What if you found out your perfect childhood wasn’t so perfect? What if parts were so terrible you couldn't even remember... until now? Marcia Thompson has always had happy memories of growing up an Air Force brat in the Philippines. Sure, her father could be controlling, but she loved living on base and exploring the jungles with her siblings. Today, she and her husband, Tony, have worked hard to give their children an equally content military childhood in Hawaii. But when their adopted son and daughter are abruptly taken away, the trauma leaves Marcia emotionally shattered and awakens memories of sexual abuse that leave her questioning whether her “happy” childhood was ever happy at all. As the recovered memories threaten to destroy the relationships she’s built with her husband, her children, her worried friends, and her doubting family members, Marcia must begin a journey of faith to uncover the truth and reconnect with the frightened child who repressed what happened to her. Written with compassion and a full spirit, I Met Her Before is a novel that stresses the importance of love when it comes to healing from past trauma, whether that means asking for help from those who care for us or learning to better love one’s self.
Readers will be absorbed by Marcia’s fight to heal as she slowly begins to spiral out of control, having emotional breakdowns and outbursts that threaten her stability. Her military service further hampers her recovery, as the family receives nearly constant transfer orders—and suffers from racism because they are Black. When they move to Colorado Springs, Marcia reluctantly starts therapy, allowing her the safety and security to work through her nightmares and begin freeing herself from her traumatic past, but the possibility of another relocation and the resistance of other family members to acknowledging her abuse leave her on the brink of devastation.
Moyer addresses many difficult topics, and while sexual assault as a child by a family member is the primary focus, issues of racism also are prevalent throughout. In skillful storytelling, Moyer illuminates the struggle that many abuse victims undergo when trying to find validation from family members—a struggle that both empowers Marcia and frustrates her recovery. Moyer’s writing illuminates the urgency of accepting help and highlights Marcia’s reliance on her faith, steps that eventually allow her to heal and lead a fulfilling life. Readers should be aware of several triggers, including traumatic and potentially uncomfortable scenes that may be difficult to read.
Takeaway: An arresting novel of a life spiraling out of control when a traumatic event triggers painful memories.
Great for fans of: Roxane Gay’s An Untamed State, Lidia Yuknavitch’s The Small Backs of Children.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A
There was a moment I was reading when the title of the book, I MET HER BEFORE, suddenly made COMPLETE sense to me. What an AH-HA moment for me. As someone who has experienced abuse, I appreciated that Chandra's journey was tastefully shared and I began to reflect on that moment in my own life when the little girl in me was prompted to healing the adult me. In a sense I felt protected from being "triggered" myself as I read her work. I was captivated by her story from the jump and could not put the book down. I literally inhaled it in two days. My spirit was captivated by her authenticity, strength and courage and it brought me much hope as I read along the pages as I know it will for many readers. We don't have to be stuck in shame of our past. We can indeed live a happy life by the grace of God. But we must be willing to look internally and dig up the junk to get free and sometimes it requires setting some boundaries with relationships people don't always like or understand. So much courage displayed in her journey of taking control back of her life and not living in auto pilot. I also love the way she communicates the presence of God woven throughout her journey. I could go on and on! This is a must read!
I’ve Met Her Before” is a moving story that takes the reader on a journey of resilience, vulnerability, and discovery. Having worked numerous years in programs that support survivors of sexual assault, the author captures what most people do not understand: there is no “right” way to live through the trauma of such a personal crime. Marcia’s inability to remember details of her childhood, and the abuse inflicted upon her, is very much depicting of the science behind the neurobiology of trauma, which most people (law enforcement included) do not understand. It is also why so many victims are not believed or have a desire to share their personal stories of pain and survival. Throughout this story, Marcia shows incredible strength and conviction in her battles to deal with repressed memories as well as self-discovery of who she really wants to be, even if this means choosing to let go of relationships in order to move forward in her recovery. “I’ve Met Her Before” is a remarkable window into a world in which the power of faith can be the ultimate healer. Just like there is no one “right” way to live the trauma of a crime, there is also no one “right” way to heal.
Chandra Moyer’s new book, "I Met Her Before,” will bring you to tears, shock you with her honest portrayals, and finally make you exhale as her grace-filled ending brings the story to redemption and resolution. Her storytelling is thoroughly engaging, despite the gut-wrenching accounts of abuse perpetrated on “Cia” (Marcia – pronounced Mar-see-a, we are told straightaway), beginning as early as a toddler and continuing through her teen years; trauma her psyche had buried. It is the havoc it wreaks on her marriage and parenting that brings her to her knees. It is her faith, that saves her and her family. If you or anyone you know has experienced sexual trauma, this story will let you know that you are not alone and give you hope.
Chandra's books is fictional but is actually her story--- it's written with honesty and compassion. It's a story that allows readers to know what it's like to be sexually abused and to have the horrific memories of the abuse surface as a adult, wife, and mom. Her story is proof that you can live a meaningful life after abuse. Her story is one of resilience and grace. She's proof that although she survived the unimaginable, she was able to love her husband, children, create a support system, reach professional and personal goals, advocate for others, and so much more. So many people who survived sex trafficking, childhood sexual abuse, Social Services employees, child advocates, educators, those in ministry, military, and healthcare could benefit from this story---- I highly recommend reading this one.
Fantastic story...the character development is some of the best this avid reader has ever encountered. I HIGHLY recommend checking this one out--especially if you are experiencing your own trauma that you are trying to work through. Very encouraging and thought provoking.
A Suffolk author is sharing her story in hopes of helping others on their healing journey.
Chandra Moyer’s new novel “I Met Her Before” shares the story of a woman who faced sexual abuse as a child. The main character, Marcia, was abused, but as an adult, she suppressed the trauma until a life event occurs that brings it all back to the surface.
As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of a family member, Moyer wants her story to be a resource she never had while healing.
“I wrote this because when I had my own healing journey, I didn’t have resources,” she said. “I hope this book can serve as a resource.”
She is now a speaker, author, life coach and veteran Army officer. But, most importantly, Moyer is a wife, mother and grandmother living in freedom from her past trauma.
According to Moyer, trauma can shatter the survivor and their soul, leaving the memories to come back in pieces making the healing a lengthy process. After her healing journey, Moyer hopes to help others with their own journeys.
“Healing is work, but the fruits and rewards are greater,” said Moyer. “It is worth it.”
Through her journey, she told her family members about what had happened to her years ago. She said her family sided with her abuser, denying her story and making her question her experiences. Then, Moyer had a chance to speak at a college and found strength in her voice. Ever since, she has told others about her experiences in hopes they will know they are not alone and that there is healing through God’s love.
The book was published in April, and Moyer has received positive feedback. Many women have seen themselves in the story and know that there is hope and healing for them. According to Moyer, it has made her journey worth it if it can help others.
This issue is close to Moyer’s heart because she is not only a survivor, but she also has done work against sex trafficking and is a recipient of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for her child trafficking prevention work.
“I’ve Met Her Before” is available on Amazon.
Chandra Moyer was raised in a military family. The daughter of a career Air Force father, she moved with her family to various stations throughout her childhood from the 1950s to the 1970s. After college Army ROTC, she became a commissioned Army second lieutenant in 1978.Moyer met her husband, a fellow Army officer, while serving. But challenges in getting stationed with or near her husband led her to leave her uniformed career behind to raise a family, still part of the military community.The couple had two children but decided they wanted to grow their family and began by fostering two young children they intended to adopt. A few months into that process, in 1990, Moyer noticed what she later learned might be signs of abuse in one of the children.The young parents sought therapy for the child but met stiff resistance from foster care officials. Eventually both children were taken back into the foster care system.That experience opened up painful, long-buried memories of her own childhood and led her on a path that resulted in years of nonprofit work, graduate school research and, most recently, publishing a very personal novel that tells both her story and those of the children she lost.She told her husband and others she thought something horrible had happened to her as a child but she simply couldn’t remember.What emerged over the ensuing years, through terrifying flashbacks and pieces of conversations with relatives, revealed that she had been sexually abused for years by a family member.Decades later, after journaling about her pain and ongoing recovery, she turned to fiction, writing the recently published novel, “I Met Her Before.”The book is a fictionalized account that mirrors some of Moyer’s experiences both as a survivor of childhood sexual trauma and a foster parent who suspected the same abuse had happened to her young foster child. Click on link below to read more.