I have known you for many years but, until I read your book, I had no idea about the details of your life growing up. I applaud you for coming forward to share your story. Your book is well written and insightful. I believe that lessons from this book will help those who have suffered small humiliations (just about everyone) to those who have gone through much deeper trauma like yourself. I am amazed at how you are able to take something positive away from every experience, no matter how traumatic it may have been. I would encourage everyone to read this book. Through your book we can all learn how important it is to be cautious in our words and deeds, to ensure that we make a positive lasting impression on everyone we meet and, most important, members of our own families and the most precious of gifts, our children.
I read HOPE and would highly recommend it. This is why: We all have baggage. You know what they say: “everybody has a story” well this book is about identifying what your baggage is, why you are doing what you do in specific situations whether in your marriage or love life, the way you raise your children, your performance at work or the general feeling about yourself, etc. I have read many self-help books to identify and assist me in becoming a better individual and yes they have been helpful. But with HOPE, it’s more than that. It’s hands on. It’s a working book. After each chapter, Sheila gives you her personal impression of what happened, how she got there, what she noticed and learned. Then she asks the questions you need to ask yourself about a specific abuse situation so you can get over the hurdle or life block. It is unique and sincere. She opened her life to us so we can get on with our lives. She makes you find your own solution so you can learn how to stop the ‘dance’ and become all you can be.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting Sheila Stevenson and it is my hope that anyone who has been subjected to childhood abuse, or cares about someone who has lived through these devastating experiences, will connect with Sheila also. If you feel like you’ve been going through the motions of life, but not really living it, you are probably like me, stifled by fear. It dictates so much of who I am and how I deal with things, yet I’m only starting to realize it. Sheila opened a window for me and it allowed the most beautiful, joyous light to shine in. With sharing, understanding, and validation comes the need and ability to seek out a life we all deserve. I have not read Sheila’s book yet – my copy will be retrieved at her next book signing. But I can tell you for certain, that you should find the strength to come along on the journey she is offering. Read the book, meet her in person, or even take the first step into finding some peace at her upcoming workshops. I’m ready to believe in me - how about you? Sheila you are a blessing!
This is a book I couldn’t put down. Your story is very compelling and I think a lot of women who have experienced child abuse will identify with the content. There seems to be scant information available for survivors and I think your book will really help them to work through their process. Yours is really a story of hope for all of us to learn and live with grace, peace and serenity, despite many obstacles. Thank you for letting me read it.
The author proved immense courage for sharing her alarming and painful childhood experiences and the many ways they impacted on her life. A profoundly simple, hopeful, and human book. Survivors of childhood abuse and those who want to understand and support them will find this book helpful.
I read Sheila’s book that same night after purchasing. I did not put it down. I have it in my reference library now for clients and friends and have already lent it out and hope that they too can find some healing. Thank you Sheila, for this wonderful book. There are lessons in it for everyone.
Your presentation to the BMW (Breakfast Meeting for Women) Group gave us detailed understanding of how your book (HOPE for Survivors of Childhood Abuse...) came about and who was instrumental in getting you started with your message of Hope. It was well received by the group with many members purchasing the book and reading it. I couldn't wait to read the book myself. After I read it I realized how important my influence is on my children and my grandchildren. I have changed some of my own ways of influencing my children, reminding them what their children will remember about the examples they are setting. I am much more aware of the influence we are to our grandchildren and try to set good examples every day. I feel so lucky to be exposed to this book of Hope while my grandchildren are young yet, and I have the opportunity to help raise them in a much more loving and understanding way. Thank you for your courage and vision of Hope. It's a book that should be read by everyone.
Your book is a "hard to put down". Besides the fact that you have a true gift for writing (the word usage and the flow of the language is outstanding), I was most astounded by the incredible courage it would have taken for you to share your life in this way with the world.
People like myself, will say thank you every day for our good fortune in growing up in happiness and love while acquiring a lasting empathy and desire to be there for others. And people who have experienced abuse and neglect can know that they are not alone and see the benefits of being able to work through their pain with professionals and peers. Bravo!
If you or someone you know and love has been affected by childhood abuse of any kind our (local independent) bookstore has copies of a powerful transformational book by a London, Ontario author by the name of Sheila M. Stevenson. I have personally read the book and I applaud her triumph over adversity. It contains lots of helpful advice and probing self-reflective questions.
Very well done, now, you have to realize that reading is not my pastime so you kept my attention. Yes, good job… very interesting…very thought provoking.
It was wonderful to see you recently and speaking with you provided the impetus that I needed to contact you and provide my impressions of your well written book. I found your book to be an amazing story of survival. It is a very readable book and would be appropriate for readers from youth to adult and of even moderate literacy level. Yes, it was at times difficult to hear the personal account of childhood abuse but each chapter ended on such a positive and constructive tone and because the chapters were brief I felt a need to keep reading. Some authors who write autobiographical work use their book as a catharsis and I am sure that your work did help you to air the pain and confusion of your childhood. But you took that pain and built bridges of understanding and compassion both for the little girl that you were and the woman you are today. I also saw that you were able to continue to have love and compassion for your parents and instead of focusing on only the negative parts of your family relationships, were able to address the positive memories that remain with you. At the end of each chapter your use of Lessons Learned, Helpful Tips and invitation for the reader to work further on their personal journey through journaling was most effective. This is definitely a workbook which I am sure will be used and reused by readers - both those who are also survivors and those who work with survivors of abuse. The appendix of resources at the end will allow readers to move forward in additional searches for information and support and, your ending leaves us with an expression of hope and celebration of growth and renewal. I look forward to sharing this book with several other staff whose work with families brings them in contact frequently with individuals who have traveled the same path but have not been able to surmount the obstacles. Thanks again for giving me the opportunity to read and react to your book. I hope our paths will cross again frequently in the future.
About The Author
Sheila Stevenson has been writing since childhood, using her creativity as a form of self-therapy. In high school she wrote a short play which was presented to the student body. During her career in business Sheila acquired an admirable reputation for sending thoughtful thank you and congratulatory notes, a fact that was pointed out in a workshop by one of her competitors! In 1996/97 She wrote a monthly column titled “Trends in Customer Service” for Business Trends Magazine. From 1994 to 1997 she contributed several articles to The Enterprising Woman, a local business newsletter.
Sheila’s lifelong passion for learning, personal growth and helping others empowered her to write her autobiographical work book HOPE for Survivors of Childhood Abuse – A Healing Journey Towards a Fulfilling Life. As a result of her experiences and extensive knowledge about childhood abuse, she speaks to groups and organizations on a variety of related topics. Sheila also mentors with individual adult child abuse survivors, helping them to realize fuller healing and a brighter, hope filled and productive future.
Sheila has lived in London, Ontario, Canada most of her life except for 10 years in Montreal and one and a half years in Edinburgh. She has a loving, respectful and fun relationship with her two children and four grandchildren, and she loves her animal friends who live with other people. She has served on the St. Thomas District Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, The London Advertising & Sales Club Board of Directors, and is currently fulfilling her second two-year term with the board at Youth Opportunities Unlimited (www.you.on.ca). She is a past Treasurer of Breakfast Meeting for Women and has served as Chair on networking, fundraising and golf committees for various organizations. Through BMW (www.breakfastmeetingforwomen.com) Sheila has helped to raise over $100,000 for several local charities including SARI Therapeutic Riding, My Sister’s Place, The Grace Donnelly Women’s Health Pavilion at London Health Sciences Foundation, and the St. Joseph’s Regional Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Centre. She also assisted Childreach Centre. She has facilitated workshops and spoken to audiences on a variety of topics over the past sixteen years. Sheila is currently a member of CAPS – the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (www.canadianspeakers.org).