Sarah Burleton, the author of Why Me? was kind enough to offer me a free electronic copy of her memoir to review. Luckily, I had some spare time, and her book isn’t very long, so I jumped at the opportunity to read it. 😉
Why Me? is Sarah’s story, plain and simple. She shares some of the many, many stories of abusive behavior she experienced at the hands of her mother and stepfather, as well as some of the things she did as a child to cope with an insane situation. If you’ve never experienced or had someone in your life share these sorts of stories with you, it will seem pretty intense, and shocking. Sarah does a great job of communicating the seemingly irrational world abused children live in, and the constant state of hyper-alertness required to navigate day-to-day life. Every time it seems that Sarah stops to enjoy a moment, it turns out badly.
Eventually, Sarah shares some of the details of how she got out of that house, and where she is now. While I do wish she could have shared some more details about the time after leaving her mother’s life, and how she managed to heal during that time, I also realize that would have made for a much longer book, and wasn’t what she set out to do. I believe that Sarah set out, through telling her story, to try both to explain her own life, to herself and the reader, and to provide a story of hope for other survivors. I can only assume that writing her story was therapeutic for herself. However, I do know for a fact that her story provides a glimmer of hope for other survivors, and children going through abuse currently.
Not only did Sarah survive the abuse she endured, but she found people willing to step up and help her when she least expected it, and she was able to move beyond her childhood and find happiness as an adult. So many survivors struggle with thinking they will never really feel happiness, and Why Me? provides a great example of someone proving that it is, indeed possible. For that, I’m extremely glad that Sarah has shared her story with us!