Deliver Us from Evil by Deborah Hunter-Marsh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
What a difficult subject! Sexual abuse, whether adult or child, is horrifying and has so many lasting effects. It also triggers so many reactions in people. No one wants to believe this happens, especially to society's vulnerable populations, (children, elderly, mentally challenged, etc). Sadly, it does happen. It also happens, though I believe not as often, that some professional people, (whether or not it is intentional), can and do manipulate memories. It is up to the reader to decide which this book is.
I believe her, but that is my opinion. Her story is a sad, often angry, tale. It is backed up by three other victims. I know some may ask why only two of the children? And use that as reasoning for denying it may have happened the way the author remembers. Child abuse, in all its forms, doesn't happen equally in every family. Sometimes only one child is the actual victim, (though all either witness it, or are aware of it, which I consider abuse), sometimes it is some or all. There is no concrete path of abuse. It depends on the trigger of the perpetrator. She did undergo extensive therapy with a couple of therapist. I'm not always convinced by therapist though. Some, in their need to be helpful, or their need to find a problem, can influence the patient. My own experience with life tells me that where money is involved, there is potential for abuse. We all can probably recall a doctor, (any sort), or two who have a God complex. This can also influence memories and diagnosis. So when I read books like this one, I try to read between the lines as much as possible. I am a firm believer in there being three sides to every story. Her side, his side and, pulling from both sides, the true story somewhere down the middle. The author did include copies of letters and did include responses as she recalled them. This gave us a small look from the other side.
The author does include a number of books she read that helped in her recovery work. these include workbooks. I haven't looked into all of them but I do have plans to check them out. I think we all can be kinder, gentler and more forgiving to ourselves. Self improvement is something that anyone can do. Some of the recall scenes in the book are somewhat detailed though not completely graphic. People who have gone through sexual abuse might want to prepare for those scenes.
I appreciate that the author includes a glossary for words that are familiar to LDS followers but may not be known to non Mormons. I also appreciate that she does not bash the church. Abuse can be found in all religions. So can good things. The Church of LDS has many good programs, especially ones aimed at families. Like all religions, though, it's leaders and teachers are human and humans are flawed. The potential for abuse to happen is in all of them. I think the author did a good job with attaching the abuse to the people and not the entire church.
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