No one could have imagined how as a child Beverly Engel could have managed to become who she is today―an internationally known expert on abuse recovery and the best-selling author of twenty-two self-help books. This is the raw, candid story of how she made her way in the world in spite of her mother’s neglect, unreasonable expectations and constant criticism; in spite of being sexually abused, first at four years old and then at nine; and in spite of being raped at twelve.
Raising Myself takes readers on a remarkable journey, showing us how Engel, who was basically on her own from the age of four, learned how to cope with a neglectful, narcissistic mother while being surrounded by a cast of characters that included eccentrics and misfits, a religious fanatic, child molesters, rapists, and hoodlums. It is a soul-searching memoir about how she came dangerously close to the edge of becoming a child molester, a criminal, and a suicide, and how she battled her inner demons and struggled to keep her heart open and to “reinvent” herself so she could follow her dream of making something of herself. Powerfully inspiring and unflinchingly honest, Raising Myself is a story of remarkable resilience and insight.
A gut-wrenching, cleareyed coming-of-age memoir…clean writing well serves this account of a child’s abuse and survival.
Emmy Award-winner, best-selling author of Fearless Living, founder of Fearless Living.org
Beverly Engel saved my life by showing me, and millions of others, how to recover from the aftermath of abuse. Now, we get to discover the woman behind the recovery movement. Through her personal story, Beverly illuminates how quickly our innocence can be destroyed by the subtle choices those who are supposed to love us make, and more important, teaches us how to have hope for a better future.
Linda Joy Myers
President of the National Association of Memoir Writers; author of Don’t Call Me Mother, Song of the Plains, and Power of Memoir
When we write a coming-of-age memoir, we become the witness to the life of the child we once were, someone who did not have the larger perspective of the writer/narrator. Raising Myself asks the reader to join Beverly Engel as an abused and neglected child, to see the world through her eyes. The reader is comforted in knowing that she will survive and heal, and the book gives hope to those who have been lost.
Beverly writes with poignancy and insight about a horrific childhood that could have broken her spirit. Raising Myself is the remarkable journey of a lost child becoming an empowered young woman. We follow Beverly as she journeys from one mishap to another, searching for herself, searching for love, searching for meaning. The fact that she was successful at maneuvering through the minefield of her childhood is a testament to her courage, strength, and resilience. There is brutal honesty here, but there is also a great deal of hope.