Books, therapy and blues

So our big Disney adventure starts in two weeks, which I’m quite excited about, as is someone coming to housesit and get some painting done, so that’s also awesome. The eldest is on holiday with his girlfriend right now, the youngest leaves tomorrow for two weeks with her dad, and all that leaves me is reading, getting used to writing again (which I’m really struggling with), books, art, and therapy.

I wanted to talk for a sec about my therapy and my reading, though.

Therapy – compassion is thy name

I’ve been going to a type of therapy called ‘Compassion focused therapy’.  It’s to teach me – and those that do it – to be slightly more self-compassionate.  I struggle quite a bit with that, and it’s just something my brain just doesn’t get.  It’s nothing anyone’s done to me as a child – I had a good life, compared to some – it’s just something that I wasn’t emotionally ready to learn, so I’m struggling to deal with it now.  My later experiences compounded that – being bullied, bad relationships, losing friends in traumatic ways – it’s all shaped me into quite a little ball of neuroses, and though I absolutely stick to ‘they were kids they didn’t know what they were doing’ about my childhood bullies, there are some things I shouldn’t have put up with.  But we learn and we grow, and that’s how we become, right?

Well, my ‘become’ has stalled.  I have no drive, no self-soothing, just fear/fight/freeze/anger.  It’s a pretty bad place to be, but I’m…enjoying isn’t the right word for what you do with therapy, but I find myself appreciating what I’m learning and doing as much work as possible to extend on it.  It’s hard work, but I think it’s worthwhile.

One of the things that it did teach me though is that I don’t have any interest in writing right now and I’m struggling to even settle long enough to read.  So, that’s what I wanted to talk about today.
I’m trying to decide whether I want to review books or not – I’m not saying I’ll open the reviews up to requests, but would people be interested in reading about the books I’m enjoying?

Answers on a postcard…..

#AuthorInterrupted welcomes Rachel Thompson #Mondayblogs

Kai’s note – Rachel’s honesty and beauty in her outlook helps her advocate for those who may not otherwise feel they have a voice.  I’m honoured to host her today and share her story.  And not only is Rachel an amazing writer and advocate, she founded #Mondayblogs, so it’s great to share her post today, during #Mondayblogs


Why should someone who hasn’t had similar experiences read the book? 

RachelThank you for hosting me, Kai!

One of the reasons I wrote Broken Pieces, and the newly released Broken Places, is to give people an idea of the aftermath of living with childhood sexual abuse in an emotional, almost lyrical way. Poetic, really, as opposed to clinical. A personal view.

The books deal with my own experiences, but there are universal truths that many people, particularly women, are familiar with: depression, anxiety, PTSD, and how it all merges to affect my life now as a woman in all my many roles, in both positive and negative ways.

I’d like to say that it’s not something many people will experience, but sadly the statistics refute me, as one in three girls under the age of eighteen will be sexually abused, and of those, 90% will know their abuser; one in six boys will experience the same. And that’s just what is reported! (Source:

The question many people ask me, if they haven’t been abused, is if writing about dealing with these tough subjects is cathartic, and the answer is: yes and no. Yes, because the response has been amazing – connecting with other survivors, starting the weekly Twitter #SexAbuseChat (Tuesdays at 6pm PST) with therapist/survivor Bobbi Parish is especially rewarding, as is co-creating the #NoMoreShame Project Anthology with Bobbi and survivor/life coach Athena Moberg (published later this year by Booktrope).

No, because it doesn’t change what happened. Despite having dealt with much of the feelings of shame involved (I was eleven when the abuse occurred), I still deal with nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety and depression. Writing about it doesn’t change the past, but what it does do is help others understand that survivors aren’t whining or using our experience as an excuse in life’s difficult moments.   

Being a voice is crucial to me, so survivors and non-survivors alike will understand with compassion what so many women experience. Broken Pieces has won many awards and hit #1 on several Amazon lists. Broken Places has already hit #1 Women Authors and Poetry – I’m quite excited by the reception and the wonderful reviews. I hope your readers will be, too!

 Thanks for having me, today.


Rachel’s Bio:

RachelheadshotRachel Thompson is the author of newly released Broken Places and the award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. Rachel is published and represented by Booktrope. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. For affordable group sessions check outAuthor Social Media Boot Camp, monthly sessions to help all authors! Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington PostThe San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…),,,, and Self-Publishers Monthly.

Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs and the live Twitter chat, #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with certified therapist/survivor, Bobbi Parish.

She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.

Author Contact Information:

Website | Twitter | Facebook |Google+ | Pinterest | LinkedIn | Goodreads|Author Newsletter

 Broken Places:

Title: Broken Places
Genre/Keywords: Non-fiction
Length: 124 pages
Publisher: ebook: Booktrope * print: Booktrope Editions
Release date: ebook: January 13, 2015 * print: January 12, 2015
ISBN-10: 162015689X
ISBN-13: 978-1620156896

Book Summary:
Award-winning author Rachel Thompson courageously confronts the topics of sexual abuse and suicide, love and healing, in her second nonfiction book of prose: Broken Places. The sequel to Rachel’s first nonfiction book, Broken Pieces, Rachel bares her soul in essays, poems and prose, addressing life’s most difficult topics with honesty. As you follow one woman’s journey through the dark and into the light, you will find yourself forever changed. Rachel’s first book in this series, Broken Pieces, has been a #1 best seller on Amazon (eBooks) on Women’s Poetry and Abuse. Please note: this book discusses serious topics, and is intended for mature audiences only.


 IndieReader Approved



“BROKEN PLACES succeeds as the gritty memoir of a woman who was sexually assaulted when she was young and the author’s story of survival will surprise the reader because of its candidness and unexpected ending.”

#Poetry Rollercoaster #bipolar

I’ve been asked a lot lately about my poetry – that I’ve written, published and unpublished.  I’m going to find it a bit difficult to lay my hands on some of it that I wrote for Uni, but I’ve said I’d do my best.

But for a start, I present for your enjoyment, Rollercoasters.

Dual bands of purple
fading scratches on my hand
rollercoaster tracks I ride every day
Up, up, tick, tock

breathless the plateau runs
a rhythm tree-climb, slows till,
each day is a blink
a kaleidoscope of edges
and control that melts
inhibitions and reality
a breath

I hold, hanging
on a line, an edge



Dipping through safety,
riding the breaker’s wave
everything’s sharper
relief that tastes bitter almond
and salty soft.

Stuck in a breath, I feel only pain, creaking
the world darkens, focus on
me, in a shrinking spotlight
I scratch out more tracks
Pay, in advance for the next ride,
I see, my despised chameleon core

And nothing more

caught, then shock, I begin again
waving through normality
on a ride that never ends.

(c) D Kai Wilson-Viola, 2012