Cover Image: Writing to Heal the Pain

Writing to Heal the Pain

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I asked for this book because I am a writing therapist, currently doing my MA in Creative Writing and Well-being. I thought it may be more of book in using writing to heal pain, but once I started reading I realised that this was a book of writings where the author is purging her personal emotional pain. I haven’t written an in depth full review, because this is a book that I think is meant to be dipped in and out of, I can see myself using it to teach techniques for starting to write, to illustrate that it is the process not the finished article which is most important. When we’re expressing pain, it doesn’t often come out in a polished, linear structure. The writing is in fact as messy as the emotional pain is. I think it’s incredibly brave to put your innermost thoughts out into the world in this way. While the book may not be a traditional or straightforward read, I have clients I know it will help. What’s most important here for me is that the process helped the writer, not whether i enjoyed it or not.
Was this review helpful?
Sorry for the late review. I am just getting round to them now as I’ve had a rough few months.. I have notes for the books that I reviewed but they may be cut short to get through them. 

I did not enjoy this book. I didn’t really find it enjoyable. Aside from that I can’t put any more down as it wasn’t as enjoyable as I was hoping it would be.
Was this review helpful?
Unfortunately I won't be finishing this book at the moment, though I'd like to potentially try it again in the future. It's clear that the author has put a lot of heart into it and I wish the best of luck with it.
Was this review helpful?
This book made me reflect on so many things I thought I was already done with. Mateja reminds you that nothing is immortal, that things change, and sometimes not for the best, but also shows herself as an example that writing can heal any wound, and I think that's what most of us (and I'm including myself) forget more often than not.
Was this review helpful?
Received an eARC of Writing to Heal the Pain from Netgalley.  I got about halfway through this before just DNFing it.  It just was not a book for me it just dragged on.
Was this review helpful?
This book was a 4 star read for me. Very informative. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a free copy in exchange for this review.
Was this review helpful?
I think I kept reading because I was beginning to think this was written as a parody. That sounds harsh, so let me explain. The synopsis of this book says "This book is a collection of stories and poems the author published after the traumatic loss of her career, income, status, friends, and, ultimately, personal identity." It could not be further from the truth. This book is a collection of stories and poems the author wrote as a list of grievances when she lost her job. She makes everyone she knows out to be evil and awful human beings because they didn't support her when she needed them. I get it, it truly hurts to not feel supported, but the more I read, I felt like these individuals didn't support her because she felt entitled and wasn't someone they very enjoyed being around. If you've seen Big Little Lies season 2, then you've seen the scene where Renata has a tantrum and yells, "I will not NOT be rich!" That one line summarizes this entire book. She is mad that she no longer has the status and recognition that she once had and blames everyone else for the problems in her life. I feel bad that she is struggling, but I think the real issue is defining yourself by your career or social status. If you feel you are nothing without it, you've attached yourself to the wrong source of worth. 

"When you lose a career (meaning that you have to start over from scratch), you lose a major part of your identity. Usually, we do not pay much attention to it, but when you think of it, how do you present yourself to the world? Isn’t your job title among the first things you say after your name? ‘I am …’ is defined by what you do in life, by your calling, your career. So what do you say when you lose that? Who are you now? All of a sudden you do not know how to present yourself any longer."

I can't relate to this at all. Yes, I am fortunate to have a great job and friends who love me, but that is because I refused to define myself by those things. I have lost a job before because the company was struggling financially. It hurt, it really did, but I understood why it was happening and that there was nothing more I could've done and this was based on the position the company was in. In fact, I am still close friends with the owner of the company to this day and he was the one who laid me off. His wife is one of my best friends, I visit their home monthly. And have even been asked at times to consider coming back to work for them. Not once did I play the victim card or throw a tantrum. I filed for unemployment and interviewed almost daily for about a month until I found something that would keep me afloat until I found a position that was more aligned with what I was looking for. 

There's an entire chapter that is titled, "How Blaming the Victims Became Our Favorite Game." She says "Your friends and family will likely deliver it to you too. It’s all YOU, they will say, for no one else has any power over your life. They will tell you that the problem with YOU is that you keep blaming others, that YOU are too sensitive or have a problematic personality. You might even hear that it’s nobody’s duty to help YOU. But the favorite one is that YOU need to take responsibility, while those who say such things have no clue what they are talking about and are certainly not taking any." I'm sorry, but her story is not victim-blaming. What truly upsets me is her fully embracing a victim mentality and declaring that it is everyone else's fault that she feels this way. She says that everyone who tries to give her advice and help her realize that maybe it is her that is the problem is then gaslighting her. I fully understand what it means to have been gaslit by someone, but someone bringing to light that you aren't taking responsibility for your own actions isn't the same thing. 

This book was incredibly toxic. Maybe it was cathartic for her to write this and I do not want to discount her for that, but in the first chapter, she claims “I’m at peace. After long years of unrest, I’m at peace with myself and the past. This doesn’t mean that the hurts have been forgotten and that all is well. It just means that I’ve done everything I could the best that I could. Knowing that you gave it all and accepting that the rest is on others is what brings peace into one’s life.” Everything I read was the opposite of being at peace. Yes, anger is a stage of grief whether you lose a loved one, a job, etc, but there was no peaceful resolution to be found in this book and to publish it as such was deceiving and disappointing. 

It is clear she is upset and suffered quite a bit from losing her job, but I think she needs to continue to seek professional help from her therapist to work through it. There's no shame in that. She still very much defines herself by her status and accomplishments because she only writes positively if describing the money she is now making on her Medium posts or how she is a trending author on Medium. Or that she only has a good day when people are donating money to her to go buy things while she is on unemployment. 

I had a headache by the time I finished this. I read some of the reviews on Goodreads and the author will aim to discredit those who give a negative review and aim to humiliate them on her blog. It is inappropriate behavior and I think speaks volumes to how she is not over what happened to her. I think it is dishonest to write a book about finding peace when the book is about the opposite. I also think it is not a good look to make that claim and then harass those that simply didn't enjoy what you wrote. I try to never give low reviews to those who write about their own experiences, but I felt deceived and even insulted that the author thought I would buy into this. I will not be recommending this book.
Was this review helpful?
Writing to Heal the Pain
Stories & Poems (Transformation Book 1)

by Mateja Klaric


Biographies & Memoirs , Self-Help

Pub Date 24 Jun 2019

I am reviewing a copy of Writing to Heak the Pain through BooksGoSocial and Netgalley:

In this book it is pointed out that Social Exclusion is painful for us as human beings.  We need to be heard and have our existence acknowledged.  Some of us find our voices through the written world.  

Writing to Heal the Pain is a memoir that focuses on transforming emotional pain into something that allows us to grow and to come to a deeper understanding.  It is also a call to action for social change. 

I give Writing to Heal the Pain Four our of five stars!

Happy Reading!
Was this review helpful?
Writing to Heal the Pain: Stories & Poems by Mateja Klaric is a collection of mostly essays and some poems.  It takes the reader along on the author’s attempts to find healing after having her career stolen away from her in a way that left her with anxiety and PTSD.

The author explains that writing was the tool she used to survive a killer curve cannonball that shattered her career in TV, radio, and journalism.  All of a sudden, she was fired without justification.  She chose to go public, which resulted in her being blacklisted across her industry.  She went to court and after 2 1/2 years she won, but in the end found herself still without income and close to bankruptcy.

She experienced thoughts of suicide, but support came from unexpected sources.  In “How to Sack Properly – The Smart Manager’s Guide”, she writes: “Some of the targets might commit suicide. Think of this as collateral damage and brush it off. Never forget, targets are inferior and thus less than humans. You owe them nothing.”

After the implosion of her career, she was left with nothing.  “Who are you when you don’t have a job, a purpose, a calling, a means to make a living? You turn into nobody and you are being treated accordingly.”

When she began sending out job applications, she was ignored or received nasty remarks.  Friends weren’t helpful either, and she was met with remarks suggesting that she’d be just fine.  She faced classic victim-blaming, as many people ended up blaming her for her situation.  She was also ghosted and shunned.

The author writes about how difficult it was looking for a job when she was over 45 and had no references from her work that lasted more than a decade.

She struggled with the loss of her established identity as well as the loss of income.  She writes: “I’ve lost my identity six years ago, and I still haven’t found it. This wouldn’t bother me much if it weren’t for the world that we live in. And this world demands identities. It has to be clear for each and every one of us who we are and what we do.”

She explains that writing was an important step in cleaning out the initial wounds.  It was also a way to try to seek out an income.  She has tried strategies that many bloggers will have some familiarity with, such as a donation button on her website, Patreon, Medium, and self-publishing.

In one of the poems, she writes:

“As if there was a hole
where my chest used to be,
that’s how it feels.”

The author’s pain oozes out of the book.  Many of the essays were first published a few years ago, and there is a rawness to them.

I felt a connection with this book immediately.  While I wasn’t fired, I faced workplace bullying and subsequent blacklisting.  A lot of the hurt and damage the author described were things that I experienced to some extent myself.  Her story shows how hard it is to rebuild after having so much stripped away.  This is a poignant example of just how hard it can be for writers to try to support themselves online through their writing.

It saddens me that people are faced with challenges like this.  While she pursued a court challenge and won, it changed nothing in a material sense.  People deserve better than this.
Was this review helpful?
Writing to Heal the Pain by Mateja Klaric is one writers attempt to deal with multiple losses. While it was painful to read at times it is an insightful book. It is a cathartic work to which any writer can relate. Thanks to Net Galley and BooksGoSocial for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
** Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with the digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review **
La autora es muy honesta, expone sus experiencias y su dolor. Todos hemos vivido experiencias que nos trajeron dolor, por lo que nos podemos identificar con la autora. Me sorprendió como esta organizado el libro, mas allá de las sinopsis que había leído. La lectura es fácil, y parte de esto es justamente por lo que esta transmitiendo la autora, y por la diagramación. Personalmente ademas, encuentro la escritura muy sanadora, eso hizo que me identificara e interesara aun más.
Was this review helpful?
Interesting book and read. There are also a variety of stories. Thank you to both NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for my eARC.
Was this review helpful?
This book has my kind of stories, the stories that I know all too well, simply because I too got into writing to numb my pain, but along the way, I learned that writing helped me embrace my pain, fears, and ultimately, it led me to a world of new possibilities. This is what this book is about, real life struggles and I love how the different stories are framed in words and styles that are not so foreign, but rather simple and conversational, it felt like someone started a conversation with "hey, have you ever...?"
Thanks Netgalley for the eARC.
Was this review helpful?
Writing to heal the pain⭐️
“Sometimes life doesnt throw you a curve ball it throws you a curve cannonball”

This book in my opinion was not meant for others to actually read. It was for the author to get out his pain and anger in words. Which is fine everyone needs to vent but not in book form unless you just want pity. 
This book is depressing and maybe if your life isnt worse than his was the you might feel bad for him but my life is awful and you dont see me having a pity party on paper.
Was this review helpful?
Mateja shares her journey of losing her career and the pain and hardships that followed through a variety of writings including short stories and poems. I am grateful for Mateja's vulnerability and sharing such honest thoughts and how writing is helping her to heal. This book is a good read for anyone going through a difficult time who needs encouragement of how to deal with the pain and to know they are not alone. Thank you to Netgalley and BooksGoSocial for an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I appreciate this author’s courageous journey in sharing her story.  I also appreciate the variety of work that’s collected in this book.
Was this review helpful?