April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and in recognition, A Safe Place has joined the Atheneum in planning a book discussion on April 28th at 5:30pm in the Atheneum Gallery. The selected book is Beyond the Tears: A True Survivor’s Story by Lynn C. Tolson. This event is free and open to the public. Please read the synopsis below (courtesy of Amazon.com). The book covers very sensitive and mature topics that are not suitable for all ages.
Beyond the Tears: A True Survivor’s Story is a memoir that begins with the suicide attempt of an abused and addicted twenty-five-year-old woman. In the aftermath, she commits to counseling to recover from anxiety and depression associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The author engages the reader in her private therapy sessions. The young woman reveals dysfunctional family relationships, including domestic violence, sexual abuse, and mental illness. Due to the therapeutic process, the woman discovers a path to love and the value of life, and she ultimately achieves a life that reflects health and happiness. In sharing this inspirational journey, the author provides a message of hope.
Author Lynn C. Tolson appeals to the reader from the first paragraph of her powerful memoir Beyond the Tears: A True Survivor’s Story. Tolson uses creative non-fiction to tell her story, fascinating the reader with metaphor, prose, and poetry. Tolson tells her riveting story in first-person narrative, enabling the reader to instantly bond with her authentic voice. Readers can readily visualize the settings, plot, and characters due to the author’s well-developed descriptions and dialogue.
This is not an average auto-biography: the book combines story-telling with self-help, affirmations, meditations, and therapeutic concepts. Each chapter begins with a quote appropriate to the content, which gives the reader even more to contemplate. The topics challenge the reader to explore social problems within the context of family relationships. However, Tolson uses her clever wit to offer the reader occasional comic relief. Readers say that they simultaneously laughed and cried on the same page. Some readers say that reading the book literally changed their lives.
In the author’s own words: “For nearly twenty years, I engaged in careers in retail, real estate and property management. Every working day left me feeling unfulfilled, as if I was living a false life. My real life began not by changing jobs, but by putting pen to paper in journal writing sessions. Themes emerged regarding the impact of my sexual abuse, drug addiction, and suicide attempts. By using the journal to write about the problems and solutions discussed in my counseling sessions, a story of transformation evolved. My desire to share a message of healing from trauma became too strong to ignore; the book became a mission. I left the corporate environment to write my story about personal yet universal emotional issues. Although journal writing was a cathartic experience, the book was written with the courage to face my fears, with compassion for myself and others, and a conviction to tell the truth.
Sexual assault, addiction, and suicide are unsolved social problems that carry stigmas. The stigmas cast a code of silence that do not solve problems. The result from not speaking about the crime of sexual assault is too often tragic. Thus, there is a need for real stories of recovery.
By bringing my dark secrets to light, it is my hope that others who have had similar events will know that they are not alone. Readers may explore their own emotions to open lines of communication, eliminate shame, and experience healing. I also hope that my book promotes understanding of the issues that cause individual suffering and plague our society.”
About the author: After her first eighteen years in the Northeast, Lynn C. Tolson moved to the Southwest where she engaged in careers in real estate and property management. During those years, she survived post-traumatic stress disorde (PTSD), which manifested in addictions and suicide attempts. Through the therapeutic process, she determined the causes of her ailments. Her memoir, Beyond the Tears: A True Survivor’s Story illustrates physical, emotional, and spiritual transformation. Tolson moved to the Midwest where she returned to college to obtain a degree in social work. She has also overcome breast cancer.