Saturday, April 08, 2017

Michelle Stevens, Scared Selfless

My friend who has been in 16 foster homes just told me about this book.


SCARED SELFLESS a memoir by Michelle Stevens

Dr. Michelle Stevens, a psychologist, is the founder and director of Post-Traumatic Success, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating and inspiring those affected by psychological trauma. She studied writing at New York University before earning her doctorate in psychology from Saybrook University, where her thesis was honored as the Dissertation of Distinction. Stevens has presented her research to the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation and the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, where she also received an award for Outstanding Research. She works with survivors around the globe, encouraging them to heal, grow, and fight for better lives.

"Michelle Stevens has a photo of the exact moment her childhood was stolen from her. In it, she's only eight years old and posing for her mother's beguiling boyfriend, Gary Lundquist--an elementary school teacher, neighborhood stalwart, and brutal pedophile. Later that night, Gary locks Michelle in a cage, tortures her repeatedly, and uses her to quench his voracious and deviant sexual whims. Michelle can also pinpoint the moment she reconstituted the splintered pieces of her life. Just a few years after being confined to a mental hospital and at the mercy of an alternate personality who kept trolling for sadistic men, she's in cap and gown receiving her Ph. D. in psychology--and the university's award for best dissertation. The distance between these two points is the improbable journey from torture, loss, and mental illness to recovery that is Michelle Stevens's powerful memoir, Scared Selfless. Gary Lundquist kept Michelle as his sex slave for six years. During that time, he waged a campaign of unimaginable cruelty. He pimped her out to countless men for prostitution and forced her to perform in 'kiddie porn' when it was legal and shown in Times Square. It took fifteen years, three hospitalizations, and multiple suicide attempts for Michelle to work through Gary's dark legacy. She suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and developed multiple personalities. There was 'Chelsey, ' the rebellious teenager who told her boss to shove it; 'Vicious, ' a tween with homicidal rage; and 'Sarah, ' a sweet little girl who brought her teddy bear on a first date. In this harrowing yet unflinching look at her own experience, Michelle, who was inspired to help others heal by becoming a psychotherapist, sheds light on the all-too-real threat of child sexual abuse and the psychological effects on its victims and best methods for healing, based on her own struggle with PTSD and dissociative identity disorder (more commonly known as multiple personality disorder). Scared Selfless is an examination at the extraordinary--and inexplicable--feats of the mind in the face of unspeakably horrifying trauma and the story of Michelle's courageous road to healing, recovery, and triumph"-- Provided by publisher.

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