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“SURVIVOR’S MIND”

“SURVIVOR’S MIND”

AUTHOR: CATHERINE MELLEN

GENRE: POETRY, REALITY

“SURVIVOR’S MIND”, WRITTEN BY CATHERINE MELLEN IS BASED ON HER REALITY OF A CHILD WHO SUFFERS HORRIBLE PHYSICAL, SEXUAL, MENTAL, AND PSYCHOLOGICAL ABUSE. OFTEN, MELLEN PORTRAYS IN THIS POETRY COLLECTION, THAT A SURVIVOR IS ONE WHO CAN LIVE TO TELL ABOUT THE ABUSE EXPERIENCED BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY SPEAK OPENLY ABOUT THIS ABUSE. I HAVE READ MANY BOOKS BUT THIS COLLECTION OF POEMS. TOOK ME ON A POWERFUL EMOTIONAL JOURNEY AS I READ EACH PAGE STARTING WITH THE FIRST POEM IN HER POETRY BOOK, ‘SURVIVOR’S MIND”, CATHERINE MELLEN WRITES THIS COLLECTION OF POETRY FROM A VICTIM’S STANDPOINT. I FOUND MYSELF IN TEARS AFTER READING ALMOST EVERY ONE OF THESE POEMS WRITTEN IN RAW TRUTH.

ALTHOUGH SADNESS IS JUST ONE EMOTION I FELT READING “SURVIVORS MIND”, I ALSO EXPERIENCE MELLEN’S FEAR BEING RESTRAINED IN A CELLAR WITH ZIP TIES, HER BEWILDERMENT AS TO WHY THE ABUSE HAPPENS FROM A FAMILY SHE WISHED TO LOVE, BUT LOVE IS NOT SHOWN TO MELLEN IN ANY WAY AS A CHILD. MELLEN DOES NOT MINCE WORDS OR FLOWER HER POETRY IN ANY WAY. MELLEN IS COMING TO US WITH HER WORDS AS A CHILD VICTIM OF HORRID SEXUAL AND EMOTIONAL CRIMES INCLUDING RAPE. HER MOTHER AND BROTHERS STOOD BY, ALLOWING THIS HORRIFIC ABUSE TO TAKE PLACE.

ONE GRIPPING POEM IN THE BOOK IS TITLED, “CHILD ABUSE AWARENESS”, SHE SUFFERED AS A CHILD WHO IS BRAVE ENOUGH NOT ONLY TO TELL HER STORY BUT DO SO WITHOUT ANY FALSITY. I BELIEVE MELLEN WRITES WITH SUCH IMMENSE TRUTH, WE OFTEN DON’T SEE WHEN A VICTIM SHARES THEIR STORY.

MELLEN TALKS OF BEING “OUTSIDE THE BOX” AND TELLING HER STORY FOR THE “WHOLE WORLD TO HEAR.” AS I READ THIS POEM I FELT HER SCREAMS LOUDLY WHILE TELLING HER. STORY. SHE TALKS OF “SHATTERING THE SILENCE” WHICH IS THE PURPOSE OF THESE POEMS, WRITTEN WITH EXCELLENCE, GRACE, TRAGEDY AND EVEN HOPE. SHE TALKS OF FEAR AND “RUNNING WITH IT” INSTEAD OF “AWAY.FROM IT”.

AS ONLY ONE WHO HAS SUFFERED SUCH TRAGEDY AND HORROR FROM A FAMILY WHO NEVER STOPPED HER STEP-FATHER FROM SODOMY AND RAPE SHE SHARES A REALITY MOST OF US WILL NEVER KNOW. HER MOTHER AND BROTHERS STOOD BY AND WATCHED AS HER STEP-FATHER LOCKED HER IN THE CELLAR DAILY. THIS IS MORE THAN A BOOK OF POETRY. IT IS A BIOGRAPHY OF MELLEN’S CHILDHOOD. MELLEN TALKS ABOUT A CHILD’S ABUSE, FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A VICTIM, AND YOU FEEL HER PAIN WITH SUCH INTENSITY.

ANOTHER POEM BY MELLEN I FOUND POWERFUL WAS, “WHAT A CHILD NEEDS.” SHE TALKS OF “THE FUN AND LAUGHTER, AND KIDDY THINGS TO DO” FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF NEVER HAVING THE JOY TO EXPERIENCE. YET, MELLEN HAS THE MATERNAL INSTINCTS AND FEELINGS OF MISSING CHILDHOOD, AS SHE SHARES HER STORY THROUGH THESE POEMS. ANOTHER POEM MELLEN WRITES ENTITLED, “BRAND NEW TEARDROP” TALKS OF THE PAIN A CHILD FEELS SUFFERING THE WORST ABUSE POSSIBLE OVER AND OVER. I FEEL EVERY WORD IN MY HEART AND SOUL AND AM OVERWHELMED AS I READ THIS WITH EMPATHY.

I FOUND ONE OF THE BEST POEMS WRITTEN BY MELLON HAVING POWERFUL EMOTIONAL IMPACT IN A BROKEN SOCIETY IS A POEM TITLED, “BEFORE YOU GO”. THIS POEM TELLS WITH SUCH POETIC ART IN HER OWN WORDS ABOUT SUICIDE AND HOW SHE WILL FEEL AS ONE WHO MUST LIVE IN TRAGEDY AND LOSS IF THE PERSON SHE LOVES GOES THROUGH WITH SUICIDE. I CAN FEEL THE POTENTIAL LOSS AFTER SOMEONE YOU LOVE WENT THROUGH WITH SUICIDE. I FELT SUCH LOSS, PAIN, AND GREIF, AND LOVE POURING OUT FROM HER HEART. THIS POEM IS SO MEANINGFUL AND LIKE THE REST OF HER BOOK, SENDS A POWERFUL MESSAGE ABOUT LOVED ONES LEFT BEHIND LOSING A LOVED ONE TO SUICIDE. SHE WRITES THIS ASKING FOR HER LAST WORDS TO BE HEARD BY THE LOVED ONE CONTEMPLATING SUICIDE.

THERE ARE SO MANY POEMS, SO WELL WRITTEN I HAD TO NARROW MY CHOICES OF THOSE EQUALLY APPRECIATED WITH SUCH POETIC SKILL MELLEN MASTERS. ONE OF MANY THINGS I FOUND ADMIRABLE, WAS HER ABILITY TO LEAVE BEHIND A MESSAGE OF HOPE, COURAGE, AND COMPASSION AFTER TELLING HER STORY. I KNOW FEW CHILDREN COULD COPE WITH THE KIND OF SUFFERING SHARED THROUGH THE POWERFUL POETRY MELLEN WRITES. MELLEN TELLS A STORY WE SHOULD ALL HEAR. EACH POEM AND MANAGES TO SEND SO MANY “NECESSARY MESSAGES” NEEDED TODAY THROUGH HER GIFT OF WRITING. THROUGH HER WORDS, I FEEL ONE MIGHT HAVE THE COURAGE TO SHARE THEIR OWN CHILDHOOD TRAGEDY. POETRY OF THIS QUALITY CAN ONLY BE WRITTEN FROM EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE.

POETRY CAN ONLY BE SHARED WITH SUCH PAINFUL EMOTION CATHERINE MELLEN CAPTURES IN HER POETRY WRITTEN WITH SUCH TRUTH AND RAW HONESTY. THIS POETRY BOOK IS A “MUST READ” WITH SO MANY NECESSARY MESSAGES SHARED BY CATHERINE MELLEN THROUGH HER MASTERY OF WORDS. “A SURVIVOR’S MIND” GETS FIVE STARS PLUS FROM US. I WISH TO PERSONALLY THANK CATHERINE MELLEN FOR SHARING HER STORY WITH SUCH PROFOUND HONESTY AND BRAVERY. THIS BOOK WRITTEN FROM A TRUE POETESS, SHOULD BE READ BY ANYONE WHO HAS THE COURAGE TO HEAR THE RAW TRUTH FROM A CHILD ABUSE SURVIVOR.

THIS BOOK TEACHES ALL OF US A LESSON OF CHILDHOOD ABUSE AND INNER STRENGTH AND THE POSSIBILITY TO GET TO THE OTHER SIDE SO ONE CAN BEGIN TO HEAL AS A CHILD, TEEN OR ADULT WHO HAS SUFFERED SUCH ABUSE. CATHERINE MELLEN SHOWS US THROUGH A POET’S WORDS A HORRIBLE STORY THAT CAN HAVE A POSITIVE ENDING WITH THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF HEALING AND LOVE. SHE TAKES US ON A POWERFUL JOURNEY OF FEAR, SADNESS, ABUSE, AND YES, HOPE.

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