughter's life experience, and provides a road map to recovery from dysfunctional family dynamics for both men and women.
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According to Pete Walker, author of Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving
(a book I highly recommend), Complex PTSD is a form of post-traumatic stress disorder characterized by emotional flashbacks, toxic shame, self-abandonment, a vicious inner critic, and social anxiety. Until I heard about PTSD, I thought there was something wrong with me because I had problems with all of the above.
It took me years to realize that it was the way I'd been treated as a child that caused most of my problems, not who I really am. The Box of Daughter is the story of the journey I took to emotional wellness, higher self-esteem, and more authentic living. This story can show you how to recover from emotional abuse, and how to recover from bullying.
The Box of Daughter can help you:
- Understand your dysfunctional family’s dynamics on a deeper level
- Feel validated in your experience of growing up, knowing that you’re not alone
- Understand why you might have experienced difficulty coping in life
- Learn to unearth and express your feelings and develop your authentic self
- Stretch your “envelope” to become aware of better ways of living
- Develop more self-confidence as you understand how your childhood affected your self-esteem
- Begin to recover from a dysfunctional childhood
The Box of Daughter will help you unearth your authentic self and begin to rebuild your self-esteem.
The Box of Daughter is an eloquent, compassionate portrayal of the author’s triumph over a lifetime of emotional abuse. The Box of Daughter exposes the bullying and abuse that can occur behind closed doors in a "perfect" family, and describes the author's seven years of caregiving for her abusive parents and her quest to rediscover her authentic self after their deaths.
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How The Box of Daughter Began
Three months after my father died, I attended a bereavement group offered by an affiliate of the hospice program that cared for my father in the last months of his life. The group centered around writing and sharing short pieces related to the grief process that all of us shared, and as I discovered that many of the other participants had experienced similar difficulties in their families of origin, I began writing more short pieces related to my dysfunctional family and my experience of emotional abuse.
I also found it extremely cathartic to write about my fifty years of living in the box of daughter. Putting the words and experiences on paper helped me clarify my truth and clear myself of the fear, sadness, and anger related to my past. Spilling my thoughts and feelings in whatever way they wanted to come out helped me to come to terms with the trauma of emotional abuse in childhood and to heal my grief at what I had lost.
Within a few months, I had written so many short pieces that I began seeing them as part of a book, a record of my truth which I hoped would help others who had dysfunctional families to face their own truths and begin to release their pain and sadness.
I am grateful to whatever divine force led me to write this book, and I offer it as a healing gift for others. Finally facing my truth and releasing old feelings helped me to heal myself from the past and move forward into a much more authentic, productive, and fulfilling life.
If you had a difficult childhood, a dysfunctional family of origin, or any other situation that's made you feel as if you're living in a box, you'll find validation for your feelings and suggestions for recovery in The Box of Daughter. Recovery from the past is absolutely possible.