I just finished reading this book and thought it was excellent. One of the hallmarks to me of a good book is that you either don’t want it to end, or have questions you desperately want to ask the author. This book left me with both feelings. I truly think reading this book will help others who have had a similar experience, parents and teachers to recognize when a child is struggling, and professionals to better understand what some of their patients are going through.
Dr. Liam Marshall, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care
My Courage to Tell is the story of one woman’s struggle to overcome a childhood of abuse at the hands of her cruel, bullying brother. Memories of this abuse remain deeply buried until an Aunt dies, leaving an estate Laura Corbeth must settle with her estranged brother. As she tries to administer the estate, Laura is plagued by symptoms of post-traumatic stress. Suppressed memories start to rise to the surface.
Laura begins to remember, and to face, a childhood of psychological and physical abuse. No cuts. No bruises. No scratches. Her brother was sly, constraining her to spit in her face, lick her or perform tickle torture. He took pleasure in dominating her and playing on her fears – relishing his control over his younger sibling. His lies and manipulations terrified her. Witnessing his torture of animals, left no doubt in Laura’s mind that her tormentor would follow through on his threat that he would kill her if she told.
And, where were her parents? Rather than investigating Laura’s deteriorating situation, they believed their son’s continuous lies as he denied his abuse of Laura. When they did catch glimpses of their son’s cruelty, they put it down to sibling rivalry. But it was not sibling rivalry. It was ruthless, relentless, psychological and physical abuse. And, by not dealing with it, her parents were complicit. Unheard, unprotected, Laura was completely on her own.
My Courage to Tell is one of the first memoirs to shine a light on abuse from a sibling’s perspective. It also reveals how families that buy into the lies and manipulations, ignore the problems and stonewall, enable the abuser and foster mental illness.
Travel with Laura as she uncovers her past, finds the help and courage to face that past and ultimately confronts her abuser and her family.