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When She Was Bad

When She Was Bad by Arabella Joseph
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In 1999, at the age of twenty-two, Arabella Joseph suddenly found herself in a psychiatric hospital. She remembered being driven there from the police station by her mother. She also remembered the police telling her the things she had done over the last month. That she had made hoax phone calls pleading for help, speaking with the voice of a child. But for Arabella the past month was filled with deep dark holes in her memory.

In hospital the truth is confronted, that an incident with a male colleague had precipitated a dramatic reminder of her past - a reminder of herself as an eleven-year-old girl who was sexually abused by her uncle. A girl who thought that she must be bad because bad things kept happening to her. Who tried to be good by studying hard and getting good grades, who tried to look good and so shunned food. Who struggled with relationships with family and friends and men. And whose fledging career in law was now threatened by criminal charges. Forced to fight to reclaim her future, Arabella found the way to let free the eleven-year-old girl trapped inside.

When She Was Bad is a heart-wrenching journey of discovery as Arabella Joseph revisits her childhood with unflinching candour. Told under a pseudonym to protect those involved, this beautifully written memoir of triumph and hope will move readers from the first page to the last.

Allen & Unwin; June 2009
208 pages; ISBN 9781742660493
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Title: When She Was Bad
Author: Arabella Joseph
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