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Archive for September 12th, 2008

After six years of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse from her stepfather, 15-year-old Ashley finally finds the courage to reveal the painful details of her experiences with her mother, who refuses to acknowledge the problem and turns her back on her daughter. After confiding in her teacher—the only adult whom Ashley can trust—she is removed from her home and sent to live with her father and his second wife, Beverly, an English teacher. Nurtured by Beverly, an extraordinarily positive influence in her life, Ashley and a summer school class of troubled teens learn to face their fears and discover who they really are.

Hi! My name is Beth Fehlbaum, and I am the author of Courage in Patience, which released on September 1, 2008, from Kunati Books. Leading up to the release date, I was excited as well as nervous– this experience has been described to me as what it’s like when a teenager is leaving for college: “You don’t really know what to expect, but you know it’s going to be exciting.”

That’s an apt description of the days leading up to my book’s release. But for me as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, becoming published– and more of a public figure than I have ever been before– it’s also been like being pulled out of a dark hiding place, into the light of the day. There have been times on my journey to recovery that I have felt that I was kicking and screaming my way out of the darkness. It is very, very difficult for most survivors of sexual abuse to identify themselves publicly.

One thing that has been reassuring for me is the way people have contacted me, expressing enthusiasm, support, and gratitude for a book like Courage in Patience. I’ve heard from victims of abuse as well as people who consider themselves survivors now and those who love people who have been abused.

Besides being encouraging in terms of Courage in Patience doing well, the letters and messages I have received have reminded me that I’m not alone– and that’s exactly the message I hope to convey through the story of Ashley. She learns that everyone has challenges they have to confront– times they must face their greatest fears and find out what they are made of, no matter what those fears are.

As one of the wisest people I know once told me, “Hope is the opposite of fear.” I hope that people like Ashley (and me)– people who have lived through very fear-inducing stuff — will come away from reading Courage in Patience knowing that, even when life looks the darkest, there is always, always hope.

To find out more about Beth and her book, visit Beth’s Blog.

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