Wednesday, July 15, 2009
The Unbreakable Child
Last week, I stayed up entirely too late reading this book. I went to bed late, and picked it up, thinking I would read for about ten minutes, then go to sleep.
Famous last words. Or thoughts.
Two hours later, I finished the book, with a tight throat and tears on my pillow. I've cried when I read books. I have never sobbed like I did when I read this one. Perhaps it was because I was over tired. Most likely, it was because my heart broke for the innocent little girl subjected to horrific abuse in the hands of nuns and priests, and the adult woman was now coming to grips with her past.
Kim Michele Richardson wrote this book after she had gone through a lawsuit against the Archdiocese and orphanage it managed. In the book, she goes back and forth between her child self and her adult self as she is forced to deal with childhood issues she had long since buried and tried to forget.
Throughout the whole book, one question haunts her, and for good reason. Who wears the face of God? Certainly not the nuns under whom she suffered so. Not the priest who molested her. Not the lawyer for the Archdiocese. Not the nun who accompanied him. I'm not sure she ever found the answer to her question. But that didn't stop her from asking it.
Kim is certainly an unbreakable child. The abuse didn't break her. But it broke her sisters, and countless other girls in the orphanage.
I commend Richardson for writing this book, exposing secrets she's wanted to forget, dealing with pain she'd rather ignore. I appreciate her vulnerability, and have learned from it.