Abuse. Assault. Abandonment. Addiction. These are the histories of the young women in the inspiring book Butterfly Tears.
Some found themselves in gangs. Others in prison. Some remained trapped in the confines of an abusive family or a painful addiction. Society had given up on many of them.
But they hadn’t given up on themselves. These women were ready to take a different path. And Pathways to Independence was there to guide them.
Therapy. Mentorship. Education. Support. These are the bywords of this ground-breaking organization founded and led by Dave Bishop—a man who first had to conquer his own internal demons.
The butterfly symbology is derived from the famous parable The Story of the Butterfly about utilizing life’s struggles to emerge a stronger person. Butterfly Tears chronicles the stories of nine young women who faced that struggle head-on and, with the help of Pathways, emerged victorious.
These women’s incredible journeys from darkness into light will elicit both tears of sorrow and tears of joy.
Pathways’ motto is to focus on what’s right in the world: Caring people. Pathways’ all-volunteer network of therapists, doctors, mentors, and even mechanics provides the support these girls have never experienced—and allows them to flourish.
Hope. Freedom. Success. Independence. These are the gifts of Pathways.
And there is more...Here is an interview with Co-Editors Will Drouin and Jennifer Thomas
Jennifer, to create the book, you interviewed many the girls personally. How emotional was that?
A lot of tears were shed in the creation of this book. It was such an honor to meet with these women, and as their stories flowed, so did the waterworks. Actually, I think I got more upset than they did at times. Because they have lived their stories and they have done a lot of emotional healing through the Pathways program. An amazing amount. For them to even be able to talk about some of the horrors they suffered was astounding. And for me to learn of what occurred was devastating. Sometimes almost incomprehensible.
Editing the book was intense as well. I could only work on the stories for a certain period of time each day before the emotions became overwhelming. I cried a lot during that part too.
Did the book achieve its goals?
Jennifer: I like to think so! We are spreading awareness of Pathways. But more than that, so many women have told me how comforting it's been to read the stories and realize that they are not alone in their own trauma they have suffered. And how inspiring it was to learn that healing is possible. For me, the ultimate goal is to help and heal as many women as possible, both in and out of Pathways.
Wil: I am so, so proud of the book. I’m a perfectionist and I feel it came out as perfect as it can me. And personally, my own mission was accomplished. I wanted to make a last difference, and I feel this book’s impact has put me on my way to fulfilling my legacy.