Her Mom looked like a beauty queen, but behind closed doors life was different. All her daughter, CeeCee, wanted was just a touch of approval and love from her mother. That’s all.
What she gets is neglect, homelessness, dirty secrets, and abuse. Yet, there must be a way out of the hopelessness and fear that would surely lead to her ultimate destruction – there had to be.
If she can only find the key…. the key that will open the door to love, trust, and the healing of broken places.
-Hauntingly beautiful. Honestly and unflinchingly written, Ghost No More held me in its grasp as I turned from shock at the cruelty of some people to awe at the strength of one little girl to overcome. It is more than the story of an abused child; it’s a story about the capacity of the human spirit to survive and thrive. It will leave you feeling empowered in your own life journey. — Leslie G Nelson, author of Everything I Needed to Know About Parenting I Learned in Prison: A Correctional Officer’s Tale
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I wrote Ghost No More because I know what it feels like not to have hope. I want to connect, validate and encourage people who’ve overcome or are trying to overcome abuse in their life. I wrote it because I have been swallowed by pain, confusion, and fear, and I don’t want anyone in that place to stand alone. I don’t have a magic wand to make anyone feel better, I just have my story.
I wrote it because for so long I was told it was just me, my fault, if only I could be better, or change, or different, then someone would love me. Those “if only’s…” ruled me, and I tried so hard to live by them. I know the failure of failed relationships no matter how hard I tried to be different.
I wrote it to remind everyone who reads my words….. You aren’t what someone has ever said about you that’s negative. You aren’t going around and around the mountain with no hope of change. You are worth love.
“You know, CeeCee,” Mama said, not looking up at me, “I was lost in the desert once.”
I froze, afraid to move a muscle. I didn’t want to break the spell causing Mama to talk to me. They were her first words to me in two days.
Mama sat on the floor staring at a picture in her lap– a picture that Grandma had painted of Arizona. She lit a cigarette, paused to take a deep drag, her eyes focused on the yellow painting.
“Your dad and I were in the Sonoran desert looking for peyote when I was pregnant with you. And then the car died. I told your Dad that car was a pile of crap but he never listened to me.” She snorted and shook her head. “He had this great idea to take a short cut back to town. Instead, we got lost. I thought we’d die out there.”
She jerked her head up and gave me a sharp look, and my eleven-year-old heart jumped. “I remember thinking I was never going to get away from him, because of you. Somehow, we got back to town. I went into labor, and your dad left me alone at the hospital on his way to the bar to get drunk.”
She stood to put the painting back in the box.
“Mama, were you happy? You know, when I was born.” I blurted out before she could turn her back, and the moment was gone forever.
“You were a terrible baby. You just screamed all day. But I didn’t let you manipulate me with your crying. I used to let you scream until your face turned black. Just closed the bedroom door and let your dad deal with you when he got home.”
She paused from folding the tissue paper around the painting and turned with a dark sneer. “Don’t think he’s a good guy. Your dad destroyed your baby book one night when he was drunk.”
With that, she abruptly left the room, returning a minute later with a white photo album that she set before me on the kitchen counter. I looked at her for a second and then opened the book.
The first picture captured Mama in 1973. She was twenty, beautiful, and smiling with the confidence of a woman who once had every football player at her high school chase after her. I was perched on her lap, and Mama’s hands were tucked under her legs to avoid touching me. Another picture caught her in mid-laugh. She was with Dad and his older cousin, her arm coquettishly wrapped around the cousin.
The next page had photos of me as a toddler proudly being displayed by Grandma in front of my grandparents’ fruit trees, flowers, and their house, and in each picture I was wearing a variation of plaid pants and a long sleeve shirt.
“Why am I wearing long sleeves in the summer?” I asked.
“To hide the bruises. Your dad wore so many rings. Your Grandpa threatened to call CPS on him all the time.”
I hesitated for a moment, before tapping on the picture of my second birthday. “Why do I have a black eye?”
“Oh, I popped you one that morning because you were being smart to me.” She laughed. “Now go outside.”
I had an assignment at school the next week to bring in baby pictures. I cut some out of a magazine and pasted those to my project instead.
Hi There! Just want to send out a big thank you to all of my readers!
I love to write, paint with watercolors, and eat chocolate. Not necessarily all at the same time. I love to do pranks too, usually just on my poor husband who luckily puts up with me and lets me think I’m clever. One of my favorite pranks was sewing his work t-shirt neck-hole shut on April Fool’s (I made him lasagna that night to make up for it.)
He does a few on me- his last one was hiding an old helium birthday balloon under the covers at night. I had just finished a spooky story, and as the last one awake, I checked the doors and turned off the lights. As I climbed into bed this apparition rose out of the covers, and I screamed….until I heard him laugh.
I still owe him for that one….. 😉
Again, thank you, and have a great day!
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