Anticipating the books arrival I had a vision of a photo taken by Steve, my publisher, or Faith, my text designer, when they show me the 1000 copies that arrived from the printer. There I’ll be sitting on the floor of their office, a large brown box open at my left side and my lap full of copies of my book. I’m cradling another bunch of copies and more copies are spilling over the sides of the box and a stack of books are staggeringly piled on my right side like a half played game of Jenga.
A thousand copies! At this very moment the most important thing is they exist. Not if or when they’ll be purchased. Not who will get a copy or what they’ll think of it as they read it. What’s happening is I am telling. A thousand times over, I am telling. A lot of people already know that after every rape my father said, “You tell anyone and I’ll kill you.” And I’ve worked myself up to this point of being able to tell it a thousand more times. Since I absolutely believe that every time I scorn my fear of my father’s threats I heal a bit more - then I am in the throws of one giant healing process sitting inside a pile of a thousand tellings.
It’s like a body cast after a major accident of falling off a cliff and breaking all the large and little bones in a body.
Thinking about the incest being like falling off a cliff – what got broken was my souls skeleton. Does that even make any sense at all? What I’ve been doing since then, since it started when I was seven, which counts up to sixty three friggin’ years, is trying to get my spirit back to where it was before the whole damn nightmare started.
Wow. The meaning of the image of me with the books just morphed from a body cast to a stream. Like the stream at the bottom of our hill, a stream where my 1000 books are washing over me, carrying my spirit off somewhere I can’t even imagine sitting here.
Plus, there’s something about there being one thousand copies that makes all the corners of my brain sparkle.
If you want to purchase a copy, click here.
Would you like to know what some are saying about the book? Well, for starters there’s Lea Grover, an empowerment advocate at the Voices and Faces Project http://www.voicesandfaces.org
"With a title like Healing My Life from Incest to Joy, you might think Donna’s new book would be a heavy, difficult read. But though she is honest and deeply human as she tells her story of childhood incest, what is most striking about this book is the joy.
Jenson, a successful community builder and playwright, focuses not on the details of her abuse, but on the steps she took to build a life of meaning and beauty. Through her, we learn techniques of storytelling, therapy, and relationship building. She does not ask the reader to suffer with her, rather inviting the reader to heal with her. With a conversational tone and genuine friendliness, she invites the reader into her life, getting to know and love the friends who support her, the daughter who encourages her, and the diverse and compassionate “Family of Choice” surrounding her.
This book is not prescriptive, not a “how-to” guide to overcoming trauma, but it is a detailed account of what helped Jenson, how and why she came to learn new tools for introspection and growth, and where any person could find them, should they have an interest. It’s the kindness of this storytelling that is so striking. Jenson does not pretend to speak on behalf of all survivors, but she clearly speaks to all survivors. This book firmly says, “If I can do it, so can you,” and reading her words, she compels you to believe them.
Scattered throughout the book are excerpts from letters, diary entries, and notes for her play, giving a rare insight into Jenson’s vulnerable process of becoming the best version of herself. It offers a guide for survivors of childhood sexual abuse to see themselves as whole, and validated in their choices to build an adult life outside the structures of their abuse.
The joy Jenson has for the life she has built is apparent on every page, and with every new page that joy transforms into hope, and gratitude. Healing My Life from Incest to Joy will speak to anyone who has tried to heal, who wants to heal, or who has begun to heal their own lives. Jenson not only offers readers the understanding of a friend, but helps them to understand themselves."
And one more advanced review:
“In HEALING MY LIFE FROM INCEST TO JOY author Donna Jenson gives us a personal, detailed account of her healing journey. Dedicating this book to the tens of millions of incest survivors with her expressed hope that “more and more of our lights reach out and illuminate one another,” Ms. Jenson’s generous contribution to that mission carries a life-giving tone throughout. She chronicles each stage of her process with mention of resources and with clear, practical recommendations, but without pontificating. She also has a casual, conversational manner of writing, which I think makes her book more accessible to survivors, especially those who are early in their healing process and suffer greatly with feelings of shame. While readers will come away from reading HEALING MY LIFE FROM INCEST TO JOY with a sense of familiarity with the author, the damage created by incest, the process of healing, and resources for survivors of incest, I expect that readers who are survivors will come away with a deeper understanding of themselves, of available components of the healing process, and with new or renewed hope that they, too, can heal and experience joy.”
International Bestselling Author, Never Tell
Panel Member, UK Child Sexual Abuse People's Tribunal