Comes the Darkness, Comes the Light: A Memoir of Cutting, Healing and Hope

Vanessa Vega, Author . Amacom $21.95 (220p) ISBN 978-0-8144-7423-5

Texas teacher Vega's horrific account of her lifetime of self-abuse alternates between an intimate diary of pain and a healing dialogue with her counselor. In piecemeal details of her years growing up the eldest daughter of an ambitious, well-educated disciplinarian father and an efficient caretaker mother, Vega portrays herself as a child so eager to please her exacting parents that she began to punish herself for her perceived (by them, but mainly by herself) shortcomings. She would hit herself until she passed out, and cut or starve herself to cause a punishing pain that allowed a release to anger and frustration she was not allowed to express. Her mother's diabetes, her parents' divorce and abandonment by her father led to mounds of guilt, and Vega's abuse of diet pills put her in the emergency room. By the time she seeks therapy she is in her mid-30s, married and no longer able to control her increasingly dire self-mutilation. Her work is cleanly wrought and raw with emotion, especially the passages that take place during group therapy with several other deeply troubled women. There is much to Vega's story that is left unsaid, though her aim is admirable and true: to share her story so that kindred readers will seek help. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/26/2007
Release date: 05/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 237 pages - 978-0-8144-0091-3
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