Silent Storm Press (2015)
Reviewed by Christine Watson for Reader Views (1/16)
“Suffer, Confront, Grow” by Shelby, PhD, is an honest portrayal of the author’s life. She doesn’t leave anything out, including her physically and emotionally abusive childhood, her awful marriage to an abusive con man, her internal turmoil, and struggle with depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, fear, and finally, her healing.
This book is a page-turner from page one. As a reader, I felt such sadness and heartache for the author as she shared her abusive childhood experience, which not only included her physically and emotionally abusive father, but her indifferent mother, and her bullying sister. She learned from her childhood that females are useless, her in particular. Taking those learned ideas and feelings, she moved into adulthood, searching for a place to belong and feel loved. When true love came along, it was rejected because it was such a scary and foreign emotion. Shelby turned to what was familiar to her, which was more abuse, as she married an abusive con man who took everything she had. Shelby says that divorcing her husband is what turned her life around, even though she was left with nothing, and three young children to raise on her own.
As Shelby put herself through nursing school, she faced many challenges as a single parent with a very limited income, and no familial support. She actually continued to face adversity from her ex-husband as he consistently tried to sabotage her efforts to improve herself, and her life. While the author suffered greatly, and many times wanted to quit “life,” she persevered, and it is amazing to read about how she overcame so many obstacles to achieve her goal. I don’t think I could have endured what she did and come out on top. What a brave and amazing example she is to anyone who thinks life is not worth living, and is overwhelmed by struggle.
One of the big keys to growth and success for Shelby was the knowledge and use of Erik Erikson’s eight developmental achievements. He became a hero of Shelby’s, and she used his chart throughout her life as she moved from stage to stage. Shelby was able to end the cycle of abuse with her own children, and begin having healthy relationships of her own. “Suffer, Confront, Grow” by Shelby, PhD, is full of powerful moments anyone can use to strengthen themselves during times of hardship. I will keep this book as a reminder that when life gets tough, there is always a way to keep going. Thank you Shelby!