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The Ropes That Bind: Based on a True Story of Child Sexual Abuse Paperback – August 8, 2016
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"Critical acclaim for this desperately needed type of love story. In my 40 years of work as a psychotherapist I often find myself advising patients to "treat themselves as if they were someone they loved." The response I frequently get is "how?" Tracy Stopler provides the model, or the "how to" in The Ropes That Bind. The focus in her debut novel is adult recovery from childhood sexual abuse. However, the path braved by the main character, Tali Stark, is one that can be followed by all those who struggle with any potentially crippling traumatic life event at any age. Written in a novel/memoir style in the first person, the story catches you on the first page and doesn't let go until the last sentence of the conclusion."
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
Writing THE ROPES THAT BIND has been an amazing journey. There was no way of knowing that personal lessons of love, self-discovery and healing would be waiting for me at the finish line. I have learned the answers to many of my questions. My wish is that this story reminds each of you to be mindful to your own questions as you live into your own answers. Thank you for choosing to read THE ROPES THAT BIND.
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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
Over 20 years later I am a father of 2 little girls and this novel THE ROPES THAT BIND was recommended to me. So once again I decided to delve into this uncomfortable subject of sexual predators and child abduction. Tracy Stopler writes a poignant tale of the abduction of an 8 yr old girl named Tali Stark and the dark secret that she keeps hidden. The novel is peppered with statistics on those innocent children that have been abducted in the United States over the past couple of decades. Those pieces of factual events weigh heavy while you turn the pages and adds gravity to this story. The mentioning of Etan Patz drove it home for me, because I remember so well being worried for this child for months. It had all of N.Y.C. on edge.
Talk Starks is fortunate because she lives to tell it and in turn is able to help others. If you want to read a book about real personal tragedy turn to an hard earned triumph of the spirit, mind and soul, here it is. It is especially poignant if you have children that are precious to you.
Tali reminds girls and women everywhere that it is possible to overcome a traumatic experience which shakes them to the core. Her bravery, determination, intelligence, and resilience gives hope to those that may feel hopeless. I would recommend this book to both women and men from different backgrounds. It is truly a learning experience and opens your mind, heart, and soul. Thank you Tracy Stopler!!