Child Abuse Survivor, Sarah Burleton Asks, "Why Me?"
A Candid Review of Sarah Burleton's Book, Why Me?
Detest is a strong word to use. It is also an accurate term to use when describing my feelings about the act of child abuse. It's a detestable action bringing about deplorable feelings in the lives of its victims.
Each time I hear of another child abuse victim, I want to curl up in a corner and cry until there are no tears left. The injustice of it all doesn't make sense. Of course, it doesn't help that I have a vivid imagination and can picture each thing that I read about.
If I had to sum up Why Me? in a sentence, it would be this:
A vivid portrayal of the nightmarish reality when living, and dealing, with child abuse.
Come along as I take you on a painful journey into Sarah's home as a child. Of course, this is the reality of other children, too. It still breaks my heart to even think of this subject but it cannot be ignored.
Sarah Burleton Shares with the World
In her book, Why Me, Sarah Burleton shares what it was like living at home and the abuse she suffered at the hands of her mother. In fact, the first sentence of the book had me hooked; essentially, Sarah had stated that her mother (Nancy) had become pregnant as a teenager and wanted to have an abortion. However, the abortion was not permitted by Nancy's mother and Nancy was forced to raise her child, who would be Sarah.
When reading the book, it's obvious that love was never a feeling Nancy felt toward Sarah. In fact, she always sought to find some fault with Sarah and punish Sarah for crimes she didn't even commit. Below you will read of a few things Sarah had to live with nearly every day.
- Beatings were the order of most days. Whether Sarah put a little too much hairspray in her hair or didn't want to eat her oatmeal, she could be punched, kicked or slapped, or all of the above. Tears were not accepted. (Pardon me but this is very difficult for me to imagine enduring.)
- Sarah had a favorite goat, Indy, named after the state of Indiana. One day while Sarah was in school, her mother used a BB gun and shot Indy numerous times, even at point blank range. (I can't imagine such cruelty. Even when people kill animals for food, death comes swift and sure.)
- Sometimes Sarah would have to be cooped up in a small room writing the same phrase for as long as five hours - with hands cramping and belly growling because she missed the evening meal - until her mother was satisfied that she had learned her lesson.
- Hair-pulling was common and, because her mother wouldn't let Sarah wear her hair long, it was especially painful on the scalp. On at least one occasion, Sarah was pulled by hair from one seat of the vehicle into the seat behind and then hauled from the vehicle and left alone.
"Abuse is a degradation
to the human race;
child abuse seems to be
an even bigger monster."
~ Norma Budden ~
Why Me? - a great question asked by every victim of abuse
Some children grow in loving, nurturing homes whereas others suffer the various extremes of abuse in many forms. We may ask ourselves why it is so, just as these children ask, "Why me?"
It's a valid question - a great question. In actuality, no child deserves to be raised in an abusive environment - yet we hear the horror stories too many times.
How do you react when you hear true life accounts of children suffering from abuse at the hands of their parents?
Trying to Be Objective
I'm trying to be objective but it's difficult. I could be; I could come across as a writer who is stating these facts about an abused child and keep my feelings out of it. However, I choose not to because child abuse is a travesty and should never be tolerated. Furthermore, if child abuse survivors stumble upon this page, I don't want them to think I'm unfeeling and exploiting their lives for the sake of telling a story. It's not the case at all.
I detest child abuse. I've stated that earlier but it bears repeating. I could go on to tell you other crimes that were committed against Sarah but, if I had to be honest, I'm not as strong as she is. Perhaps that's why Sarah is the one telling this story and not me - because God knew I would crack beneath all the pressure. I could not have survived; hatred would have festered in my soul. I would have become a statistic because I would have either given up (something I could never imagine doing) or ended up serving time behind bars (something else I couldn't imagine doing.)
Lens of the Day Award ~ March 30, 2011
Today, this lens was the most bragged about lens on Squidoo.
Because of the subject matter, I'm glad. There can
never be too much awareness
placed on child abuse.
My initial reaction was
"Oh, my! Oh, my!"
and then the tears started pouring.
It was an incredible moment.
I e-mailed Sarah afterward to share the great news;
she was overjoyed and happy for me,
whereas, I was happy for her.
We wish every child could feel such
an awesome and
overwhelming sense of pure joy!
"Child abuse is one of those subjects
which should not
need to be addressed;
these crimes against children
should never have occurred
in the first place."
~ Norma Budden ~
A compelling story of courage despite adversity. A vivid look at the monster called child abuse.
This book has changed the way I look at my children - even other children. Could a child I see on a daily basis be suffering from child abuse while hiding behind a mask when in public? It's a scary thought but I may never know the truth behind the facade in so many cases.
It's powerful. It will make you cry and you will even plunder the depths of hatred - wanting to lash out at abusive parents everywhere. It is a book, however, that I would strongly urge you to read.
Why Me? - Rate the book.
I would like to know your thoughts about Sarah Burleton's book about her life as a child abuse victim. Please share your thoughts about Why Me?
If you haven't read it yet, no problem; you can come back later and share your thoughts. If you have read it, I would like to know the answer to this question:
How has reading this book changed your life?
Hope Still Shines
No matter how bad today is, tomorrow provides a fresh start.
Child Abuse Victims - Adult survivors, too
If you are reading this lens and are suffering from abuse at home - or anywhere else, by anyone - you've likely heard it said many times that you have to tell someone.
It's a scary step to take, though, isn't it? You would be leaving everything familiar - even an abusive environment - and trading it for the unknown. You fear younger siblings will be be abused in your place - if you leave - and would prefer to spare them from such agony.
You wonder who will take care of your parent/s if you leave. You've made excuses for their behavior over the years and believe the stories you've told yourself - even the stories in which you blame yourself for the abuse afflicted upon you.
I understand why you think these things - why it's easy to believe the lies after a while. I will also tell you something else: though I understand your reluctance to leave what has become home for you - the only place you ever knew what would happen, whether good or bad - you really should seek help because, as bad as the level of abuse is, it can get worse.
Below are a few links to sites where you can find help:
- Child Abuse & Neglect: Recognizing and Preventing Child Abuse
Guide to recognizing and preventing child abuse. Covers warning signs, types of abuse, how to break the cycle of abuse, and how to help an at-risk child.
- Child Abuse
Articles and resources for child abuse victims, adult survivors of child abuse, and professionals who are helping victims of child abuse.
- Child Abuse Help
Child Abuse Help - How does a person recover from a childhood of abusive relationships? Discover a relationship that will heal those wounds.
- ASCA - Adult Survivors of Child Abuse
ASCA is an innovative recovery program for adult survivors of childhood abuse
- Child Abuse: Effects, Statistics, Types and Stories of Abuse
Child Abuse: Effects, Statistics, Types and Stories of Abuse
What It Is - by Sarah Burleton
The sequel to Why Me? has been published. You can read more about it here.
This is the sequel to Sarah's initial book, Why Me?, which details the life of a child living with, and enduring, child abuse. This books takes you into the life of Sarah Burleton after she finally broke free from the clutches of her mother; however, the journey into the future was far from easy.
A Child Abuse Victim Asks, "Why Me?" by Norma Budden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
If you would like to make additional comments about this lens, this is your chance. Speak out about child abuse and how it makes you feel. Share your experiences or leave a few words for Sarah or general comments about the lens.