“A touching autobiography written by River Hayden, as she shares with us her tragic story of sexual abuse, neglect, self harming and depression. An inspirational and honest account of her life and her struggle to overcome being a victim and becoming a survivor. 4.5/5”
Book overview and Review:
Reading River Hayden’s autobiography helps open our eyes to many aspects of life which we all hope to never experience. I think if given the choice out of a selection of autobiographies ranging from individuals aged 18 to 80; the probability of selecting a book written by a person who is much older than Hayden may be more common a choice, as some will presume what life experiences could a 25 year old young woman possibly have? I can confirm that this preconceived idea is not an accurate presumption; Hayden has clearly enlightened a few readers here, if ever they needed enlightenment. Tragic and moving life experiences are not “saved” for those with more life experience and are commonly thrust upon us at an age where we do not necessarily understand the difference between right and wrong.
Hayden has bravely and movingly recounted true events from her personal history which has help shaped and unfortunately haunted her throughout her life. From experiencing sexual abuse at the hands of family members closest to her, and later again in life we can only begin to imagine what she has been through. We step inside Hayden’s world and stand in her shoes, and see the events told from her perspective.
I think that River Hayden believes that by typing out her innermost thoughts, feelings and memories she will be able to release some of the pent up emotion that she has held back all these years. She will be able to help and inspire others who have experienced similar trauma and face her fears straight on, as the title of the book suggests, Hayden is on “The Road to Becoming a Survivor.”
I found this book inspirational and very interesting, I feel extremely lucky to have not experienced the sexual abuse that River Hayden and many, many others before and after her have lived through.
The fact that these events have also taken place over a number of years, a huge portion of Hayden’s life make the story even more harrowing. It is interesting to read Hayden’s personal retrospective view on the abuse she suffered, and her attempt to understand why the individuals did what they did and despite everything she has tried to build bridges with two of them. It is an impossible circumstance to pass judgement on, part of me was thinking, “Why are you trying to build bridges with people that have abused you in this way?”, but the other side of me was trying to understand and see how she feels. She tries to see the good in everyone while handling the unforgiveable.
The book covers not only her sexual abuse but the loss of her best friend due to cancer which I felt compelled to mention as it was so sad and touching. We also see a brief insight into the lives that have also shaped her story and helped her to survive.
The beginning of the book is slow paced as Hayden struggles to reveal her trauma and spends quite a while expressing her fears about sharing the story due to the implications of 1) Revealing what close family members have done to her, 2) Her own personal ability to cope with opening up these raw wounds for the world to see. I believe you will require patience and compassion to bare with Hayden as she repeats her concerns, as she says it is a while before she gets to anything “juicy”, but her story is an eye opener and I am pleased that I had the opportunity to read this book. I sincerely hope that River Hayden will find peace and enjoyment in her life and that she pursues her dreams without letting the past hold her back. It was insightful to partially walk in her footsteps, I will never be able to comprehend how people can inflict such evil deeds on others.
I recommend this autobiography to all and I hope this helps connect with other individuals that have suffered with their own abuse, as you are not alone.
You can download the EBook via Amazon USA. Please note the book is currently going through a publisher so please be conscious that any spelling/grammatical errors will be corrected as soon as possible.