HEALING MY LIFE FROM INCEST TO JOY, by Donna Jenson
How long does it take to heal? What does a life dedicated to justice and joy look like? What happens when we have the courage to speak truth to power, and perpetrator? In Healing My Life from Incest to Joy, Donna Jenson removes the shackles from one of the most taboo subjects in our culture—incest. An organizer, leadership trainer, and incest survivor herself, Jenson first tackled the subject in her play, What She Knows: One Woman’s Way Through Incest to Joy, which Jenson has performed at correctional facilities, colleges, police departments, conferences for mental health professionals and sexual assault advocates, and for communities with people in need of healing. Upon seeing the impact of her mother’s play on audiences, Jenson’s daughter said, “Mom, you have to write a book that tells people what you did to heal enough to write and perform this.” And so Healing, a book its author calls “an activist memoir,” was born.
This is a deeply personal story that explores the sexual violence Jenson endured at the hands of her father, the refusal of her family to acknowledge her pain, and a rocky escape as a teenager from the Midwest to start anew in seventies-era California. But Jenson’s big-hearted book is as political as it is personal: a call to arms for other survivors, and a reminder that violence within families is a public health and social justice issue that must be addressed with renewed urgency. In chronicling the physical and spiritual steps she took to reclaim her life and peel away the layers of damage done by incest, Jenson has written a much-needed guide. And though the subject matter is deeply serious, Jenson writes with her sense of humor firmly intact, reminding us that joy is possible in the face of great pain. Poignant, brave, and helpful, Healing My Life offers a much-needed testimony for anyone affected by childhood sexual abuse.
BOOK WILL BE RELEASED AND AVAILABLE FOR SALE AT LEVELLERS PRESS IN FALL OF 2017