An Inside Look at Feeling Like An "Outsider"
In a world where fitting in is prized, it can be devastating to feel like an outsider. Author Monica Buchanan gives readers a poignant look at suffering and survival in her new book Outsider: Making Sense of My Journey As a Survivor. Read a complimentary excerpt here and take a chance at a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card in the tour-wide giveaway.
Outsider: Making Sense of My Journey as a Survivor
by Monica Buchanan
Publication Date: October 23, 2023
Monica Buchanan grew up in Jamaica. She revisits her lived experiences of abuse and neglect in early childhood and her younger adult years. Buchanan takes the reader on a palatable path that allows for reflection on one's own life. She writes about her survival journey, while looking through descriptive lens, she carefully details how exposure to early childhood abuse and neglect within her family helped form patterns, influenced choices, and shaped decisions in her adulthood.
By chronicling familial stories, the roles of parents, siblings, and community, she employs a story-telling and meaning-making approach, that is both painful and entertaining. Even though as a young child I was told I was the problem, I knew intuitively that I did not cause all my problems. I now know that what happened to me within the context of familial (and other) relationships had a name--emotional abuse and neglect.
Growing up I wished there were more people and resources that could help me make sense of my life as I struggled with low self-esteem, insecurities, felt lost, craved attention, and an overall sense of not belonging--I felt like an outsider and desperately wanted to be on the inside.
Buchanan reaffirms that: childhood experiences of abuse and neglect does not mean one has a commutable life sentence of pain and suffering. It does not matter where you are on your healing journey, you can set that stuff aside and reclaim your life. This book is for anyone who grew up in a toxic, abusive, and unhealthy home environment where they felt like they did not belong within the family unit. It is also a book about making changes, forgiveness, and letting go.
Emotional Abuse and Neglect
Experience has taught us that we have only one enduring
weapon in our struggle against mental illness: the emotional
discovery and emotional acceptance of the truth in the
individual and unique history of our childhood.
- Alice Miller
Impact of Early Childhood Emotional Abuse and Neglect
When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. I do not know when or where I first heard this saying, but these days my life is lemons. Not the ripe, luscious, bright yellow lemons we often notice in the grocery store from afar, but sour, bitter, bad-tasting ones—a whole lot of them—and there is no sugar to sweeten the lemonade I am making, so I just must swallow the bad tasting, intolerable concoction. I took the childhood garbage I ingested into adulthood. When and where did I learn to swallow this stuff and keep it down? I did not learn it as an adult; I learned this behavior as a small, innocent, and unsuspecting child.
For many of us, the traumas and dramas of our early childhood experiences have turned us into survivors. Merriam-Webster says a survivor is “A person who continues to live after an accident, illness, war, etc.” A more specific definition is “Someone who can keep living or succeeding, despite a lot of problems.” The second definition certainly applies to me (and most other survivors of childhood abuse and neglect). Those earlier events have altered our psychological and emotional state in adulthood. We grow up to be adult children who are not fully “alive” but rather, we endure an existence where we appear to be living a full life but are just getting by; we are surviving.
MONICA BUCHANAN has a PhD in psychology, as well as a master's degree and a bachelor's degree in Women's Studies. Buchanan is semi-retired, after a long and rewarding career in counseling, psychotherapy, and coaching, she now follows her passion and live a purposeful lifestyle. She continues to be enthusiastic and committed to development of strength-based community resources for adults and youths from marginalized and under-served communities, thus she remains an active volunteer. She focuses on mindfulness and relaxation and loves to read, write, garden, and take long meditative walks.
#memoir #bookstagram #nonfiction #books #author #writersofinstagram #writer #booklover #book #bookworm #authorsofinstagram #reading #bookreview #booksofinstagram #bookstagrammer #readersofinstagram #bibliophile #writing #bookish #love #nonfictionbooks #poetry #biography #booknerd #autobiography #booksbooksbooks #memoirs #writers #bookaddict #goodreads