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It's OK to Tell: A Story of Hope and Recovery
     

It's OK to Tell: A Story of Hope and Recovery

4.2 4
by Lauren Book
 

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Lauren Book, now 25, was 11 years old when her new nanny, Waldina Flores, joined the family. For the next six years Lauren endured daily sexual and physical abuse. “I was a people pleaser,” she says. “I was beaten every day…Waldy was very smart, like all predators are. She hit me and bruised me where my parents wouldn’t look. When you

Overview

Lauren Book, now 25, was 11 years old when her new nanny, Waldina Flores, joined the family. For the next six years Lauren endured daily sexual and physical abuse. “I was a people pleaser,” she says. “I was beaten every day…Waldy was very smart, like all predators are. She hit me and bruised me where my parents wouldn’t look. When you are 13 and 14 parents never look at their children’s stomachs or lower backs or butts or upper thighs.”

Lauren is the oldest of three children; her father, Ron Book, is a prominent Florida attorney and lobbyist. In 2002, after being encouraged by her boyfriend (now her husband), Lauren confessed to her therapist, who in turn called her parents. Her father fired Flores. She fled to Oklahoma and was arrested one month later while coaching a 10-year-old girls’ soccer team. While in prison, Flores wrote love letters to Lauren asking for money and ultimately was sentenced to another 10 years on top of the initial 15 years.

Since then, Lauren and her father have successfully mounted a legislative onslaught against predators; the many laws they are responsible for include the right to get 48-hour access to predators’ HIV test results, a ban on molesters from ever contacting their victims or families, passed legislation to create a statewide network of sexual assault treatment centers, and the controversial act that barred predators from living 2500 feet from public places where children gather such as schools, parks, and playgrounds.

Lauren’s memoir is a book about hope in the face of extreme adversity. While it deals with a tremendously sensitive and “dark” subject, the hope that it delivers to readers carries an everlasting positive impact. Her story will empower readers to address abuse issues in their own lives and move them to understand the resulting deep emotional matrix that results from abuse and the incredible power of an individual’s ability to recover and embrace life.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781935212423
Publisher:
Easton Studio Press, LLC
Publication date:
03/29/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
769,463
File size:
275 KB

Read an Excerpt



Chapter 2
The Black Swan

November 2001
It’s been three months since I said the words I’d practiced silently for years, so scared of what might happen if I said them out loud.
“My nanny has been forcing me to have sex with her since I was 13.”
This morning I’m in fifth period art class, trying to finish the last project for my junior year portfolio, which is due in three days. At school it’s easier not to think about everything that’s happened since I found the courage to tell. At least here no one knows about it yet. Home is a lot harder. There, it’s as if a bomb went off in our house after the truth came out, and it left a crater so deep you can’t see the bottom. It feels like maybe I lost an arm and my sister a leg, but we all pretend we can make things normal if we just don’t talk about it.
Of course, having the police around searching for evidence and interviewing each of us one at a time makes that pretty tough. Twice, I’ve had to go down to the police station to call, Waldy, that’s Waldina my abuser, on her cell phone with detectives listening in. They’re trying to get her to incriminate herself, but she’s too smart for that. Now, I’ve started worrying, what if she sneaks back to kidnap me. If there’s one thing I know it’s that Waldy can overpower me. When I said that to Dad the other day he called the sheriff for the umpteenth time to ask why they haven’t caught her yet. “My little girl can’t sleep or eat with that woman still out there” I heard him say. It’s true. I’m down to 85 lbs.
I’ve always gotten good grades, but now I’m falling behind. With two weeks left before Christmas break, I’m cramming for finals, and I have two college applications to finish. I’ve spent this whole period trying to figure how to paint white feathers on my white linen watercolor sheet. The painting is supposed to be of the swans at the pond near our house, and so far I’ve managed the easy parts: the palm trees at the side of the road, some paddle boats lined up against the shore and even Chase and Waldy as little stick figures kicking the soccer ball around in the background. Not that anyone will know it’s them.
I look at the clock. There’s 15 minutes left in class, and no more time for do-overs. So I close my eyes and try to image the scene again. I’m standing alone by the edge of the water watching the swans glide across the pond like ballerinas in a perfect line. The swan in front points her head straight up and takes off, leaving a wake of ripples, making the others bob on the water behind her. What I want to paint is what comes next, when there’s nothing but air above and below her. Our swans never fly far or stay up in the air for very long. They just want a break. God, me too!
I can do this, I tell myself. I pick up the smallest thinnest brush, dip it in black, and paint the outline of the swan’s head and wingspan just after she spreads her wings. Nice…now if I can fill in the sky behind her without messing? Oh darn…just what I was afraid of...the black paint is running down my sheet, covering the swan like the sky is raining tar.
I put my head down on my knees.

Meet the Author

Lauren Book was a victim and is now survivor of child sexual abuse. Because of her experience, Ms. Book founded Lauren’s Kids along with her father, Ronald Book, in 2007. Under Ms. Book’s leadership, the nonprofit organization works to prevent sexual abuse and help survivors heal.

Lauren was born and raised in South Florida, where she resides and directs Lauren’s Kids. Lauren graduated from the University of Miami with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and creative writing. She is working on a master’s degree in community psychology and social change and nonprofit development at the University of Miami.

Lauren has been recognized for her outstanding contribution to education relating to sexual abuse and for her work within the community. Among the many accolades she has received for her work was being honored as an “All Star Among Us” by People magazine at the 2010 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Lauren was recognized for her commitment to raising awareness about sexual abuse. One of only thirty community activists honored, Lauren represented the Florida Marlins.

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It's OK to Tell: A Story of Hope and Recovery 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Brencz More than 1 year ago
This is hard to read knowing it is true as your tears flow freely but it is something that is a must read. Child abuse should not be hidden and it can happen to anyone by anyone. I've met Lauren and she is a remarkable person to have gone through what she's gone through and to speak about it and help bring about laws and more importantly talk about. I will hope that others will read her book and have the courage to speak out and not suffer and hide in pain. My prayers are to Lauren, her foundation and to all those who have suffered child abuse and sexual abuse.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It ok to like a book like this one