Giovi Castagna hesitated to commit her story?one of abuse, strength, and recovery?to paper for many years. In order to do so, she would ultimately need to call upon the same strength and courage it took to survive her childhood. She writes neither to achieve a form of catharsis nor to elicit pity. Her intention is to help anyone who was abused or who might fear becoming an abuser. The personal strength described in My Little Suitcase might lead you to conclude that Giovi escaped her childhood experiences unscathed, but this is far from the truth. For many years, she thought it a virtue to ignore her childhood sufferings when pain knocked at her door. The strength people saw in her was necessary for her survival. She did not come face-to-face with her own pain until she had a family and children of her own. The insights she has gained from that revelation and from her experiences will encourage abused and abusers alike to face their own pain, to find sources of strength, and to begin the healing process.
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