When Frida approached me as a student to help her work on this second edition of her book by directing it more toward resilience, I knew that I was about to become the student and she was to be the teacher.
As we went through the first edition talking about the changes she had in mind, it became clear to me that somehow this individual did everything “right” that we know about in terms of recovering from, and growing through, trauma. Her story takes the reader through all the stages of the process. It begins with the most devastating destruction of one’s sense of order about how the world works and the absolute shattering of personal identity. Next we follow her through the common after-effects of confusion, self-blame, betrayal, depression, and anger often associated with the process. Finally, the book leads us through the other side-effects that researchers talk about, especially finding ways to rebuild a sense of meaning, discover a larger purpose in life, being able to love again, and becoming even more than who and what one was before the trauma.
To put it in the simplest terms, this book is alive and powerful in a way that is humbling yet inspiring. It could be read as a story of personal survival, one of psychological transformation, or a journey to spiritual salvation. Anyone who has suffered at the hands of others, people who work with survivors, and those who are interested in the amazing capacity of the human spirit to be resilient could benefit from reading this book.