The abuse started when she was four, Sharon’s stepfather was helping her learn to ‘wash’ herself. It continued for years. At age 10 it went from touching and rubbing to rape. The only one Sharon told was her best friend. He kept her quiet by threatening her mother and also by making her look like a liar. He did such a good job of it that even after he was gone, her own mother didn’t believe her when she told her she had saved a family from drowning.
When Sharon told a social worker what she wanted most in the world was to “go to sleep and never wake up” because “my dad keeps having sex with me and I can’t do it no more.'” The social worker’s reply was “Do you know what will happen to you if you go around telling lies like that about your dad? You’ll get him into serious trouble. Don’t let me hear you talking like that again.” Further convincing her that she would never be believed and never get away from the abuse.
Although the abuse suffered by Sharon was horrific, and she doesn’t suger coat it, it is not related in a gratuitous way. This book isn’t just about what happened to her. Sharon relates how she coped with the abuse, why she never told anyone and most importantly how she survived. In fact she did more than survive, she went on to have a good life and even managed to get the authorities to file charges against him. She was responsible for him going to prison where he couldn’t hurt another child.
Although I have some doubts about the clarity of her memory of events that happened when she was younger than 4, this book is a compelling read, at first heartbreaking, but reading how Sharon overcomes everything will mend it.