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Yes, Beth, the act of refusing is so powerful. In Vipassana I learned the story that Buddha related to a man who asked him a question. It had to do with a gift from a friend or family member and he did not know what to do because he did not want it. Buddha smiled and told him to just smile and say No, thank you. Thus giving the "gift" back to those who own it. It was a wonderful way for me to refuse that which is unhealthy for me, not adding to my way of life, not allowing negativity or ill thoughts into my life because it was called a "gift". I think you have handled your way out of the abuse in the same manner....refusing, saying no thank you, that is not the truth for me. It is very scary at first, but like you said courage and willingness, each step of the way toward what you want as life is the only way to emerge from the harness of abuse and it's defenders. I battle my dysfunctional stories and beliefs each day. I am a better person because of it. Joanie

Its never late to start,is it! I am going to refuse to be around those who are not real..honest....those who tear down....those who do not empower.Beth--i wonder if you know how your strength and wisdom goes out and multiplies......

Joan, I love giving the "gift" back by saying No thank you. It is more powerful than I would have imagined, Refusing. Keep on refusing!

Thank you Judy, I would love that my strength and wisdom expands as it goes out! Refusing is very empowering!! You got this!!

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Women In New Directions

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Report Sexual Abuse

Books, signposts along the way.

  • Annie Rogers: A Shining Affliction: A Story of Harm and Healing in Psychotherapy
  • Elizabeth Gilbert: Big Magic - Creative Living Beyond Fear
  • Brene Brown: Daring Greatly
  • Martha Beck: Leaving the Saints
  • Glennon Doyle Melton: Love Warrior
  • Byron Katie: Loving What Is
  • Dr. Jill Bolte-Taylor: My Stroke Of Insight
  • Sheryl Sandberg, Adam Grant: Option B - Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy
  • Brene Brown: Rising Strong
  • Shefali Tsabary: The Awakened Family
  • Patrick J. Carnes Ph.D: The Betrayal Bond
  • Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D.: The Body Keeps Score
  • Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D.: The Body Keeps Score - Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma
  • Alice Miller: The Body Never Lies
  • Dr. Shefalie Tsabary: The Conscious Parent
  • Laura Landgraf: The Fifth Sister- From Victim to Victor
  • Brene Brown: The Gifts of Imperfection
  • Christina Enevoldsen: The Rescued Soul - A writing journey for the Healing of Incest and Family Betrayal
  • Annie Rogers: The Unsayable: The hidden language of trauma
  • Steven Pressfield: The War of Art
  • Alice Miller: Thou Shalt Not Be Aware
  • Rythea Lee: Trauma into Truth - Gutsy Healing and Why Its Worth It
  • Iyanla Vanzant: Trust
  • Rob Bell: Velvet Elvis
  • Norah Vincent: Voluntary Madness- Lost and Found in the Mental Healthcare System
  • Terry L. Wise: Waking Up: Climbing through the Darkness
  • Dr. Karyl McBride: Will I Ever Be Good Enough
  • Shonda Rhimes: Year of Yes


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