Books that Helped me Deal with Trauma and Divorce

Books that Helped me Deal with Trauma and Divorce
A book is a gift you can open again and again
— Garrison Keillor

By: Alexandra Eva-May

After seperating from my ex, I was confused and lost. I felt hopeless. I was dealing with so much pain, trauma and heartbreak, that I could hardly breathe. 

What really helped me during this time, and continues to help, was reading certain books. As a blogger and a writer, I love to read! The following books were so important for my healing. I drew comfort from these texts as they helped me acknowledge that others out there were dealing with the same things as me. 

Below is my list of the books I found most helpful:

1. "The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize It and How to Respond," by Patricia Evans

This book helped to validate so many of my feelings. Finally, I was able to understand why I felt so bad during my marriage. This book showed me that abuse isn't just physical. This book showed me how subtle verbal abuse can be. I also learned that my marriage had many episodes of verbal abuse that I wasn't even aware of. Most importantly, it helped me realize that I deserve more than a marriage that includes verbal abuse.

2. "Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men," by Lundy Bancroft

This book was a great read to go along with the title just listed. It helped me understand my ex a bit better. It also helped to validate my feelings that something was so wrong in our union, and it wasn't me.

3. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who you Are," by Brene Brown

When It's an Oprah recommended book, you know it's going to be good. This text was fantastic! It helped me let go of the past and move into my future. It also helped me appreciate the person I truly am. I was able to let go of personal expectations I had created for myself that just didn't make sense. It helped me self-love and really enjoy the person I am right now.

4. "When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress," by Gabor Mate M.D.

This is a fantastic read for anyone who is currently in a stressful relationship or who has left a stressful relationship. This text is authored by a doctor who has studied the effects of stress on your physical health. As stated on his site, "Can a person literally die of loneliness? Is there a connection between the ability to express emotions and Alzheimer’s disease? Is there such a thing as a “cancer personality”? In this book, Mate explores the connection between stress and your health. This book helped me realize that the stress in my marriage was causing me to lose my hair, lose weight, develop anxiety and depression, and develop psoriasis. It helped me realize that my marriage might lead to even more serious illnesses. It helped me realize that if we had stayed married, I might be actually sarificing my own health.

5. "Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow," by Elizabeth Lesser

A great book for anyone who is doubting their path and is feeling hopeless. This text really helped me acknowledge how adversity and difficult times can lead to transformation and personal growth. It was a wonderful read to help provide some hope on this journey!

6. "Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself," by Melody Beattie

I wanted to understand why, in the first place, I was in the relationship I was in. Was it possible that I had some patterns to break? This book helped me understand that I had some. I do not claim the full title of a codependent, but I definitely have some of the characteristics. I put others ahead of myself even if it is painful for me. In my marriage I wouldn't speak up for myself. I dealt with trauma, just to keep him happy. In this way, I do exhibit some codependent characteristics. This book helped me realize this, and helped me move toward breaking some of my patterns. I have learned that I am important and I need to care for myself. I also learned this it is healthy in a relationship to set boundaries. This book has helped me grow and hopefully enter only healthy relationships in the future.

Some books I haven't read, but plan to:

 

Founder of the site Divorced at 30, Alexandra is a blogger who is passionate about speaking her truth. She is on a healing journey as she enters this new chapter in her life. A mental health advocate, she is passionate about motivating others to find “the light” and attain peace.