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Secret Survivors [Paperback]

By E. Sue Blume (Author)
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Item Number 158696  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   352
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.36" Width: 4.16" Height: 0.98"
Weight:   0.39 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 13, 1991
Publisher   Ballantine Books
ISBN  0345369793  
EAN  9780345369796  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
"A resource of excellent caliber...Highly recommended for those who suspect that they are unconscious survivors of abuse and especially for therapists to dig into the darkest shadow part of human existence."
SECRET SURVIVORS is the first book to expand the definition of incest to include any adult abuser and to focus on what incest does to survivors. E. Sue Blume shows how incest is often at the root of such problems as depression, sexual and eating disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, and phobias and panic disorders. Using this information and the author's guidance, survivors can identify themselves, develop alternative, nondestructive survival techniques and begin again on a new path toward a rich and empowered life.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > General   [18241  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Mental Health > Abuse & Self Defense > Sexual Abuse   [395  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Self-Help > General   [13404  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Self-Help   [523  similar products]
5Books > Subjects > Parenting & Families > Family Relationships > Dysfunctional Relationships   [520  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
WONDERFUL  Dec 11, 2007
Three years ago I was encouraged to read "The Courage To Heal" but couldn't bring myself to buy it because I thought it didn't apply to me, even thought I felt like something was amiss. When I finally became ready to tackle it, I also bought "Secret Survivors". This was the first book I read because it is shorter than the other. Upon reading it I realized what a smart thing it was to buy this one. It was like reading my own biography. I felt the beginning of a rebirth afterward, and readily accepted the daunting task of the Courage To Heal book and workbook. So, I suppose I'd say it is a good springboard to do further work. It will answer questions that may seem too vague for you right now, and it is touchstone work for understanding the basic principal's of this issue, and how an entire life is affected by incest, both emotional and physical.
Secret Survivors - Uncovering incest and its aftereffects in women.  Jul 3, 2007
I think this book is the best thing that has happened to me. I have been in and out of private therapy for a few years now, and finally I have found myself validated BY A BOOK no less. For years I felt that SOMETHING "terrible" had happened to me. This books tells me that I am not crazy... or imagining my feelings, etc. It is very informative and to the point. Sue Blume gives good advice as to how to "manage" your life and the reasons behing the way we feel and act. I recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with the aftereffects of incest. Secret Survivors: Uncovering Incest and Its Aftereffects in Women
This book is saving me...and my marriage.  May 11, 2007
I read this book on the advice of my therapist. It was the most painful yet powerful book I've ever read and I could hardly put it down. It seemed to me that I was represented in nearly every chapter. Reading this book provided me with relief - that I am not alone and that there is hope and healing in my future. It was helpful for me to make the connection of my past sexual abuse and how it relates to the problems I am now having in my marriage. Having read this book I know that it can invoke overwhelming memories through flashbacks and reliving painful events. I'd suggest reading this with someone you trust so you won't feel desperate. This isn't all behind me but I know it can be because I too am a survivor and you can be too.
Your Guide to Diving into the Abyss  Nov 27, 2006
Dear E. Sue Blume,

I recently had the opportunity to read your book, Secret Survivors. In short, I have discovered a hell within myself that I did not know was there thanks to you.

You see, I had no idea that the after-effects of my incestuous past ran so deep. You originally intended your book to be for those who could only remember their incest in part, or maybe not at all... in my case, it has been the opposite. Most of the memories have remained clear for me, it was the resulting damage that was vague or unrecognizable.

I did not know that in being molested by my family of origin, and having them interchangeably argue that there was nothing wrong with it to justify its continuance... my entire life, my identity, was so deeply fractured by its ugly roots penetrating so deeply. What an incredibly rude awakening you had in store for me.

For example, your checklist... there are 34 items on there. I checked off 28 of them. Eating disorders, wanting to change my name, unable to sleep at night, guilt and shame, psychic numbing, those are just a few of them. About the only thing it seemed I hadn't developed was a multiple personality.

That was just the beginning of my plunge into that internal abyss. Oh no, I hadn't even been that rudely awakened yet. It wasn't to say I didn't know something was there. But I was looking at it through a thickly frosted and smeared pane of glass. You simply lifted this so I could see, and I was shocked.

No, it wasn't until I began reading chapter after chapter of the after-effects, in detail, that I felt my guts wrench. For it was then that I had my eyes opened to just how much they stole from me. Your incredibly accurate descriptions of what goes on behind the compulsions, the fears, the rage, walking around feeling permanently defective and marked, the way it affects adult relationships, dropped my jaw. There were days I had to simply put your book down and walk away, it was so much to take in. It took me months to finish it, I even had to buy my own copy because my library wanted theirs back and I didn't finish it in time.

Here I had thought I was doing okay... when in truth I had merely stayed in a "safe" place where I couldn't - didn't want to - look any deeper. A place I know now was illusionary and would not have served me a long-term purpose, for a transparent sheet cannot keep down the demons that claw away at it. They will burst the membrane and come spewing out, and they would have eaten me alive if I hadn't been alerted to them.

Then you threw me another curve ball: These things in themselves, did not mean I was crazy. They were actually normal ways of coping in the abnormal and evil environment sexual abuse conceives. But once out of that environment I was left with coping mechanisms that don't work within healthy functioning realms... something I had already discovered within my marriage and in my relationships with my children.

He deserves a better wife, they deserve a better Mommy. But how was I to know where to begin if I did not even have my eyes opened until now?

I have had the lid taken off of a pit of hell I could not face or even see before your book, Ms. Blume. It is a pit filled with pure rage, pure pain, and pure grief. Mostly because in seeing how pervasive the tumor of incest is implanted within my being, I've begun wondering just who the hell I really am. Am I merely a bunch of wounds and symptoms? Some days it feels that way.

Lately my stomach is on fire from hurt and anger, and my head is buzzing heavily with emotional memories that I'd forced underground to survive years of abuse. There are days when it's all I can do to run from my desk or from my house, screaming and howling as I tear my hair out in clumps. I was an innocent child who was treated like rotted filth... every little girl should feel like they are a princess in their home, and I never had that.

But you know what? I couldn't be more grateful. You showed me that I was the only one who was "normal" in my family of origin where abuse ran rampant. What an irony for an autistic woman, who doesn't think much of herself most days, to hear this.

You also validated my having been abused by a close-age sibling as being incest, true abuse, when so many "experts" still refuse to see this as anything more than normal experimentation. Sure, they'll admit sibling abuse exists, but it doesn't "count" if you're less than a certain age difference, depending on where you life. Somehow, just because I came along sooner, suddenly I'm seen as a participant, no matter how many times I said no, and regardless of the fact that I went to my mother to make him stop.

In fact you described my situation, the fear and the mixture of confusion I felt, the power imbalance already at play, so dead-on I was speechless. I couldn't stop reading those few paragraphs over and over for the longest time.

Furthermore, I believe you cannot find a solution without knowing the problem, and knowing it intimately. Reading Secret Survivors handed me a mirror that couldn't have reflected this back to me any more clearly. It's almost to the point that I'm going to have to re-read all these wonderful books on healing and recovery that I've had my hands on over the past year. I suspect what they offer is going to appear different to me now.

Despite this hurricane of tumultuous emotions and despair, I have hope, because you've promised that is available to me. You provided no solutions, instead saying we must seek them through outside resources such as support groups and therapy. That is all right, though I do hope someday you will write a follow-up that answers the burning question of, "Now what?"

You have also encouraged survivors like me to speak out, and tell our story, so that we may get the world to wake up and see we cannot ignore this problem that rots and infests the family unit in a silent but fatal way. That includes in the court system, where 16 years after publishing your book, we appear to be no better at protecting children from the monsters who feel fit to breed their victims. I wish every family court system was required to read your words so they would understand the harm they do by insisting on visitations with parents who perpetrate, and family reunification after someone has been caught.

I have also experienced an unexpected result of reading your book: My husband and I are growing closer. I've found the courage to open up to him more about what really happened. He'd known I'd been abused but I'd never really told him everything the way I am now. In turn he has been unconditionally supportive, he has not told me to "get over it" and he is letting me slough off the layers of grief and pain at my own pace. I already knew he was a good man but just as I was not aware of the depth of my pain, I was also not aware of the depths of his love like I am now.

So, thank you Ms. Blume. While I have entered a valley of darkness since the day I opened your book, I also know that this will pass someday and then I will truly know what it is to walk in the sunshine that comes with taking back your life as your own, and truly surviving, in a way I will have never known before.
"Thank You" seems so inadequate sometimes  Jun 10, 2006
Secret Survivors is one compelling book. The first time, I read it straight through and was sure I'd found the User's Manual to my brain. And perhaps I have. The knowledge packed into this little powerhouse of a paperback is vast and dense, and covers a huge amount of ground. You won't find any fluff, either - every word counts. The writing is tight, clear, and intelligent. And the jewel so carefully packaged within this book's pages is this: it gives the incest Survivor a way of understanding herself from a whole new orientation, one that assumes she is not a nutcase, and that there's a very good reason she acts and thinks the way she does.

Blume is fearless when it comes to confronting the lies and misconceptions surrounding incest. She does it simply and powerfully by stating the truth, the kind you feel in your gut. She is believable. She exudes integrity. This is important because when you begin reading you may feel, as I did, that she's been walking around inside your head, pulling out thoughts - even whole sentences - you've probably never shared with another person. When she says, "The Survivor feels...." or "The Survivor thinks...", or "The survivor may do/act/be this or that..." she's not speculating. She knows, and she's dead-on right. This sense of being known and seen makes the book an intensely personal experience, but never once have I felt exposed or invaded, or, even worse, like someone's science experiment. Instead, I felt respected and validated, enormously relieved that I'm a lot more normal than Mom thought I was, and sometimes even a little overwhelmed by all of this goodness. But I can learn to live with that.

I have gotten so much from Secret Survivors! Blume's belief in our own strength and ability to heal helps me feel stronger. I feel like I have an advocate, and a mountain of one at that, standing between me and a (mostly) unbelieving world. It doesn't matter that I don't know her personally. It just matters that she's real, that she exists someplace. I have something solid to hold on to in this book, that reminds me, over and over, "You aren't nuts - you were hurt in the worst possible way, and this is what it did to you. But you're strong, too, you're gonna make it, kid." I now know it's possible to be told, and to hear, the truth about myself in a way that is life affirming. And I know that the man who hurt me doesn't get to win anymore. All of this is why Secret Survivors remains on the top of the bedside reading stack, why it's all marked up and dog-eared, and why, in the middle of the night when it's too hard to believe I can do this and everything inside feels so broken, it's what I reach for first for comfort and encouragement.

Thank you indeed, E. Sue Blume.


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