Radford social work student publishes personal journey of abuse and recovery
A long road led Autumn Alexander from Detroit to Radford University where she is learning to help others survive, or avoid, ordeals she knows all too well.
The sophomore social work student has published a book, under the pen name Autumn Rose, detailing a painful journey, titled “My Search for Good Enough.” It was released by Outskirts Press on Dec. 31, 2015, and is available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million.
“It is an intensely personal look at the inside of an abusive relationship,” said Alexander. “I look hard at my motivations for the choices I made and how my childhood affected those choices.”
Alexander, a single mother of three, got a boost in confidence from the challenging experience of talking about her experiences as a participant in the McConnell Library’s inaugural Living Books event in 2014 at which real people shared their unique perspective, experiences and life stories. She has found additional inspiration as a Radford student.
“The social work faculty has been encouraging. They have empowered me to pursue my education and passion to give people hope,” Alexander said. “I am finding how my skill sets can best be used in my career path. My instructors have been very beneficial in helpeing me to refine my abilities to communicate, write and educate."
Unlike many undergraduates, she is a published author before having earned a degree.
“The writing process was therapeutic as I realized when the book was done that I could forgive and move on,” she said. “After my family read the book, we were able to grow closer together and they responded to me more compassionately.”
The writer of journals, poetry and short stories since childhood who thought “nothing happens to me,” was able to convert a grim experience into a final product.
“I am very proud of the book. I pushed myself to do it and it is very important to me in so many ways,” Alexander said.