New Year, New Day

The year has just begun and is perhaps already feeling layered.  For some, the start of the year heralds the chance for new beginnings. However, if you are in stuck in place, it may feel heavy.  Maybe there is no significance of the New Year for you – perhaps it is just another day. Many …

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Stepping into 2023

In two days’ time, we will find ourselves stepping into a new year. As the New Year dawns, I leave you with this reminder: You made it – you survived this year. You are still here, still breathing. The steady beat of your heart is your reminder that you are alive. You are a survivor, …

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Celebrating Self and Life

This is the time of year that we focus on celebrating the holidays.  We focus on creating the perfect experience for our loved ones, and look outward to meet the expectations of and provide happiness for others. For those of us who have faced trauma, the holidays can bring up a lot of unresolved feelings.  …

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Gratitude in Healing

As we heal from trauma, we often feel emotionally unbalanced.  It may even feel like we are being led by our circumstances instead of having the power to create our day.  We often hear about the power of gratitude, but when one is going through tough times, it can be hard, and may even feel …

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Knowing and Connecting with Self

We have been shaped by the people who raised us, the adults we interacted with while growing up, the schools we attended and all our past experiences and interactions.  We created ways of doing things, habits of thought, and automatic responses and reactions based on these external influences.  When last did you check in with …

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This debut memoir chronicles a woman’s spiritual exploration and growth as she overcame a disturbing childhood and helped others heal.

Brought to America from the Dominican Republic as a youngster, Molina-Marshall should have led a happy life. Her father was a diligent worker, and his large family wanted for nothing. But the author recounts that her dad had a drinking problem and was a serial philanderer. Molina-Marshall’s long-suffering mother left him for a woman. Then it was all downhill for the bright, 12-year-old girl, who was shuttled between foster care and relatives. According to the author, she was sexually abused by the husband of one of her siblings. This resulted in Molina-Marshall becoming alienated and moody. By 15, she simply tried to survive. In her favor were grit and a restless intelligence. She quit school, rented a room, and found a factory job. Time went by, and for a while she was happily married. Yet when her husband left her, her life truly began. She turned to religion for answers but decided that blaming God for her woes was a cop-out. 

In this absorbing and moving memoir, Molina-Marshall’s vivid storytelling is fearless. She frankly discusses the truths she discovered and the indignities she suffered. These admissions are disclosed with a touch of resignation and plenty of bite. However painful, everything she experienced was a lesson, and she bravely realized that she was part of the problem: “The fear of being hurt, rejected, or abused often led to me feeling lonely and misunderstood. No one knew the agonizing pain I felt being trapped in my thoughts and anger. I was becoming my biggest threat.” 

The author skillfully recounts her intricate spiritual journey. To deal with her psychic wounds, she searched for an inspirational system. Her open-mindedness led her to the interfaith concept—cherry-picking from various religions and spiritual movements, yoga, and Indigenous beliefs as a way of finding peace. Along with her female partner, she built a therapy practice, making use of every spiritual element that aided her and others. The road was bumpy, and she found that women of color in same-sex relationships were not welcomed everywhere. To do good works—and finally live on her own terms—she effectively overcame bigotry.

An engrossing, cathartic account of empathy and success through determination and confidence.

Pub Date: May 3, 2022   |    ISBN: 978-0-578-38315-6  |   Page Count: 264    | Publisher: From Trauma to Triumph  |   Review Posted Online: June 13, 2022