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There comes a point when a victim of tragic events must vanquish the memories and regrets of never being strong enough to defend against every assailant. Confronting depression and nightmares is never a level battlefield; the war can be won with perseverance, meticulous determination, and help from trusted souls who understand panic attacks, inappropriate statements, and selfish demands.
This fifth volume of autobiographical narcissism is a dark, twisty conglomeration of gloom and redemption. There are more nightmares than ice cream in here. A juxtaposition of bad dreams, tempered only by a bit of soft-serve in a cone, brings on reconstruction of the brief moments of sanity and joy embraced with fervor in the eye of the storm of an abusive father who knew neither restraint nor censor.
At bedtime, a child will protest and resist going to sleep in a room alone. They believe there are monsters under the bed, a boogey man in the closet. Nightmares like these originate with our ancestral hunter-gatherer society, where monsters were real. Sleeping alone in the dark with no one around inevitably led to vicious attacks by animals. Only those who slept in groups, surrounded by family and adults, survived in the wild.
As a child, I was never afraid of sleeping solo in a dark room. I would crawl beneath the bed and hug the imaginary monsters close for protection. I used to hide in the pitch-black closet, terrified of the sliver of light that sliced through the slats and around the edges of the door. I’d clench my fingers around the part in those doors to keep them shut, sometimes squeezing so tightly I would cut myself on the metal edges. I was never afraid of monsters in the dark, because I faced an intoxicated monster who regularly whipped out his belt and prowled around the house for someone he could make bleed.
This book contains potent and menacing imagery, tales of horror and retribution; it’s an account of coming to terms with all the mental and physical damage brought on by a pathological father who never understood restraint.
Sensitive readers may find these poems too powerful. Survivors of child abuse will relate, but will be triggered with raw emotion upon opening this book. The stronger ones will find solace in discovering they are not alone.
This book is for all humanity, to spotlight domestic violence and explore the psychology of what we survivors have faced every day since the first blow fell.
My hope is to prevent anyone from ever again having to experience the torture of being harmed by someone they trusted and loved.