EDH woman overcomes abuse, publishes book

By: Laura Newell, Of the Telegraph
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In a memoir that has been recognized by California Senator Ted Gaines, Shirlee Scribner shares her story of making the transition from child abuse victim to victor.

Scribner, of El Dorado Hills, wrote “Untangle: You Can't Save Others Until You Save Yourself,” a narrative of her childhood through adulthood after witnessing her father kick her mother’s pregnant belly at the age of 10. The incident sent her mother to the emergency room and caused her youngest brother Dallas to suffer severe mental impairment at birth, Scribner said. Scribner and her six siblings were then sent into foster care until they were reunited with their mother who had remarried.

Scribner said her mother, once the victim of their father’s alcohol-fueled rages, then terrorized Dallas, regularly beating him, refusing to send him to school and isolating him from the rest of the family.

Scribner, already an adult by then, was struggling to make a stable life for herself out of the chaos of her childhood. Scribner later earned her college degree, embarked on a successful career and found strength and support with her husband Blake.

When Dallas was in his 30s, he finally talked to Scribner about the brutality he had endured his entire life. Scribner then worked to adopt her brother and become his legal guardian.

“The book is really a journey of saving myself and a quest to save my special needs brother who could not save himself,” Scribner said. “I think the book inspires courage, hope and strength to other people who are going through difficult situations. It also speaks that we are not alone in our struggle and that we can triumph over the negative parts of our lives. I think in overcoming adversity, I always tried to better myself and didn’t want to be a part of tragedy.”

Scribner has been married to Blake for 26 years and she has one son and two grandchildren. The couple also adopted a young girl to help provide her with a better life outside of foster care.

“I hope this is an uplifting book for people,” she said. “I realized I couldn’t help Dallas until I saved myself. Today he is doing very well and living in Sacramento.”

Scribner said April is National Children’s Awareness Month and she is available to speak to local groups and organizations working to bring awareness to abuse of any kind.

“The biggest message I can tell people who witness or see abuse happening is when you see something, do something,” Scribner said.

To learn more about Scribner’s story or schedule her to speak at an upcoming event, call (925) 457-7679 or (925) 209-1490.

For more information on “Untangle: You Can’t Save Others Until You Save Yourself,” visit