In You Ruined It, author Anastasia Higginbotham sheds light on the confusion and pain that many children feel in the aftermath of incest and sexual assault.
When 11-year-old Dawn discloses that a favorite cousin sexually assaulted her, it's hard to tell what hurts more: the betrayal or the fall-out. After all, everyone always says to tell someone, but does this mean she'll never get to hang out with him again? What if he goes to jail?
And the biggest question of all: How will she know if she can trust someone again?
You Ruined It is a testament to a child's experience of a confusing betrayal, her broken heart, and the loved ones who help her piece it back together.
You Ruined It is a springboard for so many conversations that can add to the primary as well as the secondary prevention perspective as these children work hard to pick up the pieces. Kudos for tackling this.—INGRID WALKER-DESCARTES, child abuse pediatricianYou Ruined It left me speechless. Written from the inside out, it perfectly addresses one of the most complex (and all too common) issues in childhood trauma with bravery and exquisite sensitivity. As a therapist, I bow to Higginbotham's artistry and her deep understanding of incest and the confusion that ensues when a beloved family member violates your body and your trust. I know this book will help children feel understood and less alone—and adults who have had this kind of trauma will experience profound healing from reading it as well.—LISA SPIEGEL, co-founder of Soho ParentingAs a writer, a teacher and a mother, I’m grateful to Anastasia for taking the lives of kids seriously. As with all her extraordinary books, Anastasia creates a rare, invaluable space for the complex experiences and feelings of childhood. Dawn’s pain and sadness are balanced so tenderly with love and belief; she is both broken and brave; an unlikely superhero and also an intensely confused kid. A gift to caregivers and children alike to know her story and hear her voice....Unlike anything I have ever read.—KATIE CAPPIELLO, author of Slut: The Play and Now That We're Men