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Beaten, But Unbowed
Waking From The Nightmare Of Abuse
By Karen Braysher
“A courageous, highly readable and encouraging book that will give lots of hope to the many survivors of complex abuse.”
Lucy Huntington, Facilitator - Heal For Life Foundation UK
What happens when a child is emotionally and physically abused over many years, repeatedly beaten and kicked in the head and chest on the kitchen floor by her father, while her mother watches on emotionless? What happens when a child is raised with undiagnosed dyslexia and bipolar, in an aggressive, unsafe home? When she is repeatedly failed by adults who are supposed to protect her?
Karen Braysher is a survivor, not a victim. Now in her mid-50s, and a successful businesswoman and campaigner, Karen hopes her book will help people with mental illness get a quicker diagnosis; providing a mirror to help people identify and seek help for their own experiences. She hopes her story will talk to those who have been abused as children, to women who are distressed about past abortions, and mentally ill people forbidden from adopting a child. In writing this memoir, Karen invites you to join her on a cathartic and painful personal journey, as she boldly shares her inner most thoughts and experiences. This is a true and inspiring story of incredible strength, sisterly love, warmth and humour in the face of discrimination, abuse, homophobia and misunderstanding.
Karen was routinely told by her mother that she was born with the cord around her neck and that it would have been better for everyone if she had died. She was a “replacement” for her slightly older sister Lorraine (the sisters remain close to this day): “a thalidomider and a huge disappointment” to her parents.
It took 35 years for Karen to be diagnosed with severe visual dyslexia and 44 years to get a bipolar diagnosis. The troublesome teenage years – including being moved to different schools - were exacerbated by a total lack of support by the education system and horrendous abuse in the home – there was simply no escape. A cycle of damage led to a string of bad relationship choices (habitually seeking mother figures), two abortions (enforced by her partner at the time), a failed battle to have the children she so desperately wanted, and a series of devastating suicide attempts.
Music was Karen’s saviour, along with myriad angels – kind souls who came into her life to calm and guide her - but ultimately, despite success touring the world as a singer and guitarist, it is only after many years of therapy, counselling and medication that Karen is now in a position to share her story from a place of near-peace.
bound: 192 pages
publisher: Red Letter Books; 1 edition (April 8, 2017)
filesize: 375 KB