Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Book Review Before The World Intruded

I "happened" to 'meet' Michele Rosenthal of Heal My PTSD through Matthew Sanford's group on Facebook. Matthew was going to be a guest on Your Life After Trauma radio show that Michele hosts. We exchanged a few emails and then I joined her community, shared my story having no idea that a beautiful friendship would develop and that by knowing Michele and being a part of her Heal My PTSD community, that I would fully embrace my recovery from trauma.

Today is the release of Michele's memoir, "Before The World Intruded". Before the world intruded, Michele was a 13 year old like any 13 year old girl you would meet and then she experienced a profound life altering event as a result of a medical mistake. She takes us from her hospital bed where she struggled between choosing life and choosing death, on her 25 year struggle with undiagnosed post traumatic stress disorder to her triumphant 40th birthday celebration.

Michele writes from the vantage point of a survivor and a professional who is a certified trauma coach and hypnotherapist knowing what salient points are for the reader who is a trauma survivor. She writes from the heart of a poet weaving wonderful metaphors and images to take us on her journey. Michele's story will touch your heart and enlighten you to the world of a trauma survivor and the indomitable drive of the spirit to prevail and create a life of joy and freedom ultimately choosing to serve others. I marveled at the similarities between her story and my story. Michele and I often say there is only one story although the details may differ from person to person. But even if you are not a trauma survivor, you will be enthralled by Michele's telling of her compelling story universal to the human condition.

Michele has clarified so much of my own journey - the struggles and the triumphs. I felt goosebumps as she talked about her struggle with her before and after trauma self. Last July, I had written out two columns in my journal - my polio/trauma self and my transformed self identifying the characteristics and traits of each. With each passing day, I am able to step more fully into my transformed self leaving the old world of trauma behind being fully present in the moment. Michele's memoir catapulted my healing journey to a new level. Michele's story is one that brings hope, possibility, and inspiration to trauma survivors weaving clinical information about PTSD into the wonderful plot driven odyssey that Michele shares with openness, brutal honesty, integrity and grace.

As Michele ends her memoir she writes,
"From my own experience, professional training, stories I've heard from many survivors, plus my work with clients I am convinced that we all have the potential to construct and deconstruct and change ourselves, our brains, and our traumatic connections. Indeed, recent research about neuroplasticity proves more and more of the brain's inherent capacity to heal. The implications of this are an enormous reversal in the idea that the changes PTSD causes cannot be undone. Often, they can. There is hope for us all." (p. 218)

Michele - you ARE a beacon of hope and light and possibility leading the way to transform lives and the way that clinicians treat post traumatic stress disorder. Even though your healing rampage is over, you have a quest for continued knowledge and for spreading your message. You did just that in "Before The World Intruded." Thank you for your courage, your strength, for choosing life and for being an incredible writer.

You can purchase Michele's memoir through Amazon.

Be sure to tune into her weekly radio show Your Life After Trauma. Here is the link to the podcast to last week's show. I was so blessed to share my healing odyssey with her and her listeners. Because Michele knows what it feels like to have the world intrude with a life altering event, she honors, embraces and shares the healing stories of other trauma survivors with a love and passion to let everyone know in her words, "You have enormous healing potential. The goal is learning to access it. Dig deep. You can do it. I believe in you!"

From my heart to yours
With deepest love and total gratitude,


Michele said...

Mary, thank you for that beautiful post, and for your continued support. You yourself are such an inspiration and it makes me feel so good to be connected to your energy, strength, creativity and also, the light you shine into the PTSD darkness. You are a gift!

Worth-Waiting-For said...

Great review! I look forward to reading it myself!