The Secret and Its Price
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“The Secret and Its Price is a wonderful, vivid and compassionate book which takes us on a journey into the secret world of incest. In its pages, Marlene Carmen Nappa takes a risk and shares how her experience impacted her family, her relationships—and ultimately, her entire life. Her story helps the reader appreciate how our original wound may serve as a gateway to new possibilities and healing. This book is like no other book I’ve read in the way that it captures the triumph of walking through the pain and finding the courage to speak with vulnerability and openness —Charlene Founder of “Woman Within” Training Author of Discover Your Woman Within Marlene Carmen Nappa has written a moving memoir of childhood incestuous abuse by her father and the subtle and florid long-term effects the abuse has had on her ability to develop relationships and to trust and be intimate with others. Hers is a story of perseverance and determination to get beyond the abuse and its effects and it demonstrates that breaking the silence and posttraumatic growth are both possible. This book is a gift for other sexual abuse survivors looking for inspiration to heal. —Christine A. Courtois, PhD, ABPP Psychologist, Private Practice, Courtois & Associates, Washington, Author: Healing the incest wound: Adult survivors in therapy (Revised edition) Recollections of sexual abuse: Treatment principles and guidelines Treating complex traumatic stress disorders: An evidence-based guide (with Julian Ford) The treatment of complex trauma: A sequenced, relationship–based approach (with Julian Ford)—forthcoming, late 2012 What do you do when you find yourself victimized by those you most love and trust? Who is it safe to tell—or is the cost of the truth too high to pay? Being forced to carry a terrible secret is like living behind a high wall. From that point of separation, we call out silently and in vain, desperately hoping that perhaps one day, someone will guess the truth and liberate us from our fortress of alienation. In The Secret and Its Price, author Marlene Carmen Nappa leads the reader down the twisted and rocky path she traveled as the victim of childhood incest. Step by step, we follow her, as she sets out on a journey not of her own making and slowly finds her way out of the maze to create a life on her own terms. This heartbreaking story is ultimately the tale of a champion, who miraculously prevails, despite the profound internal fracture created by the weight of the worst possible kind of secret. Readers will be invited to face their own demons, reconcile their own secrets and lies, and live boldly, authentically, and courageously as the author has learned to do—devoted to the light and the truth, no matter the cost.
It happened again today—I saw young couples walking hand in hand, being playful and fully present with each other. I couldn’t help but wonder, Was I like that at their age? I suppose on some level I must have been, which isn’t to say I knew at the time that I was experiencing normal, healthy interactions. So much of my life has been spent trying to get back to that innocent place, that place of wonder, the place where the world is safe. You see, I had a lot of noise inside my head growing up—voices that told me I could never be normal. My early childhood incest experience caused me to believe that I was tainted and defective, and would always be flawed. So I made up a way I believed I was supposed to behave, and behaved accordingly. I sometimes find myself asking, Who would I be today if I hadn’t had to struggle? Would I be celebrating forty-six years of my first marriage or maybe thirty-two years of my second? Would I have been able to hang on to the significant relationships in my life? The sexual touching and fondling was difficult to organize in my young child’s mind. But, more than the physical aspect of the incest experience, it is the secret that stole most of my life. For me, the secret was like a tapeworm, a parasite eating away at my life, taking up space in my body, absorbing the emotional nutrients that I needed to function normally. I lived my life constantly reorganizing experiences so they would fit with my secret keeping. The secret permeated every aspect of my life. At first I chose to bury the secret—and along with it, a part of myself. Then, the demons surfaced in a way that required me to take action. This is a book about how my relationships unravelled and how I ultimately tapped into the inner resources that kept me from losing myself. I am one of the fortunate ones. My father and I had an opportunity to make a connection before he died suddenly. This meeting changed my life. What prompted the ultimate writing of this book was a message I read: “What you have learned in the dark go tell in the light.” Secrets can exact a high price. Mine did. Keeping the secret in my life cost me healthy relationships on all levels.
Marlene Carmen Nappa, BSc, MSc, has been working as an executive life coach, workshop leader, and consultant for twentyeight years. Recently, she also began teaching at the local university. Over the years, she has worked with thousands of individuals and diverse groups worldwide, in both the private and public sectors in Canada, the United States, Europe, and South Africa. Those who have benefited from her one-to one coaching, as well as her personal growth and leadership workshops and seminars, emerge from the experience with greater competence and confidence, as well as the courage to overcome barriers to living their highest potential. As one client noted, “Marlene has challenged me to see, hear and know myself as I am. Her perspective, intuition and insight provide a mirror to long-held habits, beliefs and expectations that have continued over the years to undermine my efforts to live a full life.” Born in Malta, the author immigrated with her family to Windsor, Ontario, Canada, where she currently resides. When she is not supporting and encouraging her clients in their personal and professional journeys, or inspiring her students, Marlene enjoys spending time with family and friends.
Couldn't put it down! A must read for anyone who's letting their past dictate their future...Marlene has shown us that we are bigger than our problems!
Inspirational book, moving, touching and heart-felt, a true book about overcoming fears and moving thru them. Great read.
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