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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Pieces of Me: A Daughter of Mental Illness by Catherine Schiffer is a powerful, inspiring biography about breaking the cycle of child sexual abuse for future generations. Sexual abuse has never gone away, and the statistics are almost unbelievable. A mind-numbing number of perpetrators are people known to the victim, be it a parent, another relative, a neighbor, a friend of the family, a caregiver, or someone in a professional role in the child's life such as a teacher, caregiver, clergy, etc. Children who experience trauma like this are left with confusion, damaged trust, poor choices in relationships, substance use, identity issues, and a skewed vision of the world. A lot of victims give up because they feel helpless. Sometimes their disclosures are believed by their parent or other trusted adult in their lives, but often they are not, which leads to more helplessness and a defeatist outlook.
But this is only one part of what Catherine's biography is about. The positive takeaway is that victims can work their way out of their pain and disrupt the pattern of abuse for the sake of future generations. The author shares her painful, poignant story of abuse and struggle, and her path to salvation and inner healing So this biography goes beyond a life of trouble, victimhood, and failure. It's a story of how God pulled Catherine out from the toxic grip of abuse and into a journey of peace and purpose. The author's style is personal and engaging, and there is room in the chapters for readers to make notes on their own experiences, As a former social worker who has worked with victims of abuse, I highly recommend Catherine's story. If you think your life has to remain stuck in a downward spiral, or that regeneration and happiness happen to other people and not you, then you should read or gift Pieces of Me: A Daughter of Mental Illness by Catherine Schiffer.