Who Says You Can’t Go Home? is an autobiographical story, written by my friend of over 45 years, B. Loren aka Bunny.
About fourteen months ago, she came to me with a rough manuscript and asked me to help her get it published. She’d been writing the story on and off for years and after some coaxing from me and a few others, she finally finished it.
I read the entire manuscript in one night and cried my eyes out. Through my tears, I knew I had to help her bring this book to the world. Not only to expose those who were the participants in her abuse and the crimes committed against her while she was small and defenseless, but also to celebrate her spirit and resilience. I wanted the world to see what true bravery is.
For months I sent queries off to literary agents but no one seemed interested. Finally, I set myself to the task of completing the editing, formatting, rewrites, covers etc. and asked Bunny if she just wanted to self-publish and get this done. Thankfully, she said yes, let’s do it! So I did.
I’ve known Bunny since we were in about the second grade.
She was assigned to me as her classroom “buddy” because she was new to the school and very shy and quiet–two things I am not and have never really been. I felt an almost immediate need to protect her like she was a little orphaned kitten. She was a mystery but when we were together, both inside of school and out, there was no mystery, only friendship, Donny Osmond, food, and fun. I never knew what was happening to her. I knew I didn’t like her father or her stepmother and probably only entered her house twice in all the time I knew her. Her father was creepy and her stepmother was a bitch.
I knew she could never come out and play because she was always babysitting or cleaning. Those things were pretty foreign to me and seemed unnatural for such a tiny person to have to do all that when her stepmother didn’t even work. I remember feeling it wasn’t fair to her to be chained to her house all the time. She should have been out playing.
I had no idea.
As close as we were and all that we shared, I never knew until much later in our lives the extent to which she was abused and victimized by these creatures. Of course, when we were children, she didn’t tell. She never told anyone. She was a child and a very petite one. I cannot imagine the atmosphere of fear and terror she existed under.
It still enrages me.
This story not only exposes child abuse but it goes on to tell you how that abuse weaves itself into your life as you mature, how it affects your relationships, and how like a virus, it infiltrates every cell in your body. It still hurts me to know I couldn’t protect my little kitten once she went home. But I learned over the years that my little lost kitten had the heart and soul of a lion. I’ve always been proud to call her my friend but I’ve never been more proud of anything than I am of her finally telling her truth and exposing it all…them all.
This memoir chronicles her life since birth and weaves a tale that seems almost impossible to believe. Here is the book description:
Being an outsider is tough.
Being an outsider in your own home and not knowing why is soul-crushing. It is isolating, painful, and confusing. Loneliness and longing are your reality. You’re consumed with guilt, self-deprecating inner dialogue, and worst of all, the fear of doing even the smallest thing wrong. You spend a lot of time alone…even when you’re not. You watch a lot of TV.
Obviously, this is all your fault. Obviously, the reason you are living this way is because of something you did to warrant it. If they beat you, you deserved it. If they punish you, you asked for it. You never want to go home, but you don’t have a choice because you’ve never had a choice. This is it. This is what you have. This is all you know.
And yet, you still smile when you sometimes catch a glimpse of the sweeter things and treasure the smallest kindness. Inside, you know life isn’t supposed to be like this, but it is. Your life is like a bubble of poison gas that could burst at any moment…you know that. You live that. But how are you supposed to make sense of any of this? How do you make it stop?
You are powerless.
You haven’t even reached kindergarten yet.
From a severely abusive childhood in the inner city of Baltimore, a string of unsatisfying relationships and several broken marriages, to a six-figure income from the multi-million dollar business I built out of my home, this is my story in my own words.
I was stolen as a baby when my mother died. I was lied to by my kidnapper and used as a Cinderella punching bag by his never-ending parade of “step-mothers” and girlfriends, and much worse when he didn’t have one.
This memoir covers the good, the bad, and the ugly.
As this story unfolds, my hope is that you, the reader, will discover a little girl who survived that abusive childhood, healed, and empowered herself through discipline and hard work. I hope you see a girl who became a woman who learned from her mistakes and a whole human being who loves her newfound family with all her heart.
I am no longer an outsider. I can go home now.
The moral of the story?
“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”
— Anne Lamott
To those of you so-called adults who hurt my friend…FUCK YOU. I’d say I hope you suffer or burn in hell but that wouldn’t even scratch the surface. Then again, the mediocre and sub-par lives that you’ve led, your ignorance, your obvious self-loathing, and your wasted existences left no other impression on my friend than to be better than any of you.
She’s done that so well that not a trace of your scum remains. By telling her story, at last, any trace of you that still lingered in the atmosphere has dissipated into nothingness.
It’s perfectly obvious that she shared no DNA with you. She’s beautiful, brilliant, generous, bold, and brave. You are none of these. You never have been.
You are nothing.
You were never anything.
I hope you read this Paul… Debbie and anyone else who victimized my friend. You’re lucky I’m willing to let GOD and the law deal with you.