***Disclosure: I received complimentary samples to facilitate my post. All opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
Do you love laying down on a warm, fluffy towel or on a beach chair, slathered in sunscreen, rockin' the shades, good book in hand?
That, to me at least, sounds like the perfect way to spend the summer months. I've always been a bit of a bookworm, and I've always been the type to spend lazy afternoons reading rather than partying it up.
I have two AMAZING summer reads to share, but please note: These are books that will also require some tissues, as they tackle very real situations, such as how hard it can be to help raise a special needs loved one, as well as Narcissistic Abuse and mind control. (Different books, folks...These are NOT scenarios in the same story, thank goodness!) Anyway, these books are both easy yet compelling reads, and are sure to suck you right in while you lay lazily by the pool this season.
Sanity Lost & Found: A true Story of Brainwashing and Recovery by: Tarra Judson Stariell
Cult. A word we all know, but few will ever have reason to confront in their own lives. Something other families might have to deal with, something that will impact other children. Right? Maybe. Or, maybe not... A bright and beautiful child brought up in an idyllic ranch setting, as a young woman Sandy should have had it all. Instead, she fell prey to a psychopath who consumed more than a decade and a half of her life. “He did not need to chain or lock us in the room; our fear kept us in bondage, more securely immobilized than any physical restraints could have ever done.” - Tarra Judson Stariell How do we become victims of our own irrationality? What makes us vulnerable to the predators among us? Why would an otherwise sensitive, intelligent woman allow herself to return again and again to her abuser? How do we stop the erosion of our self-worth? Simultaneously recognizable and horrifying, we see parts of ourselves and our own vulnerabilities in this compelling story of one woman’s descent into and climb out of the abyss. For anyone who has ever allowed themselves to be victimized, for anyone who has ever doubted their value, for anyone wanting to protect their children from such vulnerabilities, Sanity Lost and Found is a compelling, informative, and inspirational read that weaves together the how and why for such vulnerabilities and the components necessary for recovery and transformation.
Chasing The Merry-Go-Round: Holding on to Hope & Home When the World Moves Too Fast (A True Story) by Kelly Bargabos
Life moves fast. Too fast for some people. This is the true story of what it’s like to live in a world where you can’t keep up. Bobby was ten months old when my mom and dad rescued him from birth parents who were slowly killing him. He was adopted into our family after a lengthy custody battle. Instead of that settling him, it set off a lifelong struggle to fi nd a place to belong, a place to call home. Like an old-fashioned merry-go-round, the world moved at a speed that was just too fast for Bobby. He couldn’t keep up, which prevented him from keeping a job, a roof over his head, and the basics needed to survive. The life he dreamt of was always out of reach. No one knew why. While cultural ideals of what a “normal” life looks like can distort our perspective, Chasing the Merry-Go-Round allows readers to see the world through the eyes of a person with intellectual and physical disabilities, which can often be invisible, especially at fi rst glance. It’s a story about struggle and hope, survival and resilience, and most of all, the gift of acceptance and love.
I really enjoyed both of these titles, although for very different reasons.
First, I'd like to talk about Chasing the Merry-Go-Round: Holding on to Hope & Home When the World Moves Too Fast.
This story is raw, realistic, and gives an accurate picture of what it's like to love someone with special needs, who may need extra care for the entirety of their lives. It shows the joy, the anger, the frustration, but most of all, the deep, unchanging love we feel for our families. This story isn't always rainbows and butterflies, as there are depictions of people and the outside world in general treating Bobby poorly. This book will make you laugh, cry, feel enraged and helpless, but most of all, it will give the reader a deeper sense of compassion and empathy towards those who are differently abled.
Now onto the read that was literally traumatic at times for me to read... Sanity Lost & Found: A True Story of Brainwashing and Recovery.
As a survivor of Domestic Violence, brainwashing, and general mindfudgery, this was a story that was hard to read. Seeing familiar tactics, such as breaking the spirit of the victim, twisting reality, etc were not the easiest things to read about, as they took me back to a place in time where I, too, felt helpless, worthless, and absolutely and completely insignificant.
Thankfully, a lot has changed in over a decade, and my life has changed so much for the better. If you have been abused, this book may act as a trigger. It did for me. Keep reading, though. I promise the pain, panic, and tears are well worth the inspirational outcome.
Grab Your Own Copies on Amazon :
You can pick up both of these books on Amazon. Just click the links below to be taken to each title:
Sanity Lost & Found: A true Story of Brainwashing and Recovery
Chasing The Merry-Go-Round: Holding on to Hope & Home When the World Moves Too Fast (A True Story)
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I'm Brandy, a happily married, proud mama of two munchkins and a teen. You can read more about me HERE. If you're interested in building a working relationship, please feel free to e-mail me at: NewlyCrunchyMamaOf3@gmail.com
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