Books on recovery from abuse offer a lifeline for those struggling to heal from the pain and trauma of their past. By reading the stories of others who have been through similar experiences, we can find hope, strength, and resilience to begin our own journey of healing and self-discovery.

Experts describe abuse as various behaviours that generally affect people differently. It may occur during childhood, emanate in a relationship, or may be caused by friends, family members, or coworkers. Unfortunately, many of us have lived with abuse for so long, even unknowingly.

We don’t know that even “brief” abuse instances cause significant damage. While childhood traumas and emotional abuse are terrible for anyone, it doesn’t mean that if we are affected, we have to live with them throughout our life. We can overcome.

There is a Wide Range of Childhood Traumas

Childhood trauma can refer to a wide range of experiences that may have a negative impact on a person's emotional and physical well-being. Some common examples of childhood trauma include:

  1. Physical abuse: This refers to any kind of physical harm inflicted on a child, such as hitting, shaking, or burning.
  2. Sexual abuse: This refers to any kind of sexual contact or activity that is forced or nonconsensual, or that is inappropriate for the child's age.
  3. Emotional abuse: This refers to behavior that is intended to hurt a child's emotional well-being, such as name-calling, belittling, or threatening.
  4. Neglect: This refers to a failure to provide for a child's basic needs, such as food, shelter, clothing, or medical care.
  5. Domestic violence: Children who witness domestic violence, or who are victims of it themselves, may experience trauma.
  6. Bullying: Children who are bullied by their peers may experience trauma as a result.
  7. Natural disasters: Children who experience natural disasters, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, or tornadoes, may also experience trauma.

It's important to note that not all children who experience these events will necessarily develop long-term problems as a result. However, trauma can have serious consequences for a child's development, and it is important for children who have experienced trauma to receive support and treatment to help them cope with the effects.

Recovering from abuse-related traumas may be incredibly challenging, but books on abuse can help the healing process. Below are some of my top picks.

What Are The Most Valuable Self-Help Books on Abuse and Recovery?

Bold Moves, by Sandy Wandenburg (2022)

At some point, most of us have experienced people or situations that have made us question our self-worth, a situation that feels and is unfair. This is how Sandy begins this book to tell her life story.

In this book, she tells how she has lived through isolation, rejection, and many years of her mother’s narcissistic emotional abuse. All these forms of abuse could have turned her inward. However, she decided to take BOLD MOVES and work towards reclaiming her life.

This book is for you if you have had a challenging life from the abuse caused by emotionally debilitating family relationships. It will encourage you with a strategy to take back your power and peace.

I love that it is inspirational and a story of growth and determination. I also highly appreciate its actional steps towards lifting victims of physical, spiritual and emotional abuse to victors.

A Dark Force, by Erin Riley (2022)

Erin Riley was a celebrated figure in the 80s music industry, but she had dark secrets behind her wild, colorful rock and & roll life.

She was an emotionally neglected child and had a generational legacy of hiding hurtful truths and stoicism. She says she didn’t have an authentic experience with healthy relationships and love.

When she finally got married, she thought she had found a happy life ahead of her. Instead, her marriage became decades of confusion, anger, heartbreak, and betrayal caused by a covert narcissist.

In this raw memoir, Erin recounts her life’s traumas, poor decisions, tragedies, and toxic relationships.

The key takeaway from this book will be the insights and guidance you will get, especially if you are a survivor of narcissistic abuse or keep questioning your relationships. It will give you strength and hope to find a joyous redemption.

Trust Yourself Again, by Dennis Chapman (2022)

Trust Yourself Again is one of the books about emotional abuse brought through gaslighting, a reality millions are facing globally.

This book focuses more on gaslighting in romantic relationships. It will help you discover how you can spot and stop the abuse.

The problem with gaslighting is that it makes you have a lingering sense of paranoia and self-doubt even when you can surely see unsettling behavior. But this book has got your back with a practical approach and techniques to help you become self-aware to end the perils of gaslighting. I loved its list of gaslighter red flags and manipulation techniques and its eye-opening insights into gaslighter minds.

You will discover why it becomes difficult to let go of gaslighters as you learn self-care strategies to minimize gaslighting impacts, minimize self-doubt, and guard yourself against emotional abuse.

Right in the Middle but Left Out, by Jeffery A Trees (2022)

This book piqued my interest because of its not-so-much talked-about abuse form of incest. The harsh and sad reality is that many of us are victims but usually go on with our lives and do not acknowledge that we are facing something.

A child who has undergone incest may take years to work through the tormenting experience, and most of the time, they subdue it until later years. As a victim, the experience is frightening, and its painful memories linger. The abusers victimize families.

All these things become horrifying adventures with no idea of what is to come leading to more confusion, anger, and instability.

This book encourages sexual abuse victims to love themselves and everyone else again healthily and in the best ways. It gives a sense of understanding that regardless of what happened, there is hope. It is also a wake-up call for institutions to do more about sexual abuse notifications.

Still Smiling, by Sorana Mitchell (2022)

Still Smiling tugged at my heartstrings the moment I started reading it. It is powerful and inspiring. Sorana recounts her traumatic experiences since she was a child.

She talks about her the unfortunate untimely death of her father, the sexual abuse she suffered on her Canada trips, her immigration challenges to the USA, mental illness, and her later return home.

Even though she went all through these painful experiences, she can still smile. You can too.

Sorana's problems are a reality for many of us, and I love her for her strength in writing this beautiful story. I strongly encourage reading this memoir and diving into its entirety. Its pages hold great power and might play a significant role in helping you heal from abuse.

Emotional Abuse and Trauma Recovery, by Cassandra McBride (2022)

This book is for you if you have been in an emotionally abusive relationship with a step-by-step guide to take you through toxic relationships. It will be an eye-opener and your heart and soul’s bandage towards healing.

It is an easy read with effective and practical advice on how you can work towards recovery.

I particularly appreciate Cassandra’s clear descriptions of methods used for abuse and how to break free from them. She encourages you to start detoxifying abuse situations and defy the grip abusive relationships may have on you.

You will understand the effects of emotional abuse, whether from narcissists or dysfunctional families. Additionally, you understand victim mentality/syndrome and the ways you can deal with it for self-care, happiness, and fulfillment.

Final Thoughts on Books on Recovery from Abuse

Even as an abuse survivor, healing and recovery can be challenging. But we need to understand that getting out is a gradual process. Everyone experiences and reacts to abuse differently. Seeking professional help is always the best approach to overcoming and recovering from abuse.

However, making necessary commitments and doing self-work to recover goes a long way. Books on abuse like the ones above can offer additional help by showcasing other lenses of abuse.

Check also our favorite books on finding your life purpose.

Featured on Joelbooks