The Monster That Ate My Mommy is a superbly written memoir by Jessica Aiken-Hall describing years of horrific abuse at the hands of those that were supposed to love her. In her memoir Jessica speaks very openly and honestly about the abuse she suffered at the hands of many throughout her life. Her abuse started at an early age by a mother who was incapable of loving Jessica. The abuse she suffered at home left her feeling unwanted and as though there was something wrong with her that she was unworthy of being loved. If her own mother could not love her, then nobody else could either.
The Monster that Ate My mommy resonated deeply with me as I, too, am a survivor of domestic abuse. I understand all too well the feelings of being unloved, unwanted, and undeserving of love. I also appreciate how difficult it is to tell one’s story for fear of rejection or worse, not being believed. I know that it must have taken a great deal of courage and strength for Jessica to share such a heart-wrenching story. As common as domestic abuse is, many women are not brave enough to share their story, while others tragically do not survive. I know that many people may not understand why someone would stay and continue to be abused by their spouse or partner and they feel that it is as simple as just walking away. Unfortunately, it is not as simple as just choosing to leave.
Domestic abuse is complex in that it is not as easy as just walking away from your abuser. You choose to stay for a multitude of reasons. You love them. You believe their promises. You hope that they change. You feel unworthy of love. You feel scared, isolated, and alone. You feel vulnerable. Years of mental abuse leaves you feeling as though the abuse is your fault and that you deserve it. I could go on and on with the numerous reasons one might stay with their abuser. Sadly, the reasons for staying are complex and not easily understood unless you have experienced something similar.
Jessica is a true survivor in every sense of the word. Even at her darkest moment she kept going and persevered. Thank you, Jessica Aiken-Hall, for your courage, your strength and for sharing your story. You are a true inspiration! I highly recommend this book! Please be advised that some scenes may be hard to read and may bring you to tears, so I recommend you have Kleenex on hand.
View all my reviews @Tara Johnson Barnes