Confessions of a Jew-ish Skeptic has a cover…and is now available for pre-order!
I seriously debated querying this one, only to decide on self-publishing because this book is just too personal. It follows my faith journey picking up from where Prodigal Daughter left off: after seminary, after my father’s death; two events that flipped my world upside down and inside out.
I ask hard questions. I don’t try to answer them. But I’m hoping that my readers – “Jew-ish” or not – will see some of their own story in mine, and feel better about not having everything figured out yet.
I should also mention a trigger warning in chapter 4 of Part One. For the first time ever, I talk about my rape. I don’t think it’s graphic, but it’s frank and honest. So if that’s a sensitive issue for you…well, maybe skip the first few pages.
It’s relevant to the book because it’s why I had no trouble believing that God saw me as worthless and depraved; a “used tampon,” according to one student from Campus Crusade for Christ. I firmly believed that my sins were just as bad as those of my rapist. I believed I deserved nothing good to happen to me, in this life or the next. My understanding of God was so skewed for such a long time, especially because my boyfriend claimed to be such a devout Catholic.
But rather than mentioning the abuse and leaving it at that, as I did in the first Confessions, I expanded on what happened for a couple reasons. I will never be able to tell what happened to a court, so telling the world in a book is the next best thing. Keeping it a secret just didn’t work for me because it tore me apart. It lead to binge drinking and harmful thoughts about myself. It threatened to wreck my other relationships. I also debated for years whether what happened was actually “legitimate rape,” for lack of a better expression. It’s helpful for me to have a definition for it, even if it’s an ugly one.
Putting it out there makes it valid, and as many survivors can affirm, being validated and believed is one of the most empowering things that help with healing.
I’m also better at writing than speaking, especially on a topic as hard as this one. There wouldn’t be many opportunities to talk about it anyway, other than with a therapist, and if I did, I’d likely fall apart in the process.
So writing about it is, as always, the most healing route for me to take.
But that’s confined to one chapter, for anyone concerned that this is going to be a dark book. In some ways it is, but not because of that. A story about the struggle to keep faith in the midst of doubt is a harder story to tell than how I found it. Real life, as we all learn eventually, is rarely easy. But this book, I hope, will be encouraging to those who feel stuck, and worry that their fears will be addressed with the platitude “Just pray about it,” or worse: “You’re not really one of us.”
Skeptic’s tentative release date is May 27th (depends on how the formatting process goes). Pre-order it on Amazon here.