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The Obsidian Mirror: Healing from Childhood Sexual Abuse Paperback – February 20, 2003

4.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Louise Wisechild was one of the first writers to graphically depict her incest story and frame it as a journey of healing. Despite her frightening memories, you'll feel safe in the strength of Wisechild's narrative. Wisechild is as steady as they come, yet she's still sensitive and fully alive despite all that could have left her numbed and crippled. Statistics suggest that one-third of all women experienced some form of sexual abuse as children. As a model for collective healing and storytelling, The Obsidian Mirror remains one of the best literary companions available. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Wisechild was sexually abused by her stepfather, grandfather and uncle. Like many incest survivors, she tells her story after years of silence and repression, but this is more than simply a first-person account of abominations. A gifted writer, Wisechild relates the facts of her abuse in brief flashbacks, using most of her narrative energy to personify the various clashing emotions that strive to dominate her personality: Sarah is the sharp-edged, critical judge; Fuckit, the cursing, cigarette-smoking rebel; YoungerOnes, her scared, whining inner children, all different ages; Sure Voice, the stable, intellectualizing adult; and Carrie, the herbal tea-drinking, meditating nurturer. Wisechild also creates allegorical settingsWell, Pit, Dust, Treeto illuminate her feelings of isolation, fear and longing for human connection. The tale is compelling, frightening and powerful: at 13 she attempts suicide; years later she recognizes the devastating effect of the incest on her adult sexual relationships. Wisechild's graphic, biting, funny, painful chronicle of her journey to health and self-love is also a singular literary achievement.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Seal Press; 3rd edition (February 20, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580050859
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580050852
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,736,685 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Louise Wisechild's frank account of her incest memories and journey towards recovery is essential reading for anyone recovering from child sexual abuse. She uses her skill as a writer to paint the full picture of her horrifying experiences as a young child, conveying the sense of powerlessness and hopeless that sexual abuse causes.
The therapy sessions are described in detail, it's like sitting in on the session and seeing her process happening as she sifts through memories and makes connections with the way her adult attitudes and beliefs were shaped by the abuse. The reader gains vicarious healing by being drawn along in Louise Wisechild's journey to find her answers from within herself.
The book's message about having the courage to face the memories, and hopefulness about reshaping one's life in spite of the past trauma, is a powerful and healing message that all adult survivors of abuse will benefit from hearing.
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Format: Paperback
The most beautifully written personal journey that I have ever had the honor of reading. Wisechild does not offer you a guide, she offers you her personal journey through hell. She explains each step of the way as it un-folded in her life.

What Raw, painful, saddness of a soul wounded and how a journey of crawling to the light brings hope. This is not a CSA guide or self-help book. This is a book written by a very brave survivor who crawled out of the obsidian well and became whole again.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read this before and I decided I needed my own copy. It is a memoir of a severely abused young woman with dissociative identity disorder (DID), which used to be called multiple personality disorder (MPD) but is NOT a personality disorder. I first read it when I was exploring my own DID. I have read at least one other book on DID and that one was just as scary.

This book does a very good job of showing DID from the inside. The fractured personalities and the isolation they feel as well as the abuse that caused these separations. As therapy goes on and the personalities merge, each brings their own memories and strengths to the core person.
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This book gave me a whole new vocabulary in responding to and understanding my own history. The writing was intelligent, captivating, raw, and honest. Very few books do I consider powerful enough to call life changing - this is certainly one of them. The way Wisechild tells her story, helped me put into words thoughts and feelings I previously found incommunicable. This allowed me to take a huge leap forward in my therapy. I feel eternally grateful that this book was written and that I got to read a copy.
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Informative, easy read, open eyes, touches your heart. There wasn't much wrote on the subject at the time this was wrote, I recommend to anyone who has real life experience or know anyone suffering from childhood abuse, answers lots of questions and this is wrote as a story, not like a medical journal. I am thankful for the courage it took to put herself out there. Thanks!!
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Format: Paperback
Great book!! Anyone with an aptitude for psychology based info should read this book!! The way this young woman overcomes sexual abuse is amazing and scary!!
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Format: Paperback
I would recommend this book for anyone trying to heal from Childhood Sexual Abuse regardless of how far along you are.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An emotionally difficult read. I could only get through one or two pages at a time, before having to put it down as it swept through my psyche unearthing painful memories and exposing deep hurts that I still carry - decades into my own healing journey. Highly recommended to anyone who has suffered this kind of abuse that is far too seldom written about.
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