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A Reading List of (Non-Fiction) Books to Validate Your Pain

If you've survived sexual assault, rape, molestation, abuse, or any other form of sexual trauma at any point in your life I first want to say: I see you. I see your pain. I see your suffering. And I want you to know from the very bottom of my heart that you in no way deserved what happened to you. You didn't do anything to cause it and you have always and will always be so incredibly worthy of the purest, most well-intentioned and kind love this world has to offer..... and if you just rolled their eyes at that and thought to yourself "yeah, I get it. I already know that", ask yourself this: do you know it in your head? or do you know it in your heart?

Because there were things I thought I "knew" after surviving what happened to me that took me over a decade to realize I only rationally knew (i.e. my head understood what I was hearing to be true), but didn't emotionally know (i.e. my heart didn't recognize the words as truth and continued to blame/shame/berate/hate me for what had happened) and while that difference may seem small at first, when applied practically to your life and how it affects EVERY aspect of it... trust me, that difference is HUGE.

So to help you engage with both your rational and emotional ability to know, here are 10 non-fiction books to help you work through the pain you've experienced in this life by first validating it. What happened to you - no matter how much you may try to minimize it in comparison to other women's suffering - was and is real. It happened and it was awful. It should not have happened, but that doesn't and will never changed the fact that it did. What happened to you is, unfortunately, not uncommon, and is just one part of a much larger framework of what has been termed in the modern age as "rape culture". Whether you love, hate, or have never heard that phrase before, consider this reading list an introduction into understanding on a more comprehensive scale what it means to be a woman in the world today:

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