Childhood's Thief: One Woman's Journey of Healing from Sexual Abuse

Overview

Childhood's Thief is the story of two remarkable women: attractive, middle-aged JoAnn, gripped by severe depression, unable to remember any details of her childhood; and Rose Mary Evans, the therapist who treated her. With unflinching determination, JoAnn set out to recover her lost memories and heal herself, at first jotting down vague recollections, soon filling notebook after notebook with richly detailed material.

With Evans's encouragement and guidance, JoAnn uncovered a ...

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Overview

Childhood's Thief is the story of two remarkable women: attractive, middle-aged JoAnn, gripped by severe depression, unable to remember any details of her childhood; and Rose Mary Evans, the therapist who treated her. With unflinching determination, JoAnn set out to recover her lost memories and heal herself, at first jotting down vague recollections, soon filling notebook after notebook with richly detailed material.

With Evans's encouragement and guidance, JoAnn uncovered a childhood of poverty and abuse of every kind. Born to an unwed teenager in rural Georgia, she endured beatings, hunger, and constant verbal abuse, and was forced into prostitution by her grandfather before she even started first grade. But out of these terrible memories of her family emerged a surprising element of grace, as she began to recall the kindness of two neighbors, an elderly black couple she knew only as "Honey" and "the Man." For a brief time they were her surrogate parents, showing her the only affection she knew as a child, saving both her life and her sanity.

In Childhood's Thief, electrifying chapters taken directly from JoAnn's notebooks alternate with Rose Mary Evans's account of the progress of JoAnn's treatment, the range of therapeutic techniques she explored, and the profound effect this extraordinary patient had on her own life, both professionally and personally.

More than a fascinating case study, Childhood's Thief is a story of rare courage, demonstrating the resiliency of the human spirit and the transforming power of love.

This is the dramatic true story of JoAnn, a successful woman who came to therapist Rose Mary Evans for help in dealing with severe depression and to discover why she could remember nothing of her childhood. In therapy, JoAnn was able to unlock youthful memories of physical and mental abuse, prostitution, and murder.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553375466
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/1/1995
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 5.22 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction xv
1. From the Therapist's Chair 1
2. A Clever Locksmith 9
3. Cantaloupes and Overripe Bananas 18
4. Scared to Death 36
5. Through a Window Newly Washed 44
6. The Sissinghurst Approach 61
7. See Spot Run 71
8. A Crisis of Faith 89
9. Ribbons 96
10. Sanctuary 113
11. Henry's Girls 120
12. Old Dirt 137
13. A Phantom Mirror 146
14. Between Black and White 162
15. "But, Grandpa, Mr. Lincoln Freed the Slaves." 172
16. Like an Unshed Tear 188
17. Alone in Timbuktu 203
18. The Plots Thicken 220
19. In the Beginning ... 238
20. Fences and Neighbors 254
21. Country 266
22. Border Patrols 283
23. The Fox Is Got 302
24. Safe Passage 318
25. ... A Blessing on My Head 336
26. Follow-up: A Work Still in Progress 356
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