Sexual abuse comes accompanied by a lot of shame, and many survivors of sexual abuse feel that no one can understand what they have been through and that whatever happened was their fault. These feelings become compounded if the victim of the abuse is a child.
According to psychologists, the frontal lobe in teenagers and children is not fully developed. Therefore, when they experience abuse, children and teenagers cannot comprehend why something so awful would happen to them and end up blaming themselves.
This was the case for Yvonne Sandomir. Yvonne grew up in a volatile home environment and experienced abuse from a very young age. Her environment was religious, so sex and sexual abuse were not openly discussed. Furthermore, in an interview, Yvonne revealed that some people around her forgave and remained friends with her perpetrators. This led to young Yvonne retreating into herself and not understanding why no one around her was protecting her, hence feeling invisible and the title of the book “The Invisible Girl.”
Looking at and listening to Yvonne Sandomir on her website and various interviews online, you would be mistaken to think that she is a survivor of years of abuse. She radiates calmness and bubbliness. According to her, this is a part of her that has always shone through, albeit with some help from years of therapy, to cope with the trauma and give life to her passions; Yvonne loves singing and dancing and has auditioned for the popular singing show The Voice. She also loves painting and writing poems.
Yvonne draws strength and inspiration for her work from her husband and therapist. Her work as a sexual and family abuse advocate is through her memoir, work as a cognitive behavioral life coach, and hosting the Survivor Strong Podcast.
The goal of The Invisible Girl is to help other survivors know they are not at fault and to encourage them to seek help through therapy. It is not only about sexual abuse but also about incest, domestic violence, alcoholism, drug addiction, and broken family abuse cycles.
When talking about her book in a podcast, Yvonne mentioned that some of the most challenging parts of writing were when she had to relive her childhood abuse. This was especially hard for her because she is now a mother and could not imagine the same thing happening to her child.
Published in November 2021, it took Yvonne five years to complete the book. Yvonne’s passion is to inspire readers through the book; though triggering; it does not have to be all doom and gloom. She encourages her readers that in the event they are triggered, they don’t have to read the book in one go. They can take a break and pick up the book when they feel ready.
For survivors, the message from the book is to feel everything; shame, hurt, pain, and whatever other emotion crops up after abuse. However, Yvonne encourages survivors not to dwell in these dark mental spaces but to face their feelings and seek help. For everyone else, the message from Invisible Girl is to listen to and acknowledge whatever feelings survivors are going through.
Invisible Girl is available for purchase on Amazon and Audible. Yvonne Sandomir’s readers can also access other materials about the book from her website and different interviews and discussions online.
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