Sallie Field’s New Book Reminds Survivors of Sexual Abuse, You Are Not Alone

November 2, 2018

Alexandra, Blog, Eating Disorders


Sallie Field’s new book Pieces came out a few weeks ago. I’ll admit until recently I didn’t know much about Sallie Field fan. Yet I was super impressed by her in recent book interviews. What impressed me was how real her story was and how brave she was in sharing it. I know that so many women can relate to her struggles. She describes being sexually abused by her step-father, struggling with low-self confidence and sexism. If you’re a woman who has been a victim of abuse or if you’re looking for an inspiring read check this book out! Sadly, Sallie’s experience of sexual abuse is something so many women can relate to. Throughout her book she describes;


-She was sexually abused by her step-father

   Unfortunately, the #metoo movement has shown the world what women have known for years. That so many of us have been sexually abused, assaulted or harassed. Sallie Field describes being sexually abused by her step-father while also being encouraged by her mother to have a relationship with him. This is sadly something that so many women can relate to. For Sallie her sexual abuse shaped many of her life choices (getting married to her first boyfriend to escape her family) and how this abuse shaped her throughout the rest of her life including;


-She lost her self-confidence following her abuse It’s normal to lose your sense of who you are and self-confidence following being abused. This feeling can last for years and greatly impact your life. You may feel like you don’t have any value. You may engage in dangerous behaviors or think you’re not worth protecting. If you feel this way, please know you are valuable and worth protecting. Being abused does not make you a throw-away person. Part of your healing includes learning to protect yourself again and remembering you are worth protecting.


-She struggled with being out of body (dissociating)

This is what therapists call dissociation. When someone has been abused (physically, sexually or emotionally) a person often goes out of body while being abused. This is your brains way of helping you survive the abuse you experienced. Unfortunately, if you’ve been abused your brain may continue to dissociate (make you feel out of body) when things remind you of the abuse. This is because things that remind you of your abuse (triggers) make your brain think you’re in danger or are going to be abused again. Part of healing through abuse is learning how to stay in your body and stay grounded. Your dissociation is a normal response to abuse. But you can heal through this and learn how to stay grounded and present in your life.


-She got stuck in a relationship with a controlling man (Burt Reynolds)

Sallie describes years after her sexual abuse getting stuck in a cycle of emotional abuse and control with actor Burt Reynolds. Unfortunately, this is normal for so many women who have experienced sexual abuse. Sallie may have chosen a man that was controlling because being sexually abused trained her to think she wasn’t worth much as a person. Or she may have felt that her “people picker” was off. Being abused can impact your self-confidence as well as how you see the world. You may not feel that you deserve a loving, safe partner. You may expect people to abuse you or say unkind things to you. You may not believe there are safe people in the world. If you struggle with these thoughts


-She was able to heal through her abuse and get her self-confidence back and you can too! Everyone’s path to healing is different. Some people benefit from formal therapies such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. Other people benefit from activities that help them get back into their bodies such as yoga. Still others might find relief from their spiritual beliefs. It is possible to feel safe again and develop safe, loving relationships.  Whatever your path to healing is you, just like Sallie can heal and get your confidence back.

by Alex House