Friday 2 May 2014

My Prison Without Bars: The Journey of a Damaged Woman to Someplace Normal by Taylor Evan Fulks


This is a story unlike any story I have read before. Taylor Evan Fulks is an amazing writer, and she has an amazing life story to tell. My Prison Without Bars is a fictional book based on true facts. It is told without filters, and written in an adult language that is very graphic. It is meant for 18+ adults to read, and states that it may trigger those who have experienced childhood sexual abuse.

I have read several books in fiction and non-fiction genres on childhood and adult sexual abuse. This is a topic that has been close to my heart since my own incidences as both a child and an adult. It was in December that I saw a post about this book needing reviewers. I approached Taylor on Goodreads to read it, and felt a connection with her right away. I knew this was a book that I needed to read, and a story that I needed to hear. I began reading it in January, after all the holidays and festivities had wound down. With the attention span of a gnat, I need to have a quiet and serene surrounding to give a book my best attention. So I began...

It didn't take long before something strange started happening. Flashes of my own abuses started creeping into my head, slowly at first and then quicker the further I read. I began to feel the things that had happened to me. I was reading Taylor's story while being physically and mentally assaulted by my own. I would get up and leave the computer for an hour or more, and then come back to it only for the visions and sensations to return. Soon it was a few days or a week before I could come back to the book. The more I read, the stronger my reactions, and the harder I fought to finish this book. It seems strange for me to say this, but finishing Taylor's story would be a huge accomplishment towards my own inner healing. I had to feel what Taylor did in order to come to terms with my own cement walls I had built around my ability to feel and heal. So I created a mantra that got me through to the end of the book: "This is not my story, and I can get through it." I read like this for a few hours a day for the next week, quivering at the sensations and trying to block out my own images. With gritted teeth and squinted eyes I finally came to the end of this heroic book.

Taylor chose to write her book so that the reader would feel as she did. I commend her for writing this book in her own way, and not giving in to how other's felt she should write it. This story is her own personal journey through the physical act of being abused, the mental jail of loneliness, mockery, and powerlessness, and the internal void of being left to die inside from emotional abandonment by those a child should trust most in this world. It takes a strong person to come back from abuse, and an even stronger person to relive it.

I live each day of my life knowing that what we survive in life makes us wiser and more resilient human beings, and mentors to those we meet in our travels. I have learned a lot by reading Taylor's book. Not only does she have a gift for words, but she has a gift for each person she tells her story to. I am stronger for having read My Prison Without Bars, and I am honoured to have a connection with a woman making a difference in this world. Thank you for telling your story, Taylor.

~ cross-posted on Goodreads

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