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"A warm-hearted, honest and gratifying tale that delves into the life and times of a woman who has overcome hardship, turmoil and adversity. As I read this, I found myself relating to stories such as 'Philomena', perhaps even 'Flowers in the Attic' and 'The Color Purple' and even a nod to the recent movie 'Brooklyn.'"- James Davidson, author
My story starts at sixteen on my return home from school with my sister. There was a storm brewing and a message was conveyed to me on that dirt track we walked home from school on. Little did I know my life was about to change when I received that message. It was my first calling to remember I am more than my physical self.
Our house was on a farm and everyone on this farm was totally absorbed in their own world of sadness, grief, and I guess, regrets. The unthinkable happened to me under the noses of my female carers. My father was abusing me and I was accepting his advances. I needed lots of love and I couldn’t get enough. This made me vulnerable to him.
My mother packed up and left. She couldn't tolerate my father’s abuse towards her, hitting her to appease his controlling mother. She left my sister and me with my grandma. My father was devastated, used me to comfort him, and took me with him when he searched for our mother. On her return, my father and I were caught in bed, and so my isolation and separateness changed my life. Primary school was tough but high school offered me knowledge and a better view of the world.
At seventeen, freedom at last. I was given a car: a means of escape. My self-confidence grew: my sister and old foes became friends. I was asserting myself and I was not going to be told what to do.
My Secret Self is a much-internalised story of my life and my impressions of the world around me. I keep my views of that world, and of other people, a secret. I feel misunderstood. If I shared my views, I feel I’d be laughed at. I will keep my biggest secret, a secret. I see magic in nature and nature can be trusted to support me in my times of trouble.
"Is a delightful book and very well written. It flows easily because it's so exciting and it is written with great knowledge of language and the flow of the words is brilliant.
Christine has written her story in chronological order about her childhood and that in itself is an absolute delight, even with those in her family and the things they used to do.
In the background is trauma that Christine had to live through, but the background does not in any way diminish the rest of the manuscript; how she has overcome it is an inspiration to anybody who has to overcome this trauma. It was trauma perpetrated by a family member in whom Christine had trust, and that trust was broken because of what he did to her; and yet despite this, it is still a book of great enjoyment with well-written, lovely little narratives about her childhood, and also the joys of childhood are expressed very beautifully.
Everybody should have a childhood like this because it was such a good time, except for this one traumatic thing; yet Christine has chosen to decide that she will not let that ruin her life; and any other children and grown-ups who have had this trauma of being molested by another person, they could learn a lot from Christine's example.
Christine has shown great courage and fortitude to be able to overcome this very traumatic time of her life and write a book about it, and not a book which is maudlin in any way; it is a book which states what happened, and almost not from an objective point of view, because it would have been for any child a most traumatic event or events.
But she has shown great resilience in deciding (and here is the key word, deciding) to not let those events of childhood ruin her life, and for that, it is much to be commended; not only for telling this tale but for these delightful insights into her childhood with her family members.
The writing is of such a high calibre that anyone would be glad to read this book, and anybody who does not have Christine's book would be very well advised to get it, because it shows insight into certain things that people hush, hush about and Christine has come out boldly and made it known in her book how she lived through these traumas and managed through great fortitude of character to overcome this in her adulthood.
Christine is much to be recognized and praised for being able to do this with what has happened, and I hope you all enjoy reading; "My Secret Self" by Christine Cowin." - Holly Smith, the author of "The Billabong Games"