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Sonderbooks Book Review of

Victory Over Verbal Abuse

A Healing Guide to Renewing Your Spirit and Reclaiming Your Life

by Patricia Evans

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Victory Over Verbal Abuse
A Healing Guide to Renewing Your Spirit and Reclaiming Your Life

by Patricia Evans

Review posted January 24, 2013.
Adams Media, Avon, Massachusetts, 2012. 221 pages.
Starred Review
2012 Sonderbooks Stand-out: #5 Other Nonfiction

Here's a wonderfully uplifting addition to Patricia Evans' wise and insightful books on verbal abuse. In this latest book, she doesn't focus on the abuser. She focuses on the person recovering from verbal abuse, reminding them what a valuable person they are.

The beginning part of the book goes over the information about verbal abuse from Patricia Evans' other books in a clear and succinct form. Then she talks about healing your spirit. That's the wonderful addition in this book. The majority of the book is building you up as a self-defining, valuable person. The second part includes 52 affirmations, one for each week of the year.

In a way, it's a shame these healing affirmations are in a book called Victory Over Verbal Abuse, because, as the author says:

You need not have experienced verbal abuse in a relationship to benefit from the affirmations. Anyone can use this book to enhance his or her growth. I doubt that there is anyone who has not been defined in some way, if not at home or at school, then by some segment of the culture, such as through gender or racial discrimination. . . . Mutuality between people does not exist where people negatively define other people -- not between significant others in couple relationships, not between family members, not between groups, not between countries, and not between dictators and their "subjects."

The affirmations include about a page about the affirmation, and then a page for Notes about it in your own life. I'd usually revise the affirmation slightly to something I knew I believed and could say whole-heartedly, something I thought was a good reminder. It's been so long since I read the beginning, I will probably go through and read it all again.

The focus on healing in this book is so good. Verbal abuse tears down your soul. Here Patricia Evans explains what can help you heal:

While time heals physical wounds, an antibiotic or bandage may facilitate the healing process. Likewise, when it comes to emotional pain, the healing that time affords reaps more benefits if we apply the antibiotic and bandage of affirmation and positive action. But positive action and affirmation best take place in the context of a positive perspective.

A new perspective on your recovery may help relieve some of your pain. One might be: he was not capable of seeing me and hearing me; I did nothing to justify his behavior.

A positive perspective is a lens, so to speak, through which you see yourself as the unique person that you are. No one in the world has your unique combination of gifts and talents. It is imperative that you appreciate and value yourself no matter how anyone has defined you.

I think this sums things up nicely:

Healing is possible. Ultimately, it is victory over the influence of verbal abuse. Victory over verbal abuse can be both a personal goal and a goal for humanity. Kindness and verbal abuse cannot exist in the same place, the same relationship, or the same world. Your personal victory over verbal abuse does, therefore, contribute to the healing of our planet.