The Ropes That Bind: Based on a True Story of Child Sexual Abuse Paperback – August 8, 2016
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Dr. Ted Horowitz, D.S.W., Doctor of Social Work
"'Nobody wants to revisit a war zone,' yet in The Ropes That Bind, Tracy Stopler pays such a visit with the ultimate purpose of healing from the inner personal war of previously unspoken child sexual abuse. In doing so, the author has created a memorable story, a healing antidote, and a story filled with 'the courage and strength to break free from the shame.' This is a series of beautiful love stories... one of family, another of student/mentor, and most meaningfully, one of discovering love of self! Ms. Stopler has truly paved the way for all victims of life's tragedies to become survivors - in fact, thrivers of life's gifts. This book will touch your heart, break it wide open, and then place it back in your chest with added compassion, spirit and love."
Dr. Seena Russell Axel
"The Ropes That Bind powerfully illustrates the destruction that accompanies the silence surrounding sexual abuse. Tracy Stopler bravely shares with us a story that unfortunately is far too familiar. In doing so, she offers unusual modalities of healing that can loosen the grip of damage for many, many victims of sex abuse."
Dr. Amy Hammel Zabin, Music Therapist, Author of Conversation witha Pedophile: In the Interest of Our Children, Survivor
"The Ropes That Bind is a meaningful story that follows the journey of a young girl into adulthood after experiencing child sexual abuse. Tracy Stopler gives voice to an issue people are uncomfortable discussing. She demonstrates the negative impact that child sexual abuse has on the main character, Tali Stark, but also enlightens us as to how someone can move from victim to healthy survivor. I applaud this work. It's a wonderful story."
Cynthia Scott, M.A., Executive Director, The Safe Center, LI
"This heartbreaking story of the emotional scars of child sexual abuse has the most troublesome and painful beginning. But as this artful tale unravels, the narrator takes the difficult and necessary journey toward healing, through romantic relationships and her curative work as a registered dietitian. Tracy Stopler's main character Tali Stark is memorable, and her story is narrated in the most compassionate way. The Ropes That Bind will leave you feeling inspired."
Marie Carter, Author of The Trapeze Diaries
From the Author
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Of course I loved the part about the beautiful love story she shared with her mentor and how that tragically played out, but overall I was so glad I read this book about a life so well lived, and still going strong!!
I always laugh to myself when someone says they "finished" therapy; I believe that when we stop self-examination, self-awareness, and learning about ourselves that we no longer exist. I tend to look at life as a journey; a string of events (some more powerful than others) but they all impact how we feel at any specific time of our lives. We must always be aware. We are our history, and as Tracy Stopler so aptly writes, “Are we the author of our own script? Are we the main character as well as the director? Are we the saboteur the person to push us down?” The clear answer, here, that resounds through this brave book is: YES!
This writer openly shares her story and the resourcefulness of the mind to fight her way to bringing light into her life.
One must view the powerful video also produced by Tracy Stopler: (see The Ropes that Bind on YouTube) Reviewed by Mollie Sugarman
The author introduces us to Tali Stark, as a child, who is running late to go to school. It is a rainy day, and her Mom can't walk her. Her mother reminds her to go straight to school. The family lives in a safe community. A white limousine pulls up, and the driver, "THE MAN" asks young Tali where a street is. Tali want to be helpful and points out the street. It is pouring, and the man suggests she come in and close the car door. The man threatens her and her family if she ever tells what happens. Somehow, Tali survives, traumatized, and gets to school, but sits in the bathroom in shock and in silence.
This silence and secrets of what happened still is very much part of grown up Tali. Tali can be described as conflicted,complicated, insecure, very bright and inquisitive. Tali functions at a high level in her academic achievement. There are some characters that Tali does meet that are supportive, encouraging, positive and loving.
I love that Tracy Stopler shows us the weaknesses, and frailty in Tali that lead to growth, strength, courage and freedom. Tali goes on an emotional, psychological and spiritual journey . Tali has mentors, friends, family, friends, and lovers that stand by her. Tali is able to share what happened and wants to help others, with a strong voice.
The subject matter is disturbing and almost has a "taboo" feel, but it is dealt with in an intriguing and captivating way. This happened many years before. In my opinion,this is something that should be brought up and dealt with more, There should be more laws informing the neighborhoods, and schools of sexual predators. There should also be more education for children at home and in school to reinforce positive ways to be protected. It is not okay to stay silent if something is off, or something happens. Children should be made to feel safe in their environments so that they can feel comfortable and have strong support systems. Children shouldn't have to be silent and keep secrets. Children should be safe!
I appreciate the way that the author describes the characters and the storyline in a positive, captivating and intriguing way. This is a book that should be read!!