Trauma, Shame, and the Power of Love

The Fall and Rise of a Physician Who Heals Himself

Non-Fiction - Memoir
266 Pages
Reviewed on 10/14/2015
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Author Biography

CHRISTOPHER E. PELLOSKI earned his medical degree from the Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago in 2001. He was accepted into the Radiation Oncology Residency Training Program and eventually joined the faculty at the University of Texas – MD Anderson Cancer Center, in Houston, one of the top cancer centers in the world. After his recruitment to the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2010, he ran a full clinical practice, supervised his own basic-science research laboratory, and served as his department’s Residency Program Director and as the Director of Pediatric Radiation Oncology.

Pelloski is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and subsequently suffered throughout most of his life with undiagnosed and untreated Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, with Dissociative Features.

In the summer of 2013, his personal, public, and professional life came to a painful reckoning.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite

Trauma, Shame, and the Power of Love: The Fall and Rise of a Physician Who Heals Himself by Christopher E Pelloski, MD is a powerful story of a man who overcame all the odds. Dr. Pelloski was a leading oncologist, treating children for ravaging diseases. But he has a secret, something he has never fully told anyone before. That secret comes to light while he is away at a conference. Dr Pelloski has been viewing child pornography on the internet and now he’s been found out. Is he a pedophile or is there a deeper reason? This book is Dr Christopher Pelloski’s story of the sexual abuse that he suffered as a child. It is his story of how that abuse spilled over into his daily life, of the legal battle he endured, and of the lessons that he learned so harshly from it all. It is his story, a story that will blast apart any preconceived notions you may have before you open this book.

Trauma, Shame, and the Power of Love: The Fall and Rise of a Physician Who Heals Himself by Christopher E Pelloski, MD was one of those “wow” books. This really is one of the most powerful books I have ever read; it is raw and it is harsh but it is real life and that never runs smoothly. Dr Pelloski has written a very open, honest and deeply revealing book, a book he didn’t have to write. We read stories all the time about this person or that one who has been arrested for looking at child pornography and we all automatically act as judge and jury. We never ask ourselves, “why?”

This book shows that nothing is ever as cut and dried as it may seem from the start, that sometimes there just may be a deeper reason why something has happened. This is a story that is written from the heart. It was easy to read in terms of flow and the way it was written, just a difficult subject to get to grips with. Dr. Pelloski has clearly taken a great deal of time and much effort to write his story; it must have been gut wrenching to relive it all again on paper. I take my hat off to Dr Pelloski for baring his soul and I wish him well on his road to rebuilding his life.

Mamta Madhavan

Trauma, Shame, and the Power of Love: The Fall and Rise of a Physician Who Heals Himself by Christopher E Pelloski MD is a thought provoking memoir which exposes the fall of a successful doctor after being caught for viewing taboo pictures online. The insights into the world of a sex offender raises a lot of questions on how to deal with child pornography and internet offences. The author speaks about the trauma that can be caused by physical and sexual abuse and also shares with readers the demons that he battled in his life, brought on by childhood sexual abuse. It's a touching story of a man's struggle to come to terms with his past and his fall from grace after his damaging behavior.

The book reveals the complex mind of an individual traumatized by his childhood sexual abuse, and how he comes across child pornography pictures while searching files on the internet. I admire the author for baring his soul to the world as it takes a lot of courage to come out in the open with something like this. The pain and the humiliation felt by the author is palpable throughout the book. The author's story will both depress and infuriate readers, but it is also a story of healing and redemption. It is a difficult write for a person who has undergone so much pain, humiliation and disgrace, but the author's opening up to the world is more like a catharsis to his wounded soul.