Her Whole Life in a Plastic Bag

three-clock-bears

Photo: threeoclockbears.com

 

Tamina attended first-grade in a Harlem public school. She was homeless most of that year. Her mother lost the apartment after she lost her job. Sometimes they stayed with relatives but mostly Tamina, her mother and her sister slept in shelters where they could never stay very long. They carried their belongings in thick black garbage bags, protection from the weather. Tamina used to have a teddy bear, but it got left in a shelter and her mother was ‘too tired’ to go back for it. Tamina never got it back.

Tamina had very little. Other children had a home, their own bed, place for their stuff, more stuff. So she stole. Mostly small things: erasers, crayons, hair-pins. Things she could hide in her pockets and later in her black garbage bag. If confronted, Tamina would furiously demand it “was always hers.” I suspected she often believed it and wondered if some items resembled things she once had and owning them was a link to a time when life was less overwhelming. Beyond an overall language delay, Tamina seemed confused about concepts like the difference between possessing and owning: in some shelters cots were ‘first-come-first-serve’ and while you had it, it was ‘yours’ even if it did not remain so for long. You had to ‘watch’ your stuff or have it disappear. Why could an unattended eraser not be ‘hers’?

 While children often crave things that are not theirs, Tamina’s stealing was possibly about unmet needs. Her mother was “always mad and cussing” and Tamina could not rely on her for support. Children whose ‘hungers’ are neglected seek other ways: become secretive, dissociate, numb themselves with substances, steal, hoard. These behaviors often further distance them from care and social support, when they in fact communicate confusion, loneliness, anger, loss, and shame.

[The above is an excerpt from “Communicating Trauma” Routledge, 2015]

Communicating Trauma-Yehuda

Homelessness does not necessarily mean neglect, but the realities and causes of homelessness pose many risks, especially to children. In addition to loss and grief, there are increased health and safety risks, along with reduced access to care. Children without homes suffer insecurity, and their caregivers may be too overwhelmed to attend to their emotional needs. Depression, posttraumatic stress, illness, disability, poverty, domestic violence and other life-crises are all too common among parents of homeless children. Any one of these factors can overwhelm a parent and reduce their availability, let alone when such factors combine.

Having no place to call home–in all the forms it takes–can be distressing and occupying. It leaves children anxious and unavailable for learning. Homeless children are often wary and worried, angry or withdrawn. They are three times as likely to require special-education, four times as likely to drop out of school, and almost nine times as likely to repeat grades.

Homelessness devastates. It is crucial we work together to understand it and resolve it as well as support families in crisis and address risk factors before they reach a loss of home, hearth, and heart.

 

 

“Communicating Trauma” on the Virtual Book Club!

I am so very excited to have my award winning book offered on the ISSTD Virtual Book Club for eight weeks, starting April 25 (what a pretty flyer, too!! Thank you Mary Pat!)

Working with children?

Working with adults who used to be children? …

Come and join us!

Yehuda Spring 2016 Vitual Book Club

Survival Imagination

“For children who depend on mentally escaping into their minds to survive, imagination can become both refuge and desert island.”

(Na’ama Yehuda, Communicating Trauma, p. 148)

galatasaray.org

On Nov.7–Making Peace with Suicide–a recommended new and powerful book!

Launching November 7, 2014!

Making Peace with Suicide: A Book of Hope, Understanding, and Comfort

By: Adele Ryan McDowell, PhD

Sometimes a new book comes along that deserves a special shout out–this is one !

I am delighted to help spread the word about Adele McDowell’s new, powerful, and heart opening book.

I’ve known Adele for almost 18 years now, and she is the real deal: knowledgeable, compassionate, deeply empathetic, super-sensitive, and down-to-earth. She understands human suffering and human potential, the depths of pain and the triumphs of spirit, the reality of trauma and the tangible hold of hope.

The combination of her skill and personality make her the best person to approach and manage such a tender topic, and she does so with much heart and practical advice.

The book is filled with information and much needed explanations to one of the most heart-wrenching realities of human connection and loss. It is also filled with anecdotes, candid testimonies, and personal paths through grief and healing.

 

Read it!

Join the launching celebration on November 7 and be one of the first to own a copy!

Get it on November 7, 2014!

Making Peace with Suicide: A Book of Hope, Understanding, and Comfort

By: Adele Ryan McDowell, PhD

Get it on Amazon November 7! http://www.amazon.com/dp/0982117620/ref=pe_385040_121528360_TE_dp_1

About the book:

Insightful, compelling, and compassionate, Making Peace with Suicide: A Book of Hope, Understanding, and Comfort takes a good hard look at the world-wide phenomena of suicide.

This book is designed for anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide and felt that sucker punch of grief; for anyone who is in pain, walking unsteadily, and considering suicide as an option; and for anyone who works with, guides, or counsels those feeling suicidal and/or suffering the profound grief from a suicidal loss.

Making Peace with Suicide includes stories of courage, vulnerability, and steadfastness from both the survivors of suicidal loss as well as the unique perspective of the formerly suicidal. It offers shared wisdom and coping strategies from those who have walked before you. It explores the factors leading to suicide and the reasons why some do and some don’t leave suicide notes.

Making Peace with Suicide sheds light on the phenomena of suicide vis-à-vis our teens, the military, new mothers, as an end-of-life choice, and asks if addiction is a form of slow suicide. It provides a seven-step healing process and opens the door to consider suicide and the soul, the heart lesson of suicide, and the energies of suicide.

If suicidality has impacted your life, Making Peace with Suicide is a must-read! You will be guided through the unknown territory, given insights to allow understanding, stories to help you heal, and ways to make peace with a heart wide-open. Making Peace with Suicide is good medicine for the body, mind, and soul.

Praise for Making Peace with Suicide

“Suicide is one of our most painful, difficult, confusing and wounding of human experiences. Dr. Adele McDowell addresses this topic with love and beauty. She non-judgmentally restores empathy, compassion and understanding.  She courageously offers deep tending in a “place of primal pain.” And she is comprehensive, sharing the history, complexity, universality, and even positive dimensions of this mysterious act. Whether you are contemplating or have survived the attempt, lost someone to suicide, or counsel and help these populations, Adele McDowell’s Making Peace with Suicide will bring you hope, healing, compassion and understanding.”

–Edward Tick, PhD; Director, Soldier’s Heart; Author, War and the Soul and Warrior’s Return

“With sensitivity and compassion, Making Peace with Suicide explores the depth and breadth of suicide and offers insights and healing. This book is essential reading.”

–C. Norman Shealy, MD, PhD

“No topic could be more timely than suicide. This remarkable book addresses people who have contemplated ending their lives as well as those who have to deal with the aftermath of those who succeeded. But it will also be invaluable to mental health workers and military chaplains, especially those who deal with young people who have been bullied and veterans with PTSD. For such a complex topic, Dr. McDowell’s writing style is reader-friendly and the stories she presents may well evoke tears. Her wise recommendations include teaching self-mastery techniques to help people cope with the stress of a success-oriented society. I have read many books on this sensitive topic, but none with the breadth and scope of Making Peace with Suicide.”

–Stanley Krippner, PhD; Co-author, Personal Mythology: The Psychology of Your Evolving Self and Haunted by Combat: Understanding PTSD in War Veterans

“Finally. A book that explains—in the simplest of terms, in a non-sensational, non-academic manner—the phenomenal, worldwide epidemic we call suicide. If you read one book on mental illness and how it affects our world, READ THIS ONE!”

–Ginny Sparrow, Editor, American Association of Suicidology

“Adele bravely and compassionately tackles a topic that many people avoid discussing—suicide. Yet in the understanding of it, the confusion and sense of loss is greatly eased. Making Peace with Suicide is rich with insight and healing methods all intended to help heal the void we feel when we lose a loved one to suicide. It’s also written for those who are suicidal to help them understand their pain and despair, and to let them know there is always help and there is always hope. I wish I had this book to read when my best friend took her life.”

–Carol Ritberger, PhD, author of Healing Happens with Your Help: Understanding the Hidden Meaning behind Illness

“This powerful book, written by a psychologist and former suicide-hotline responder, speaks to us all, about a present epidemic, surrounded by shame, taboo and secrets. Offering many personal stories, Adele helps the reader to find peace speaking to both those who believe they’re the only person who has ever felt this desperate and to the survivors whose lives are thrown into turmoil. This excellent book, full of useful resources, is essential for everybody who feels alone with their issues of life or death, bringing greater understanding, acceptance and comfort.

–Christine Page, MD, seminar leader & author of The Healing Power of the Sacred Woman

“As a minister/therapist for more than thirty years as well as a wife who lost her military husband to suicide, I have never found a more compassionate, effective book on suicide and its aftermath. This book serves many needs and highlights the myriad ways in which suicide changes one’s life direction. I cannot say strongly enough how powerful and helpful this book is.”

–Rev. Colleen E. Brown, Unity minister

“The loss of a loved one by any means is traumatic. When the loss is by suicide, in addition to the grief of the loss itself, survivors are often left riddled with guilt, anger, shame, and endless questioning, by both themselves and by others. In Making Peace with Suicide, Dr. McDowell gently and brilliantly weaves vital suicide survivor education with comforting and inspirational thoughts and quotes, all designed to direct the reader on a path of healing, resolution and peace.  A must-read for anyone who has been touched by the tragedy of suicide and left to answer the question, ‘Why?’ ”

—Carole Brody Fleet, award-winning and bestselling author of Widows Wear Stilettos…; Happily Even After…; and When Bad Things Happen to Good Women

“A subject such as this is never easy to digest. However, with Adele’s wisdom and guidance through her experience, this is a must read. We are in a new world now. Let Adele’s wisdom guide you with her insights for a new perspective on suicide.”

–Mona Delfino, author of The Sacred Language of the Human Body

 

Get Making Peace with Suicide on Amazon, November 7!

OUTLAWED HOPE 99c Sale Extended By Request For One More Day!

Thank you!

To all who shared how meaningful they found this

small tribute to Kathryn.

 

Thank you to all who agreed that 99c is a great deal

for Outlawed Hope!

Outlawed Hope cover

Outlawed Hope cover

Thank you, too, to you who were traveling and requested the sale be extended so you could take advantage of it.

Glad to!

“Yay! 99c! Getting a copy for myself!” D.L.

“This is the perfect going-away-to-college book gift.” S.R.

“Heard such great things about this book! For 99c, it is a win-win! Of course I want a copy!” M.C.

 

THANK YOU!

 

And so … you got it!

Outlawed Hope will remain available for 99c through today, August 30, 2014!

Get your copy TODAY.

 

For Kathryn: A 99c Memorial Special on OUTLAWED HOPE!

Two years ago tomorrow, my dear friend Kathryn, to whom Outlawed Hope is dedicated, passed on after a long battle with cancer.

I miss you, Kat!

To remember Kathryn, and to mark this tender anniversary of her leaving pain behind and freeing her soul to roam the heavens, Outlawed Hope will be offered on Kindle at the special price of just 99c today and tomorrow only–August 28th and 29th!

 

All 5 star reviews! * * * * *

Outlawed Hope cover

Outlawed Hope cover

What readers say:

“Brilliant, enchanting story telling!”, “Marvelously written”, “Thrilling”, “Outstanding”, “A winner!”, “A captivating and addicting page turner”, “an emotional roller coaster”, “wonderful, well written”, “I couldn’t put it down!”, “…can hardly wait for the sequel”, “…her plot design, character portrayals, descriptive prose and artistic use of suspense were every bit as good as (Stephen) King!”

Hurry and get your copy of Outlawed Hope on Kindle for 88% less than the cover price of $7.99! 

 

Outlawed Hope is also available on Paperback for 17% off of publisher price!

Not a Kindle reader? Get Outlawed Hope as an e-book on Nook, iBookstore and Kobo.

 

Kathryn, I am sure you are looking on and smiling … You probably have our mutual and dear friend Carol–more recently passed and so very loved as well–with you nearby. Remember always: “I love you more!”

Half-Year Birthday Thanks!

Thank you to all who celebrated Outlawed Hope’s half-year birthday with me!

thank you

Amazon saw a flurry … and a bunch of you now have new reading!

This is so so FAB!

 

If you are so inclined, do leave an Amazon review

when you are ready …

Or drop me a line–I sure would love to hear from you!

 

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

thank you1

Missed the party and the $0.99 special?

No worries!

You can still join in on the reading buzz!

 

Get Outlawed Hope on Amazon

Available in Kindle ebook

Or paperback (at 25% off the listed price!)

 

Outlawed Hope also available as ebook on Nook, iBookstore, and Kobo

Outlawed Hope only $0.99 TODAY & TOMORROW

Outlawed Hope is half-year-old TODAY!

Get it for $0.99 June 3-4 ONLY

Since its publication six months ago today, Outlawed Hope has seen all five-star reviews and much heartwarming feedback besides.

To celebrate this happy half-birthday (hey, any reason for a good party!), Outlawed Hope for Kindle is available for only $0.99 today and tomorrow, June 3 and June 4, 2014!

 

[Regular e-book price is $7.99 so hurry up and grab Outlawed Hope before the price goes back up–the sale won’t last but your reading pleasure will!]

Prefer books you can actually hold and turn the pages on? No worries–you can still celebrate–Outlawed Hope is available in paperback and you can get it for 25% OFF the listed price on Amazon NOW!

Join the celebration and get Outlawed Hope for $0.99 TODAY!

http://www.amazon.com/Outlawed-Hope-Naama-Yehuda-ebook/dp/B00I8ZGXPU/

Some of the praise for Outlawed Hope:

“Brilliant, enchanting story telling!”

“Thrilling!”

“Marvelously written, fascinating book.”

“A great read”

“… a gem of a read. You won’t want to put it down …”

“Outstanding first novel”

“A sublime read!”

“Outlawed Hope is a wonderful, well written, heartful read for our times …”

“A winner”

“A captivating and addicting page turner …”

“… The book is an emotional roller coaster, intellectually challenging, and teeming with insightful dialogue and introspection.”

Don’t Delay!

Get Outlawed Hope for $0.99 TODAY!

Outlawed Hope cover

Outlawed Hope cover

Outlawed Hope

Outlawed Hope cover

Outlawed Hope cover

It’s been three months since “Outlawed Hope” was published, and I’ve been deeply gratified and moved by people’s responses:

“An amazing book!”

“One of the best!”

“Thrilling!”

“A sublime read!”

“Outstanding!”

“Brilliant, enchanting story telling …”

“A captivating and addicting page turner!”

“A winner!”

“Marvelously written, fascinating book!”

“Na’ama Yehuda has written a gem of a read!”

“Provocative, introspective, and hopeful … read it, enjoy it, and most importantly, discuss it with your reading circle.”

THANK YOU, ALL!

Want to take a peek? See below …

“Outlawed Hope” by Na’ama Yehuda (Published December 4, 2013)

Synopsis: Abandoned as an infant, adopted, and then forgotten until seventeen, Aimee was raised for an unknown future. Outlawed Hope is her story, the story of the Outlaws who birthed her, the Society that raised her, and the infant she finds. Aimee needs to save the infant from a future she knows too well. Through dangerous close calls, Aimee discovers that she isn’t who she thought she was, and nor are those around her. Why was she abandoned? Who found her? For the truth, Aimee must face stunning revelations. She is trained to comply, but cannot—it would doom her and the baby she struggles to protect. Can she find another way, and at what cost? Outlawed Hope is a story of loss, unexpected empathy, brutality, and heartfelt resilience.

Advance reviews:

A story of escape and capture, the power of hope, and the heroics necessary to ensure a child’s future.”  Meredith Blevins, The Hummingbird Wizard (The Mystic Café)

Reminiscent of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Outlawed Hope is a compelling, fast-paced novel set in a less-than-utopian society. We feel the race of Aimee’s pulse as we follow the twists and turns of her journey, meeting various characters who help, hinder, sabotage, and heal both her past and future. In this first novel by Na’ama Yehuda, change is given the ride of its life and hope is anything but outlawed.” Adele Ryan McDowell, Author of Amazon Bestseller Balancing Act: Reflections, meditations and Coping Strategies for Today’s Fact Paced Whirl.

Available on:

Amazon: KindlePaperback

Nookhttp://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/outlawed-hope-naama-yehuda/1117555597

iBookstorehttps://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id773444300

Kobohttp://store.kobobooks.com/Search/Query?fcmedia=Book&query=1230000200869