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#72806 - 04/01/05 07:35 AM Lynn Tolson, Beyond The Tears: A True Survivor's Story
Dotsie Offline
Founder

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
Lynn C. Tolson, author of "Beyond the Tears: A True Survivor's Story" is the Featured AUthor for the month of April.

Visit http://www.beyondthetears.com and order through her PayPal, amazon.com, bn.com, or authorhouse.com. Lynn promises an interesting and enlightening read!

Here's a message form Lynn about her book:

Hello Boomer Girlfriends, I am delighted that Dotsie has chosen me for the Featured Author Forum in April. You may have read my on-line tag-line which states: “My passion is writing and my mission is to confront violence against women and children.” Thus, I wrote the book Beyond the Tears: A True Survivor’s Story, which is my memoir about overcoming abuse, addiction, and suicide attempts.

As you read, you will be like a “fly on the wall” during my therapy sessions, as I reveal the problems and solutions discussed in therapy. But that’s not all: my story also offers a spiritual journey, lessons on living, inspiration, and communication. As Dotsie has said, even if you have never experienced abuse, your eyes of compassion will be opened.

For those of you who have experienced adversity (and who hasn’t) you will see that you are not alone. It is fitting that this book was selected in April because this month is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and National Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month. 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 4 boys will be sexually violated before they turn 18! I reveal these issues in Beyond the Tears.

There are passages that may not be pretty because I do not glamorize abuse; in fact, some passages are accounts of what abuse looks like, feels like, sounds like. The reason for choosing this method is because abuse is often referred to in polite terms, such as “molestation.” I let the reader know exactly what the term means so that society can no longer ignore its existence. But don’t let that scare you!

You will also read about the culture of our collective coming-of-age time frame, such as the introduction of the Beatles, the growth of suburbia, the advent of the hippie sub-culture. I promise you a read that will ultimately offer you a message of hope and an inspiration as you read my journey from victim to victory. Lynn C. Tolson

A great big welcome to Lynn.

[ February 15, 2006, 10:28 AM: Message edited by: Dotsie ]

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#72807 - 04/01/05 09:16 AM Re: Lynn Tolson, Beyond The Tears: A True Survivor's Story
Princess Lenora Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 3503
Loc: Colorado
Hello Dotsie and Boomer Women, I am honored to have been selected as the Featured Author. I hope I will be of service to everyone on this site. My life is an open book; please feel free to ask me anything! There is so much to talk about. Love and Light, Lynn

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#72808 - 04/01/05 09:20 AM Re: Lynn Tolson, Beyond The Tears: A True Survivor's Story
Princess Lenora Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 3503
Loc: Colorado
As an opener, I'd like to quote the rock and roll super star, Sting. Whatever we discuss this month will be wrapped with love for the earth and for each other. In reference to flowers, Sting writes, “…not only must such tiny beautiful and delicate living things be charged with love, but also the inanimate stones that surround them, everything giving and receiving, reflecting and absorbing, resisting and yielding, and I realize perhaps for the first time that love is never wasted. Love can be denied or ignored, or even perverted, but it does not disappear, it merely takes another form until we are consciously ready to accept its mystery and its power. It may take a moment or an eternity.” Broken Music, A Memoir. Love and Light, Lynn

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#72809 - 04/01/05 05:30 PM Re: Lynn Tolson, Beyond The Tears: A True Survivor's Story
jawjaw Offline
Da Queen

Registered: 07/02/03
Posts: 12025
Loc: Alabama
Lynn329,
I'm going to start out this discussion by saying I've read the book and was brought face-to-face with abuse. I was shocked, humbled, torn, angry, sad, but most of all, enlightened. If you ask me, everyone should read it and therefore, be armed. The writing is excellent, you will fall in love with Karen, (I won't tell who she is), and you will want to reach out and protect Lynn. You will feel helpless, however, you will feel somewhat vindicated in the end.

Thank you for telling this story so that the Mothers and Fathers of the world may have their eyes opened. Also, for the victims out there...that they may know you can overcome.

This book was hard to read at times, but I can honestly say, I so grateful I did. Would I recommend it to anyone? Absolutely.

JJ

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#72810 - 04/01/05 07:53 PM Re: Lynn Tolson, Beyond The Tears: A True Survivor's Story
Dotsie Offline
Founder

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
Lynn, you already know my reaction to your book was similar to jawjaw's.

By the grace of God, I have never been abused. Your book was the first I've read on the topic. This proves it's good to step out of our reading zones (something we've been discussing in another forum).

I was ignorant until I attended a luncheon and the guest speaker (who looked like you and me) spoke of her physical battle with her husband, protection of her children, acceptance in a shelter, and recovery. I was stunned. When she stepped up to the microphone in her stylish suit and lovely smile I had no idea what was hiding behind her glamour.

Her story and your story opened my eyes to the compassion so rightfully needed by women who are abused, and the knowledge that abuse is probably a couple doors down and I don't know it.

I'm grateful you so willingly shared your story. Now I have a question...

Have family members read your book, and if so, what are their reactions?

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#72811 - 04/02/05 08:34 AM Re: Lynn Tolson, Beyond The Tears: A True Survivor's Story
Princess Lenora Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 3503
Loc: Colorado
Good morning friends! I have an answer to Dotsie’s question, “have family members read the book and if so what was the reaction?” My family’s reaction was the main reason I did not tell my story. My mother, who called me a writer all of my life, used to tell me I should write stories of my “escapades.” She pointed to books by Danielle Steele and said I should be a writer like her. She hadn’t realized that those “escapades” were directly related to having been abused. When I told her the result of my writings included the entire family, she said, “You don’t want to embarrass your poor mother in her old age, do you? I thought you’d write a book, but does it have to be that book? You didn’t paint me in a good light.” She has not read the book, but my stepfather read her portions of a rough draft. Perhaps I sent them the draft to get their permission. I did not want to hurt anyone. I did not think in terms of “They hurt me, so now it’s payback time.” Revenge was not on my mind. A message of hope was my primary motive, and I realized I did not need their permission. In my forties, I accepted that my message of hope and healing was a calling that could serve others, and that calling became greater than whether or not my mother approved. During the visit to my parent’s in Phoenix last week, I brought up the subject of my book to my stepfather. My mother was not in any mental condition to discuss it, but she does know that I “lecture” on violence. I told him my by-line (my passion is writing and my mission is to confront violence against women and children.) His reaction was acceptance of my work, and there is understanding of its importance. As for my older brother, a perpetrator, he read both the rough draft and the actual published copy. It’s funny: he bought it on Amazon. I would have given him a copy. He has realized that he can be a silent partner in my mission to confront violence. If he denied my work he would deny his participation in abuse. He realizes that by telling my story, of which he is a great part, he is contributing to solving the problem of abuse in our society. During the early draft, I asked him if he was going to sue me, and he said, “You are the one who should sue me.” Indeed, I wouldn’t have minded some payment for therapy! My grandmother is 98; she does not know of the book, but knows that I help women in some capacity. My younger brother, who lives near our parents, has not read the book and said he doesn’t have a compelling desire to do so. He does not know what work I do, and I did not make it clear until yesterday, when I wrote him a letter and included my web site. Based on my recent visit with him (in Phoenix) I think he may have a growing interest in reading the book. So, my family might have preferred that I was a writer like Danielle Steele, but they have accepted that I have used my life story to help others.

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#72812 - 04/02/05 08:34 AM Re: Lynn Tolson, Beyond The Tears: A True Survivor's Story
Sadie Offline
Member

Registered: 10/08/04
Posts: 1274
Loc: MD
Lynn,
Of course you have closed some doors in my life and answered many questions for me . I have read her book and loved her writting and only hope that I can do as well .

Thank you Lynn and glad that you are back on the forum.

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#72813 - 04/01/05 09:44 PM Re: Lynn Tolson, Beyond The Tears: A True Survivor's Story
Princess Lenora Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 3503
Loc: Colorado
In the beginning, I did not set out to write a book about abuse. I did not even intend to include members of my family. I tossed and turned as to whether to use my own name, and whether to write a fictional account. I intended only to write about suicide attempts, addictions, physical/emotional recovery and spiritual transformation. I knew that I had to start at the end (the suicide attempt) and use flash-backs to get to the beginning of my journey of survival. I began by writing vignettes, such as the attempt, or an account of addiction, or a memory of a friend (Christopher.) I also used poems I’d written in high school to evoke my emotional state at that time. It was a surprise that the book evolved into the story about abuse, which were the root causes of suicide and addiction. 1 out of 3 girls and 1 out of 5 boys will be sexually assaulted before the age of 18. Had I omitted the most heinous of crimes I would not have been authentic, and I would have done a disservice to victims and society. Have any of you started a story (or other piece of art work) with one intention only to have it take on a life of its own and evolve into something else entirely?

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#72814 - 04/01/05 10:05 PM Re: Lynn Tolson, Beyond The Tears: A True Survivor's Story
Princess Lenora Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 3503
Loc: Colorado
Hello Nancy, JJ, Dotsie, and others: Thank you for posting your responses to the book. As an artist/author, I have set goals for my work: I hope to evoke emotions, provoke memory, open lines of communication. If a reader benefits, that offers validation that my work may be worthwhile. By the way, I also happen to believe that art can be produced for its own sake, without purpose other than the process.

I might have preferred to be an actress (I have celebrity envy) but I was charged with this mission. I would have preferred to write romance or fantasy because those genres are “safe” in society but I was given the courage to write about controversial social subjects. I thought long and hard about how graphic the accounts should be. With shows like “Law and Order, Special Victims Unit” society may get the message that crimes have to be sensational in order to be heinous. In fact, the opening to L & O SVU is: “In the criminal justice system, sexual based offenses are considered especially heinous.” And every show has a sensationalized version of what story was “ripped from the headlines.” With the advice of my counselor, I decided NOT to minimize abuse and its ramifications, suicide attempts and addiction. Believe me, sometimes I cringe when I meet someone who has read my book. I think, “Oh my gosh, he/she knows THAT about me.” Yet, it was that shame that kept me from telling my story. And if I feel shame, then I am contributing to the shame based stigmas society holds on abuse. So…I swallowed my ego and the result is an actual, factual account of what may happen in real life, right next door, to the family that appears to be the model middle class members of society.

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#72815 - 04/01/05 10:21 PM Re: Lynn Tolson, Beyond The Tears: A True Survivor's Story
Princess Lenora Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/04
Posts: 3503
Loc: Colorado
Thank you all for saying the book is well-written. I was glued to editing guides for grammar for the final draft. The writing process consisted of using vignettes, making lists, stream of consciousness, and not letting go of a topic. For example, if I was writing about my father, I would ask myself “what else?”…what else do I remember, feel, smell, taste, see, hear? I would examine a situation like a forensic scientist. I would stretch my memory to the limits, even when I was afraid to recall. Early on during the course of writing, my mother sent me my childhood photo album. I had it for weeks before I dared look in it. I was afraid of what I might see. Who was this little girl in the pictures? Was that really me? One night, I woke up from a dream. I said to my husband, “The angels Odetta and Michael were here.” He said, “What did they say?” I replied, “They said, ‘We are always with you. Go without fear.’” (I’d never even heard of the name Odetta before that night.) Friends, I can hardly describe how real this experience was. Yet I did not know at the time the reference was to the story I was about to write. I thought the message was more about the property management job I had at the time, which was high stress and low pay. Leave it to the angels to have more depth than to refer to the material plane. In retrospect, I realize that message was in reference to the book I was about to write. The next day, my day off from work, I sat on my bed and looked at the photo album. I saw myself as an innocent, sweet, generous child, and not the addicted adult I was ashamed of. Funny, there was not one picture of my father. Anyway, as far as “well-written” I think it was a matter of divine guidance, and I am humbled to have been an instrument for the messages of the book. That being said, I must add that writing is work that requires discipline and determination.

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