I am so excited to announce the debut of my first solo book, Behind The Masked Smile: A Survivor’s Quest for Love is now available!
Introducing Behind the Masked Smile: A Survivor’s Quest for Love, my first solo book, a poetic memoir.
From Trauma to Triumph
In her poetic memoir, Behind the Masked Smile, author Isabella Rose takes off her mask of smiles to reveal the innermost world of a survivor of trauma and abuse. Breaking silence, she invites the reader into the real world behind the mask of happiness into the raw, painful moments of her past that led her to a transformational healing journey of love, hope, faith, and freedom. In this collection of autobiographical essays, original artwork, and 184 short poems (written over a 30-year span, beginning when she was only 14 years old), she shares a life story that is moving, oftentimes harrowing, and ultimately inspiring.
Growing up in the “perfect” dysfunctional alcoholic family made Isabella’s world a scary and unsafe place from the start. She was told at a young age to silence her voice about what went on in the family home while trying so hard to gain the love, acceptance, and approval she needed. Raped at fourteen, she began a battle with depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Always appearing happy and bubbly, she hid well the pain and torment she suffered. As Isabella grew older, she followed in the footsteps of her mother along the path of trauma and abuse laid out by generations of ancestors before her. In this book, she shares the confusion, betrayal, abandonment, being in love with a substance user, and becoming one herself in her search for love and acceptance.
For years, her journey seemed to be leading to a dark place, until one day, she knew something had to change. Praying for the courage and strength she needed to take back her power, she learned to love herself and rise above the trauma she had experienced. Yet it was the trauma, abuse, and addiction she battled alone in silence that ultimately led her to a triumph of faith, love, healing, and a life of freedom—a life she loves, a life where she is making her dreams come true.
She began writing this book in 1991 when she was fourteen years old, a victim of rape growing up in the “perfect” dysfunctional alcoholic family. wore a mask of happiness and smiles to hide the mental and emotional pain, torture, anguish, and suffering she was going through inside—in silence.
Feeling so alone, she turned to writing poetry and journaling in composition books to express her feelings onto paper as she was not able to verbally express them to anyone without negative consequences.
As a teenager, each time Isabella turned to writing, she would think I hope to publish these poems someday so others will know that they are not alone. She has kept these poems all these years in a binder and has not shared them with anyone—until now… 30 years later.
- Part I. Teenage Trauma
- Part II. Continuing the Cycle
- Part III. One Step Forward, One Step Back
- Part IV. True Love, Twin Flames
- Conclusion: Coming Home to Me
- Outreach Resources
- About Isabella Rose
- Also by Isabella Rose
Being a survivor of child abuse and domestic violence, it is important for Isabella to help other survivors heal and thrive. 5% of all profits from the sales of this book will go to support Janie’s Fund. Isabella has chosen to donate to Janie’s Fund because donations go directly to supporting young survivors to help them overcome and heal the trauma and pain of abuse. To learn more about Janie’s Fundand how your donation from the purchase of this book will help a survivor of abuse and trauma please visit https://janiesfund.org/the-mission
What Others Are Saying
A riveting true-life tale of moving through intense darkness into the light. Isabella shows the raw, exposed wounds left by abuse through her poetry and writings, and gorgeously shows the way toward wellness. The story begins with the pain of childhood leading to death wishes for herself and moves toward Isabella beginning to open up to the possibility of a different life. With the poem “Who Is She?” Isabella simultaneously highlights her lost self and expresses openness to discovering who she really is. Perhaps my favorite line in the whole book is not part of a poem, though her poems reflect the essence of it: “Victory came when I stopped looking outside of myself and found love, acceptance, and approval of myself.” I don’t know a better resolution to a hero’s journey than that.
In Behind the Masked Smile, Isabella takes us through her raw, intimate, and profound inner-journey of how she processed painful traumatic events in her life. Oftentimes, when we see people who have been through extensive trauma go about their daily lives, we forget that what we see on the outside doesn’t necessarily convey the deep hurt they are experiencing. Isabella gives us the rare opportunity to take a peek behind the mask into the heart and mind of a woman who has lived through rape, physical abuse, and profound loss and injury. She moves and inspires us by using her gifts to rise above it all through her life’s work as a writer, poet, and intuitive healer. Isabella had the courage to drop her mask so that others who may be going through difficult times know they are not alone in their pain. She also reminds readers to look beyond the surface and have compassion for people who have had to live through deeply painful internal experiences. I highly recommend Isabella’s book to anyone who wants to better understand the effects of trauma on a personal level and to be inspired by Isabella’s story and how she transformed from victim to victor.
Behind the Masked Smile is more than a book; it is a multifaceted journey that starts and ends with intense emotion. It begins with power: power that is taken away, power that is given away. It ends with power: reclamation of personal power and the exploration of inner strength in the face of heart-wrenching loss. Isabella Rose shares her experiences through her powerful poetry, to the point that one could step inside her emotions and empathize with each word. It is a work of art, much like the author herself.
Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. I recommend this book to individuals and friends and families affected by abuse, addiction, and other trauma. It contains heartbreaking poetry that many survivors of sexual assault can relate to, as well as moving accounts of the author’s addiction, her attempts to escape a lifetime of abuse, her desperate need to be loved even as old cycles repeat themselves, and ultimately, her discovery of true love in herself, in a higher power, and in a healthy relationship. This collection of personal essays and poetry following the incredible transitional life of the author is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and offers hope where there seems to be none
In “Behind the Masked Smile”, Isabella shares with heartfelt authenticity the emotional, physical, and sexual trauma of her young life–the ongoing challenges of finding real love, overcoming substance abuse, and ultimately, discovering the power of self-love. She includes an intimate collection of poems from her early teen years and beyond, in an expression of the turmoil that surrounded her. The challenges described are familiar to many people yet may be difficult to acknowledge and ask for help. Isabella is a gifted healer of several modalities, and her book is truly an inspiration. I love her joyful heart, powerful spirit, and her message that we are never alone!