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Secret Survivors: Uncovering Incest and Its Aftereffects in Women Mass Market Paperback – February 13, 1991

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Addressed to victims of incest--here defined to include sexual abuse by friends or caregivers--this is a realistic and sensitive study. New York psychotherapist Blume speaks to victims who have blocked childhood memories of abuse, and sets out to help them cope with "Post-Incest Syndrome," which encompasses depression, guilt, substance addiction and sexual dysfunction. Survivors will also benefit from the author's perceptive advice on rebuilding self-esteem as a preparation for resuming friendships and sexual relations.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

A therapist who works with incest victims, Blume offers help, advice, and support while exploring in depth the devastation wrought by this crime. She expands the definition of incest to include sexual abuse perpetrated by any caregiver (including teachers, relatives, or neighbors). Her book is written for those who know that they have been abused as well as those who have blocked such abuse from their memories. The "Incest Survivor Aftereffects Checklist" describes the many ways incest affects its victims. Using the concepts delineated in the checklist Blume explores how victims protect themselves against awareness that cannot be faced through aftereffects such as dreams, addictions, and interpersonal issues. She then offers numerous specific suggestions for recovery, including descriptions and evaluations of therapeutic interventions in the final chapter.
- Jodith Janes, Cleveland Clinic Foundation
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (February 13, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345369793
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345369796
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #786,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

181 of 189 people found the following review helpful By Crochet Lover on November 27, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Dear E. Sue Blume,

I recently had the opportunity to read your book, Secret Survivors. In short, I have discovered a hell within myself that I did not know was there thanks to you.

You see, I had no idea that the after-effects of my incestuous past ran so deep. You originally intended your book to be for those who could only remember their incest in part, or maybe not at all... in my case, it has been the opposite. Most of the memories have remained clear for me, it was the resulting damage that was vague or unrecognizable.

I did not know that in being molested by my family of origin, and having them interchangeably argue that there was nothing wrong with it to justify its continuance... my entire life, my identity, was so deeply fractured by its ugly roots penetrating so deeply. What an incredibly rude awakening you had in store for me.

For example, your checklist... there are 34 items on there. I checked off 28 of them. Eating disorders, wanting to change my name, unable to sleep at night, guilt and shame, psychic numbing, those are just a few of them. About the only thing it seemed I hadn't developed was a multiple personality.

That was just the beginning of my plunge into that internal abyss. Oh no, I hadn't even been that rudely awakened yet. It wasn't to say I didn't know something was there. But I was looking at it through a thickly frosted and smeared pane of glass. You simply lifted this so I could see, and I was shocked.

No, it wasn't until I began reading chapter after chapter of the after-effects, in detail, that I felt my guts wrench. For it was then that I had my eyes opened to just how much they stole from me.
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64 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Cathleen M. Walker VINE VOICE on July 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
Read this book. If you are a survivor, or the partner or non-offending parent of a survivor, a sibling or a friend, this book provides powerful insight that can only enhance the healing process. I have now read it twice, and only got more out of it the second time. I did so much reading when I was first in recovery, 12 years ago, that I forgot where I learned what. I now know that the roots of my healing and the basis for the healthy, fulfilling relationships I have today can be attributed, primarily, to the truly valuable, readable and useful information in Secret Survivors. Read it once. Then read it again. You will not be sorry.
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 10, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Secret Survivors is one compelling book. The first time, I read it straight through and was sure I'd found the User's Manual to my brain. And perhaps I have. The knowledge packed into this little powerhouse of a paperback is vast and dense, and covers a huge amount of ground. You won't find any fluff, either - every word counts. The writing is tight, clear, and intelligent. And the jewel so carefully packaged within this book's pages is this: it gives the incest Survivor a way of understanding herself from a whole new orientation, one that assumes she is not a nutcase, and that there's a very good reason she acts and thinks the way she does.

Blume is fearless when it comes to confronting the lies and misconceptions surrounding incest. She does it simply and powerfully by stating the truth, the kind you feel in your gut. She is believable. She exudes integrity. This is important because when you begin reading you may feel, as I did, that she's been walking around inside your head, pulling out thoughts - even whole sentences - you've probably never shared with another person. When she says, "The Survivor feels...." or "The Survivor thinks...", or "The survivor may do/act/be this or that..." she's not speculating. She knows, and she's dead-on right. This sense of being known and seen makes the book an intensely personal experience, but never once have I felt exposed or invaded, or, even worse, like someone's science experiment. Instead, I felt respected and validated, enormously relieved that I'm a lot more normal than Mom thought I was, and sometimes even a little overwhelmed by all of this goodness. But I can learn to live with that.

I have gotten so much from Secret Survivors! Blume's belief in our own strength and ability to heal helps me feel stronger.
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62 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Bill Maxwell on May 9, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a male incest survivor, and I got this book because the Courage to Heal For Women was very helpful to me; there aren't that many books for male survivors. This author has some good things to offer; it's unfortunate that the book gets clouded by her prejudice. [...] Myself and many people I know from recovery (including women) were sexually abused by their mothers or other women without any man being involved. She also insinuates that boys don't often get sexually abused. Wrong. Sexual abuse against boys is much less reported. I support anyone writing a book for female survivors, but there is no need to take shots at boys who have been sexually abused, and it's shameless to not hold female perpetrators accountable for what they have done. Any adult, male or female is responsible for their own actions.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Sandy McFadden on August 25, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a no nonsense person, as I believe most survivors turn out to be. Secret Survivors is a no nonsense book - to the point. This is not for the squeamish. Also, I don't believe this is the first book a survivor should read. I think it's better to walk in gently, even if you are in therapy. Books like "The Courage To Heal" are good for anyone no matter what the depth of the abuse may have been. Secret Survivors gets to the heart of every issue. You will see yourself, feel yourself, watch yourself, cry for yourself and finally relax knowing you're not crazy, this did happen, and you can have a life after your insanity. The journey through this book is magnificent. I have just recommended it to a therapist who is starting a practice to work with abuse victims. It would have been worth many more dollars to me just based on the questions and answers it provided. YOU ARE WORTH THE TIME IT TAKES TO READ THIS BOOK, but don't be surprised if you are a bit withdrawn as you make your way through it. It takes your breath away!!!!
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