Before the World Intruded:
Conquering the Past and
Creating the Future, A Memoir
By Michele Rosenthal
Your Life After Trauma, LLC
09 April 2012
Okay, I’m going to admit right now that the primary reason I bought this book was because I wanted the free gifts, as indicated on the Amazon.com sales page: “To receive over $1,900 in free trauma recovery support resources, take your Amazon sales receipt number and visit: Project Give Back“. (More on the free gifts in a minute.) Michele Rosenthal founded Your Life After Trauma, and Before the World Intruded is her memoir detailing almost 25 years of undiagnosed, untreated PTSD. I purchased the memoir in order to obtain the freebies, when I received the book, I read it all the way through in just over a week. It’s not a long or difficult read: 229 pages in an extremely readable and conversational tone.
Even though it was interesting to take a look into someone else’s recovery process, I could barely relate to her circumstances: Rosenthal had a life-threatening allergic reaction, spent weeks and weeks in a hospital in a bed specially made for burn victims, and nearly died before recovering (physically, at least) and moving on with her life. I could, however, relate in more ways than one to the consequences she experienced: she never talked about her trauma, and she fell into depression and anxiety multiple times before finding her passion(s) and giving the idea of truly healing a decent chance.
I was… somewhat disappointed (I guess? not sure if that’s the right way to say it, but…) that at the end of the story, she enlisted the help of a hypnotist… and everything just got better. I think the mind works in mysterious ways and if she says that hypnotism worked for her, it worked for her. But… well, I’m skeptical. I’m kind of looking for something that I can apply to my own life, I suppose, in reading about other authors’ experiences, and hypnotism just isn’t… it.
Now, about the free gifts
All the “gifts” are available virtually, so there’s no cost to anyone for shipping and handling, etc. Said gifts include a subscription to Aspire Magazine, the 21-day Create & Sustain Success Course, the 10 Days to Embrace Your Inner Rebel and Create a Life You Love! video series, the How to Survive a Mental Highjacking video series, relaxation music/sound files, information about grounding, and so on and so forth. (I have not included here any links that a person with a bit of smarts couldn’t find for themselves, and I have not included anything that was uploaded directly to the Your Life After Trauma website. If you would like to obtain all of these free offerings, I suggest buying the book for yourself.)
Unfortunately, I’m not sure the “free” gifts were really worth buying the book, but luckily, the memoir’s story was worth the cost on it’s own. The gifts feel to me a bit like a used car salesman trying to up the ante when he doesn’t actually need to—it’s a well-written, interesting story and I would recommend it (aside from the stuff about hypnosis; ugh) to anyone who finds real-life drama intriguing. That said, the freebies are free, so even if you don’t do anything with them afterwards, it’s not like you’re losing money over it. And if you do find something helpful/useful, then more power to you.