Now I Know It's Not My Fault

CreateSpace  2016

 

This novel begins with some usual teenage chatter but quickly focuses on Alexandra whose mother has died unexpectedly of a brain hemorrhage and is left not only motherless but with a father who has many issues of his own and seems to take out his frustrations on Alex. Although she has two brothers, she is the one who is targeted and is constantly told she is an underachiever. No matter what she does, there is no way to please her father. Feeling rejected and lonely, Alex is delighted when Paula, one of her teachers, reaches out to her. Paula finds out about Alex's parental loss and proceeds to befriend her. However, as the relationship continues, Paula subjects Alex to both physical and emotional abuse. Paula shares inappropriate personal information, slaps and spanks her, denigrates and embarrasses her in front of her peers, and even attempts to change her commitment from Judaism to Paula's newly acquired born-again Christian church. Since Alex's own experience is limited and because she is so emotionally needy, she is unable to evaluate what is happening.
The one bright light in Alex's year is her summer away at camp. It is here she can continue her life normally. How Alex is able to resolve her unhealthy attachment to Paula and how her counselor, Erica, is able to guide her through this troubling experience is the heart of the story.
In an afterword, the reader is given an explanation of how this kind of abuse keeps a child "... bonded to the perpetrator long after the relationship ends."

Recommended for ages 16 and up and for parents.



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