"The growth of understanding follows an ascending spiral rather than a straight line." ~Joanna Field

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Bookmarks - Scars

Scars, by Cheryl Reinfield, copyright 2010, published by WestSide Books.
I quite literally just finished reading this book.
Okay, no, because by the time you read this it will be a week or more later, but at the time of writing this, I just spent a bit more than two hours reading this book (and about an hour looking at some of the resources provided at the end).

Normally when I do these things (though I have done so few that I am not sure there is a "normally") I will wait a bit longer between the read and the review, to let my thoughts sit.
But I don't want to this time.

Scars is an incredibly powerful book, and it brought me to tears. And I'm not sure I can say that about any other book. I've been sad, and maybe had a tear or two (looking at you, J.K Rowling...) but this book made me cry.
And at the same time I could not stop reading it.

Scars is about a girl named Kendra who has been sexually abused, and doesn't know who did it.
Or, more precisely, she "knows" but can't remember. She's repressed it, I guess I mean.

So she is in therapy. And she cuts herself. A lot.
This book will almost definitely trigger you, if you have ever self-harmed. So, yeah, watch out for that.

What I loved about this book (other than it is a lesbian character (didn't know that going in) and that it shows a very real side of cutting) were the relationships Kendra had.
She had a therapist who was wonderful to her, a great teacher, a reasonably close gay, male, family friend, and a girl who is helpful to her.
She is an artist, and she sees the world through those eyes.

I quite like this book as it shows how things can go right though. She has a good support system, for the most part, and deals reasonably effectively with her stress.

The author has been through similar situations, and I think that is what lends this story so much credibility, so much believability.
All of Kendra's feelings were understandable, accessible, and (in my experience) true.

I would prompt those who know self-harmers, or abused persons, to read this book. It is... disturbing, yes, but I think it could also be a great way to understand a bit of what is going on in their thought processes.
I would also encourage people who do self-harm, or were abused, to read this book-- IF, and only if, they felt they are in a secure place and have resources available to them.
Because this book IS TRIGGERING. There are explicit accounts of self-harm, and less explicit, but still disturbing, memories of sexual abuse. Kendra's mind is in turmoil, and it is a bumpy ride.

If nothing else, I suggest picking this book up for the resource list at the back, which is pretty thorough and interesting.
Side note, I am linking a previous post about suicide/self-harm here for a rounded out thing, if you are feeling bad, I suggest looking at that, or finding a resource you consider helpful in order to feel better.
(Thoughts on Suicide)

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