At first Lisa's step-father would just make her stroke and massage his feet, hitting her if she stopped, but he soon wanted more. Much more. By the time she was 12 he was regularly abusing her. One day, when Lisa turned 16, she came home to discover that her mother had swapped bedrooms with her. 'You're my girlfriend now', her step-father told her. Lisa turned to her mother for help, but was met with a shrug. She wouldn't hear a word against her husband. 'Don't blame me,' she said. Her step-father's abuse was horrific but what completely tore her apart was knowing her mother knew and encouraged it.
Trapped and increasingly desperate, Lisa tried to find a way out. But her isolation was complete. A few months later her mother told her she'd arranged for Lisa and her step-father to move into a flat together down the road. It was too much for Lisa to bear. 'Please don't make me, please,' she sobbed. But her mother just ignored her. Lisa was marched around to the flat with her possessions and her nightmare was complete.
Alone with her step-father, Lisa's life became even more unbearable. Then one day, finally, she got the chance she'd been looking for to escape. Lisa bravely struck out on her own, petrified her mother would find her and hand her back into the waiting arms of her step-father. But Lisa's mother had no idea how determined she was to break away...
"I was used to Daddy screaming 'whore's child' at me, over and over again. But I couldn't get used to what he made me do."
Anya was too terrified to tell anybody about what her uncle did to her. But then he got careless and started abusing her in front of the other children. When her brothers started calling her a 'whore', Anya cracked and all her terrible secrets came pouring out.
Anya had always coped because there was one woman who loved her deeply, her 'Mummy'. But this time love was not enough. One morning 'Mummy' just left.
Determined to make a new life, Anya buried her feelings and tried to move on. But when she ended up homeless, living in her car, she knew she had to face her past if she was ever going to find happiness and security again.
Top 10 Sunday Times Bestseller, Abandoned is Anya's inspirational story of her fight to find love, acceptance and a place to belong.
This is a zesty self-help book without therapy jargon, but also without simplistic answers to a very complex and deep wound. It will help readers find the strength to come to terms with what happened to them in the past, to break negative behaviour patterns in the present and to make their dreams a reality. To put on a funky new pair of shoes and step into the future with confidence.
Written in a chatty, accessible style, Rebecca Mitchell blends a range of personal experiences of recovery with professional insight and practical steps for change. Chapters include: Is It Just Me?; Growing Up: It's A Family Affair; Shame: The Blame Game; Anger: Fade To Red; Sex: The Final Frontier; Forgiveness: How Will That Help Me?; A New Beginning: Dreams Can Come True.