As a spiritual counselor to abused women for nearly 30 years, Lady Cerelli never imagined that she was actually in the same situation as many of her clients. After unknowingly suppressing memories of rape for years, a vivid flashback in 2003 finally resurrected Cerelli's painful past, forcing her to recognize that she had been suffering most of her life from post- traumatic stress disorder. Cerelli shares her heart- wrenching story, from diagnosis to recovery, in her encouraging, new self-help book, "My Journey to Peace with PTSD."
Peace Publishers (2007)
Reviewed by for Reader Views (10/07)
In “My Journey to Peace with PTSD” Lady Cerelli tells her life story. She experienced a great deal of abuse in her life. It began with her stepfather raping her as a child, and her mother’s refusal to acknowledge that it really happened. It continues on through her life where she continues to encounter men who brutally victimize her. Along the way, Lady tries to have a “normal” life, but finds herself drawn into inappropriate, self-defeating behavior. It seems like Lady was acting out so that the wounded child within her could be heard. Instead, she encounters more abusive types of people and continues a downward spiral.
Lady’s behavior follows a pattern that is common for people with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). As an adult, she is finally diagnosed with this after she has some seriously traumatic memories surface. While getting help, Lady discovers how her behaviors have been caused by traumas that she has experienced. On the difficult road to recovery she begins making positive changes in her life. Her relationship with her husband also deepens. She learns about real love.
In many ways, it was difficult for me to read “My Journey to Peace with PTSD.” It is always hard to read about a child experiencing abuse and not being helped. Lady did have a special older lady touch her life. This made me think about being more careful with the emotionally fragile students that I work with. If I can touch someone’s life like she did, I can really make a difference. It was also hard for me to read because it drug up some painful personal memories of my own childhood. These were memories I buried. Lady helped me to understand a lot of my past and why I react like I do. She also provides information about exactly what PTSD is, and will help others determine if they have it and need help. She also answered a question that I had about why people who have been abused seem to attract abusers. This was really informative and thought-provoking.
“My Journey to Peace with PTSD” came into my life at the perfect time. Not the easiest time, but the perfect time. I am very grateful to Lady Cerelli for telling her story. I know that it couldn’t have been easy. By doing so, she brings something good into something that was bad. In the six hours that her book has sat on my desk, she has touched three additional lives including my own because people have asked me about it and we start talking. I went to her website and discovered more useful information. This is a book for people who have abusive pasts and those that work with them. It will really open your eyes and help you understand who you are and what you can do to make a difference, either in your life or someone else’s.