Being Mean, A Memoir of Sexual Abuse and Survival

A survivor’s wisdom emerges to prevail over childhood sexual trauma

"A deftly written work of commendable honesty, exceptional candor, and impressive personal courage, with a riveting and relevant message for today." Midwest Book Review

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In her daring story of soul retrieval, Eagle reveals the heartbreak and destruction of sexual abuse, from age four to thirteen, by her father. Being Mean––a testament to the power of the human spirit to heal itself and help others through the act of truth-telling––is about blocking sexual abuse memories, having them surface, then learning how to acknowledge and live with incomprehensible experiences in the healthiest ways possible. A story told with bold honesty, wit and a generous heart.


THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY

"I wrote this book primarily to free my voice, to quit hiding. The weight of secrets, silence and shame felt like an anchor. The shush of shutting up and shutting down was gagging me. Silence is complicity: we can’t change what we refuse to talk about or learn about or listen to. Finding my voice and speaking my truth are giving me my life and hopefully contributing toward changing the pervasive and destructive patterns of child sex abuse." – Patricia Eagle


When I first began speaking of my sexual abuse, I looked for just one woman who had relived her experiences and her feelings and who had survived and thrived. I became that woman whom I was looking for, and Patricia Eagle can now count as another.Marilyn Van Derbur author, Miss America By Day
Patricia Eagle’s extraordinary memoir, Being Mean, is a testament to the power of the human spirit to prevail over childhood sexual trauma, heal itself in the act of truth-telling, and emerge from the depths of confusion with survivor’s wisdom and an open, generous heart. Eagle’s humor, candor, and determination to bring compassionate understanding to the darkest of crimes separates this book from the majority of abuse memoirs; so does her spirited refusal to sacrifice sexual freedom and pleasure to the fire of childhood incest. Daring, beautifully written, and filled with unforgettable moments, Being Mean is one brave woman’s story of soul retrieval and finding her way through the mysteries of love. It deserves a place on your bookshelf next to Kathryn Harrison’s The Kiss, Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, and Bass-Davis’s The Courage to Heal. I could not recommend it more highly.Mark Matousek, author of The Boy He Left Behind and When You’re Falling, Dive
This is a deep, fearless, hopeful dive. Patricia maintains a level of honesty at all times. Her stories are tender, accurate, and positive, with pages of lovely writing. The timing of this book is exquisite.Kate Munger, Founder of Threshold Choir
Not since Alice Sebold’s Lucky have I read a memoir that leans into the soul-shattering experience of early sexual trauma with such courage and intelligence. Patricia Eagle elevates the difficulty of her subject matter through her clear prose and a cohesive narrative that weaves recurring themes of betrayal, devotion, the secrets that keep us, and the redemptive wisdom of love. I wept real tears at the complexity and beauty of the healing. This book will rinse you clean.Kathleen Adams, LPC, author of Journal to the Self and Expressive Writing: Foundations of Practice, and founder/director of Center for Journal Therapy Inc., Denver, CO