My heart is on fire. For the first time in my life I am awake and the desires I've pushed down are smoldering. The shadows of my youth are daring me to step away from them, and new visions are circling through my head that include having intimacy in a way I never dreamed of. My name is Nicky Young and this is my coming of age story and family saga. I have begun to understand if I want to live differently than my parents-an alcoholic father and co-dependent mother-I need to love, forgive, trust and live with an open heart. As I look in the mirror, I am seeing a new woman emerging-one I'm not sure of and trying hard to discover. Through family dysfunction and by the lack of affection in my household I learned not to get too close. Rage and violence lurked when we became vulnerable and the way I learned to protect myself was to build high and thick walls of defense around my heart. I dream about having a full, open, and intimate relationship. I want a real adult romance with every beat of my heart. But I can't trust anyone enough-especially myself. That was until I met Ryan Tilton, a very sexy professional baseball player who lost his father at only fourteen. In many ways we seem to be ancient spirits. He promises to hold me in his arms like I've never been held, and is offering me a chance to step out of fear and experience what is like to ask for what I want without being afraid. I feel my heart opening. I feel . . . joy. This is my battle: I'm fighting to break generational chains of dysfunction and addiction; to understand and forgive the choices of my parents; to love and trust myself, so that I can love and trust another. This story is about transitioning into joy. I invite you to follow me on my journey and the struggle I'm desperate to overcome.
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