Book Review: Debbie

**Trigger Warning**

It’s taken me a while to finish this book. Not only because I’ve been dealing with personal issues, but because her story his heart wrenching. I cried throughout many parts of the book and constantly wondered why her story went on for so long? There were moments where it seemed as if there was gonna be some resolution, some peace, but people continuously failed at their job of parent, police officer, social worker, husband, etc. I am amazed and inspired by Debbie’s courage. Years ago when a friend read my story, he asked why wasn’t I on drugs…or still dancing. Reading her story, I asked the same questions. There’s so much resiliency and strength and hope in Debbie. I love her for it.

Hope has aided in my survival, but it has also aided in my torment. I know I am not alone in thinking that hope is a bitch, but without it, what else is there? Nothing.

Overall, the book is well-written. There were times where it was a little hard to follow, but that’s because she was looking to protect herself and her family. It reads like a friend was sitting next to me on the couch telling her story. There were times I wanted to give her a high five, yell at her to drive faster or sit with her after she recalled every instance of sexual and physical abuse.

The story opens with Debbie being interviewed by an intake officer. She’s purposely haggard, her breasts are hidden in an oversized sweater and she even admits she hadn’t showered that day. If you’re a survivor, you understand why. I’ve had days like that myself. But it’s apparent she’s still stuck. The counselor makes a pass at her but instead of standing up for herself, she let’s him continue. She uncomfortable and guilt-ridden. And it broke my heart.

Soon after, she delves in the incest and physical abuse she endured at the hands of her father. The father is just as cruel and vicious to her mom and it bonds mother and daughter in ways we’d never imagine. Her brothers never sexually abuse her, but they’re just as physically abusive, cruel and demeaning.

I had no idea what to do with a Barbie doll except to dress it, undress it, dress it again, undress it, and make it punch or have sex with other dolls.

She eventually grows up and works a myriad of jobs including an exotic dancer. She marries and has children early. It’s apparent and she admits that she’s yearning for love, healthy love, but she doesn’t receive it with any of her husbands. She travels from state to state to state to escape domestic violence, pursue job opportunities, to be near or away from family. Her adult life is just as traumatic has her childhood.

I already knew God wasn’t going to protect me from men.

I didn’t want to have sex for food, but I was hungry and had to find a way to eat. I had already been sexually exploited so often in my life it wasn’t really a big deal, until after when I would feel wothless, abandoned and used. I was just a worthless teenage slut, I guess.

I don’t want to give the entire story away, but believe me, you’ve never read anything like it. If you can endure the triggers, I suggest you order a copy today. You can also follow her Twitter on @redtaperesidue.

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