Molly's Reviews

I Promise Not To TellI Promise Not To Tell
Brenda M Weber
Publish America

Interesting read ... Recommended ... 4 stars

What this book is NOT is a feel good glance back at a happy childhood. What this book is is one woman's attempt to make sense out of the chaos of her life.

Brenda Weber's book of childhood abuse and adult life filled with poor choices, mental anguish and heartache is not an easy one to read. To know that I Promise Not To Tell is autobiographical makes it all the more difficult. While on a date at age sixteen with a boy Weber calls Luke repressed memory of childhood molestation complete with a promise not to tell surfaces. It is then that Weber begins her long tortuous road from abused to woman who is taking charge of her own life.

Weber's tale of a shy, quiet, friendless child attending parochial school who was often left out of recess games by her peers, received beatings at the hands of her instructors and was too often left unsupervised is told in straight forward fashion. The bluntness of the work is what keeps the reader turning the pages of this gripping at times disturbing publication.

With the death of Weber's mother when Weber is nine her father remarries to a woman who was herself in an abusive first marriage. Weber begins to realize she is not alone when she learns her step-sister too has been molested. Weber's father was a man who worked hard to support his family, was given to harsh discipline and apparently little close parental contact with his children. During her childhood Weber remembers many instances of sexual play with peers, and when she is older of allowing herself to enter into dangerous situations and experimentation with drugs and alcohol.

A broken engagement, out of wedlock pregnancy and fear of being unloved an alone drive Weber from one abusive situation to another. Broken marriages, four children, learning that her own mother was molested as a girl and Weber at last begins to come to grips with the cycle she is desperate to break in her own life. A counselor tells her that molested girls often end up in multiple divorce filled relationships while molested boys often become abusers themselves.

"I Promise Not To Tell" is not for everyone, graphic descriptions and graphic language will turn some readers away, however both were a large part for most of Weber's life. The work is aimed at a target audience of other abused women who may need a boost to extricate themselves from the situation in which they find themselves. It can serve as well as a goad to parents to who do not give their children enough supervision to really know what the kids are doing, when, where, and with whom. Weber first thought the sexual explorative play in which she often found herself a party during childhood was normal and something all children did. And some is, however the prolonged, ongoing sexual activity as a young child became something Weber later began to feel proved she was 'bad' and was something she had to atone for. Abusive relationships were the predictable outcome of that guilt.

Sure to find a home in the counselor library and with the target audience "I Promise Not To Tell" is a book meant to aid other women as they too break free from a lifetime of abuse.

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2005 by Molly Martin