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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Heal & Forgive: Forgiveness in the Face of Abuse Paperback – May 1, 2005

5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Nancy Richards is an adult survivor of childhood abuse. She is the single parent of two thriving, adult daughters. Richards is a successful business woman as vice president and general manager of a large wholesale food processing company in Seattle. She is a member of The International Women’s Writing Guild. She makes her home in one of the city’s suburbs.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Dolphin Publishing (May 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1577331583
  • ISBN-13: 978-1577331582
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #850,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By David Kleist on June 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
Nancy Richards has written a poignant memoir that should be

read by a wide audience. It opens with her early life as a

well-adjusted child in a happy, healthy family; but soon it

veers to the death of her father, the remarriage of her

mother, and the onset of physical and emotional abuse from

her stepfather and, through enabling and collaboration, her

own mother.

Ms. Richards' journey through adolescence, young adulthood,

to mature adulthood is vividly recounted. Any reader whose

journey has been analogous to Richards' will readily

identify with her attempts to give voice to--and then cope

with the consequences of--her childhood abuse.

I found myself underlining or bracketing large portions of

the second half of the book. Richards not only was betrayed

by her mother and stepfather but also was scapegoated by

her own brothers and other relatives as being the "sick"

one, the "troublemaker," the girl who never liked to be

hugged and who always gave her mother a hard time. Even

community members outside of her immediate family who saw

the bruises and the blood refused to help or to even

acknowledge that something was wrong.

For a victim of childhood abuse (and I am one myself), few

things are more damning or confusing than the utter refusal

of family or friends to speak up on one's behalf. It's a

double-whammy: one quickly learns to "cover" for the

abusers and to blame oneself for the evils. How could

parents, the ultimate protectors and nurturers, possibly

hurt their own flesh and blood?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Heal and Forgive is the best book I've read in a very long time. As the director of Luke 17:3 Ministries for adult children of abusive, controlling or abandoning birth-families, I would be hard-pressed to come up with a more helpful book to recommend. It is unique in its perspective in that it teaches the reader that sometimes it is okay, and even necessary, NOT to forgive. It is a page turner right from the beginning, gripping you with Nancy Richards' riveting and disturbing story of her sadistic stepfather's violence and relentless abuse of herself and her brothers, and her mother's complicity in the abuse and complete refusal to protect her children in the slightest way.

Even more distressing is the author's account of her attempts to protect herself and her brothers, and to stand up and speak the truth about the abuse, which resulted in her treacherous mother convincing anyone who would listen that she was a liar and troublemaker with mental problems. There is a twisted episode in which her stepfather was finally going to move out, but her mother told the then 12-year old author to ask him to stay. He did stay, and years later the mother blamed her daughter for controlling her marriage (at age 12!) and making her husband stay when she could have been rid of him sooner.

Long after the evil stepfather was gone and the author was grown, her mother continued to expose the author's younger brothers to repeated abuse from a string of other losers she became involved with. Nancy Richards tells, in heart-wrenching detail, of her attempts to protect her younger siblings, to get anyone to listen to her or believe her, and to somehow maintain a relationship with the mother she still loved and the rest of her family.
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Format: Paperback
My story was written on every page of Nancy Richards' book "Heal and Forgive." This page-turner is inspiring, validating and wise. Her heartbreaking life story shows that forgiveness is not a single act but a life work that has many layers and many seasons.
In sharing her recovery Richards offers a healing blueprint for physical and emotional abuse, a mother's lifelong rejection, and being viewed as an enemy by siblings. She shows how to move from her personal betrayal to the larger collective betrayal we all face.
She illustrates how forced forgiveness and forgiveness in order to heal is shallow and does not last. We need to heal first in order to forgive. Forgiveness without healing is from a position of weakness. She says forgiveness is not a choice but a process that results from healing. Only when we work towards healing does forgiveness become a realistic goal.
Richards chose to stop seeing her mother and take care of herself when her mother continued to heap contempt on her and be oblivious to her feelings. She said the act of not forgiving her mother liberated her from her abuse and set her free to forgive. She stated, "I never would have been able to forgive my mother if I still had a relationship with her."
Her story shows how healing comes with self-preservation and self-compassion when we feel safe to acknowledge and talk about our injuries and begin to deal with the trauma. Richards said, "Each time I thought I had finished mourning, another wave of heart breaking losses emerged. However as I peeled away each layer of pain, I grew stronger."
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