In her debut memoir, CONTROLLED, Neesha Arter shares the year of her life that followed a harrowing crime. When she was fourteen years old, she was sexually assaulted by people she had no reason to mistrust. She tried, subsequently, to reconcile feelings of guilt and shame by searching for a means of control. In a whirlwind of legal proceedings, family conflicts, and loss of identity, Arter succumbed to anorexia as the only way to find her childhood self in an unraveling world. Ten years later, she is able to look back with healing insight about the importance of speaking uncomfortable truths.

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Reviews

 
"Neesha Arter writes--in poignant detail--how an obsession with achieving bodily perfection was a damaging way that she dealt with trauma."

In her harrowing new memoir, Controlled, 24-year-old author and journalist Neesha Arter writes--in poignant detail--how an obsession with achieving bodily perfection was a damaging way that she dealt with trauma at 14. Simmering in blame and confusion after she was raped by two former friends, Arter attempted to push away the horrific experience by focusing on losing weight and tried to disappear completely through anorexia. What ensued speaks volumes about our contemporary image-obsessed culture, one that also wallows in silence and shame.

— Newsweek

"Her first memoir is rife with suffering and bursting at the seams with hope. I felt it in my bones--and still do."

"With hauntingly vivid detail, Neesha Arter's Controlled brings the trauma of surviving sexual assault to life. In the midst of profound pain, she finds indefatigable courage--a force so palpable it stays with you long after the final page. Fearlessly intimate and strikingly honest, it's a gripping tale not simply of survival, but the refusal to be silenced. Her first memoir is rife with suffering and bursting at the seams with hope. I felt it in my bones--and still do."

—The Daily Beast

"This book is not just for survivors of sexual assault. It's for everyone: parents, teachers, friends, and family."

“This book is not just for survivors of sexual assault. It's for everyone: parents, teachers, friends, and family. This is a story meant for all eyes and ears, solely intended to help and heal. . . . Arter aspires to answer the ever-looming 'what happens next?' that follows the debasement that is sexual assault. Arter breaks the mold of heartbreak and offers solace in a survivor's story. She speaks to each and every reader on a personal level and gives us a story we have long needed -- a story of inner-strength, courage, and hope.”

— Huffington Post