Friday, December 4, 2020

...but that's not me.: Fitting the pieces together. The pieces of all of us by Erika Shalene Hull and Dr. Cheryl LeJewell Jackson

 ...but that's not me.: Fitting the piece together. The pieces of all of us by Erika Shalene Hull and Dr. Cheryl LeJewll Jackson
Published December 4 2020 by The CornHer Office

Publisher's Summary: 
Detailing the journeys of multiple women as they entered, endured, and escaped a wide range of domestic abuse, ...but that's not me. is a bold and powerful homage to strength, courage, and resilience. Stories are intertwined with hard-hitting truths about what domestic abuse is, how we find ourselves in abusive situations, the perpetuation of abuse, and the path to recovery. 

The problem is not the amount or availability of information but the ability to recognize what is happening in the moments of the abuse. By telling the stories of average, hard-working women in middle-America, Hull and Jackson invite you into an awareness traditionally silenced, bringing attention to painful realities of abuse that will linger, etched on your heart, long after the book is closed. Hull and Jackson write: “We aren’t out to hurt anyone, and it would be a lot safer and more comfortable to not tell these stories at all. But when we look at the faces of our children, our friends, and those suffering in silence, we can’t quietly sit back any longer. By having these uncomfortable conversations, we hope to encourage you to believe in yourself, learn to set better boundaries, and know that you are worthy and deserving of so much more.”

Happy publication day! It's not often that I post about a book that I haven't read but when my friend Natalie (Coffee and A Book Chick) started talking about this book on Instagram, I could see that it was an important book that I wanted to put in the hands of some women I love. When she asked me if I'd help get the word out about it, of course I agreed. 

Natalie says of this book, in her review, "And while the vehicle to drive the subject of this book might be domestic abuse, with very raw and personal stories shared, analyzed and reviewed to discuss new language and words to describe abuse, the totality of the message is inclusive to all of us. "...but that's not me." is so much more than a book about domestic abuse."  She also says:
"And is domestic abuse solely regarding intimate relationships? No. It can be an abusive family situation, it can be an abusive sexual harassment case at work. It can be toxic friendships. Suffering, abuse, victim status don't always come to play and many don't identify with it because it doesn't fit with what we've been indoctrinated to believe is a pure example of abuse. TV and books in the past have painted this image of what it most likely looks like, so when the victim doesn't get a black eye, the words "...but that's not me." echo throughout their thoughts."
More than 38 million women will have experienced domestic abuse in their lifetime. You know someone who's been in an abusive relationship, even if you don't know about it. I do. We've experienced in my family. Helping someone get out of that kind of relationship is incredibly difficult; you have to convince them first that they are being in an abusive relationship. Even when they acknowledge it, they are so often convinced to go back to the abuser. It's important for us to be able to put this book into their hands, to see themselves and find the way out. 

At The CornHer Office website, Hull and Dr. Jackson talk about why they wrote this book: 
"Meeting at a conference in October of 2019, we began a journey that ended in a very different place than either of us ever expected. When Erika approached me at my author table, I was instantly intrigued by her courage and passion. I was drawn to her story, knowing it was one that must be told. As we began to peel back the layers, I felt my own past on display. As our stories collided, we knew we were onto something much bigger than ourselves. We were telling not just her story or mine, but ours….all of ours."
Dr. Jackson and Ms. Hull

If you'd like a copy of this book, it can be found at Better Over Perfect, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble.

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