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By Natalie on 07-20-12
Taking steps toward healing with Thin Places
Would you consider the audio edition of Thin Places to be better than the print version?
Yes. Because Mary DeMuth reads her own story, it is that much more immediate and real, as if we are sitting at a table, talking over cups of coffee. As her story unfolds, I am transported to a thin place—a place where I can get a glimpse of heaven, where I can see what it’s all about.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Thin Places?
When Mary is five years old, two neighbors—brothers who are boy scouts—rape her repeatedly. When she finally gets the courage to tell her babysitter, she thinks she will be safe. The abuse continues the very next day. Her babysitter never tells Mary’s mom, but little Mary thinks she has, which means she thinks her mom is okay with what’s happening to her. It is only when her family moves away that that the abuse ends.
Her difficult childhood includes a mother who is divorced three times and a father who dies when she is ten. She is neglected and surrounded by drug abuse. Her mother cannot be trusted. She is an only child who hides in her room, making herself as small as possible so no one will notice her.
She tries very hard not to cause trouble or make any noise, hoping she will be loved.
In her youth, Mary is a people pleaser to the extreme, hiding her identity behind being the person she thinks others want her to be so she can be accepted and part of them.
When it comes time for boys to notice her, she alternately longs for their attention but is terrified of them.
I see myself in her as a teenager, then in college—desperately longing for the attention of boys but utterly terrified at the prospect of getting close. Come close. Go away. Come close. Go away. That awful ambivalence.
She talks about having a “mark.” Once you’ve been abused, you have a mark on you that attracts other predators. She hopes the mark will go away after she gets married, but it doesn’t.
What does Mary E. DeMuth bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Her own voice. The pain she's gone through, the lessons she's learned, the joy and hope she has because of her faith in Jesus Christ.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
As I look back over the past 20 years as an adult, at the choices I’ve made, at the mistakes, at the relationships that have come and gone, Mary’s story ties things together for me in a long, cause-and-effect chain. Her memoir explores how abuse affected her life. It is a story of redemption and healing, which she discusses further in Even Those With Family Secrets Can Be Set Free.
Any additional comments?
If you are a victim of childhood sexual abuse, please read Mary’s book—or better yet, listen to her read it to you.
Let understanding and God’s love wash over you.
Then let the transformation begin.