- File Size: 1199 KB
- Print Length: 81 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1514778173
- Publication Date: April 25, 2015
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00WQ376TW
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,134,865 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$7.99|
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A Woman’s Toolkit for Recovery from Violence and Trauma Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
After reading the finished work my opinion remains unchanged. If anything, it is validated to Hell and gone.
Most self-help books can be fairly compared to those nifty-looking "widgets" that populate the bottom of every craftsman's tool chest. Sure they look awesome and promise all manner of wonderful functionality, but they never deliver...which is why when handed to an actual worker they end up gathering dust. Somebody without any experience thought they were neat, but that's as far as it goes.
On the other hand, <i>Toolkit</i> is as useful as a hammer or a wrench...it's that wonderful basic gadget you knew you needed but didn't know what it looked like until you stumbled across it. Inclusiveness in function is defined by simplicity and utility in form, and <i>Toolkit</i> shines with both.
Make no mistake, this book will not easy for the average trauma sufferer to get through; Valdiserri cuts the bulls*** and attacks traditional victim thinking like it challenged her to a fight. Basic assumptions are questioned. Myths are exposed for what they are. Prevailing social attitudes are given a middle finger.
What saves this book from just-get-over-it hell is a "been there, done that" authenticity coupled with honest directness; Valdiserri isn't looking to make a name for herself or win converts to some "new" way of thinking, but rather to convey the basic facts of life to people who have them not. Reading <i>Toolkit</i> felt like a conversation with a concerned big sister...a caring relative who's been around the block a few times and wants to make sure you the younger sibling comes home alive.
<i>Toolkit</i> is the voice of experience, speaking without both filter and agenda.
At 76 pages <i>Toolkit</i> is short...but that's okay. It is brief not because the author didn't have much to say but rather because there's no wasted words, no flab composed of the hippy-dippy feel-goodisms or outraged political soapboxing so common in discussions on this subject. While one cannot help but occasionally wish Valdiserri could have spent a bit more time expanding on the concepts she brings out, said concepts are all explained well enough to be understood.
Which leads me to the next bit I like; the language. Everything is explained in simple, digestible English without weird made-up terms or obscure liberal-arts chicanery. This is straight talk about a subject everyone likes to obscure.
Next part I liked; While Valdiserri labels this a "woman's toolkit" and takes time to tell the audience how she only intended it to apply to women, speaking as a male survivor of badness I can say that guys could benefit from reading this as well. Most of the information contained within is nigh-universal good advice. Common sense might not be, but <i>Toolkit</i> contains a lot of it.
Final favorite thing; every step of the way the narrative's focus is on the individual. "I don't know you, do what's best for you" is a common and repeated statement throughout the pages. There are also several sections on placing trauma within the context of a friend-group and how to avoid becoming a social vampire, something I've not seen discussed anywhere...and not this well either.
In the end, this book is a double dose of what we as a society need more of...a step-by-step, point-by-point guide to dealing with darkness and ugliness. Is it perfect? No. Does it cover everything? Not really. Should you read it? YES.
I don't care who you are you'll get something out of reading this, so spare the bucks if you've got 'em. I can all but guarantee you won't be disappointed.
The format of the book is simple: 22 short chapters, each expanding on a theme introduced in a single sentence. Chapter titles include gems such as, "Recovery needs a goal," "Words have power," and "Everything is feedback," "Recognize and avoid toxic personalities," and its happier counterpart, "Recognize those you can rely on." Each of these sentences becomes a complete chapter when unpacked, with straightforward suggestions for leveraging these ideas into useful action.
This is not a book for those looking for a set of political or social opinions. Rather, it's a simple and concise outline of ways that those who have been affected by violence might go about the hard and painful work of recovering from that violence. As the author says: "...healing is possible, healing is necessary, healing is natural, and healing should come first. This is not a social commentary or a moral crusade: this is your story, and you have the right to take control of your healing."
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