Capri C. Cruz, the author of this heart-wrenching self-help book, is on a mission: to let those who have gone through the perils of the foster care system, or any childhood trauma, know this: no matter how excruciating the past, it is never too late to create a positive present.
As an expert in the psychology of emotional healing, Cruz is no Pollyanna. Throughout From Foster Care to Fabulous, tales of her own trial-by-fire childhood are harrowing. On the flip side, her astonishing ability to forgive her abusers tames despair and allows her to move on. She’s learned much along the way and shares it with enthusiasm and compassion.
At first glance, some of the techniques Cruz offers may seem hackneyed. For example, she implores readers to “Love Yourself!” But Cruz isn’t flippant; she’s authentic. From experience, the author knows all about self-doubt and acknowledges the mocking voice: “People don’t like me. I am a failure. My parents don’t love me.” What makes this book valuable is that Cruz moves on to offer step-by-step strategies to “retrain the brain,” including exchanging negative thoughts for positive ones, speaking affirmations aloud (“I am strong!”; “I am powerful!”; “I am kind!”), giving oneself permission to be grateful, and rewarding oneself with small gifts (“feel free to buy yourself a rose”). These are accepted strategies by much of the mental health community.
Cruz’s book would have benefited by limiting some declarative do’s and don’ts. In Appendix A, for example, there’s a list of more than 40, ranging from “Live below your means” to “Laugh!” Fewer exclamation points might also have given more gravitas in the places where that would have been appropriate. But these are small points. The generous spirit and practical strategies offered by Cruz can lead readers out of the darkness and into the light. And that, after all, really is fabulous!
Also available in hardcover and ebook.