A Life in Waiting
Nonfiction/Biography/Memoir Surviving Child Abuse in America
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From the back of the book:
I dare not sit – although in the beginning I found opportunities- and I dared not speak. With so much time alone, I had all the time in the world to think. Time to imagine. My mind was developing at its own pace. With little outside influence and learning, paired with being so young, I had no real experiences to give me a basis of normal. I had no foundation for my mind to grow upon. In isolation, my young mind developed as it may have in a more primitive time. Three years that I can remember were taken from me by Maria. Three straight years of being broken down as a person at a time in my life when I should have been flourishing the most. I cannot forget all of it. Believe me, I’ve tried. I wish that I could say I knew there was a chance for a good life waiting for me around some corner. Maybe a fighting chance for the rest of my childhood to be redeemed. Instead, over time, as my emotion and fear drifted away, so did that fleeting hope. I have thought for a long time about the events that happened to me in that house and have come to this conclusion: the memories I do have affect my life so much now in so many ways, I don’t think I could process the memories of moments I can’t remember. "Pain by itself is merely pain, but the experience of pain coupled with the understanding that pain serves a worthy purpose is suffering. Suffering can be endured because there is a reason for it that is worth the effort. What is more worthy of your pain than the evolution of your soul?"
Katryna, tell us the inspiration for writing the story.
Brandon "Boy" Benson is my husband and the survivor of this horrific story. It pained me every day to see him internally coping by not only reliving these situations he was put in, but also reconciling the idea that his abuser and enablers will never be held accountable. Justice will never be served, there is a statute of limitations that had passed before he even knew his rights. Brandon was not a sharer of his feelings, he was never given any tools to know how to deal with what happened to him. Brandon came to me one day during a difficult time in our life together and he started sharing. He shared in a way that made me see through his eyes, and relive the pain of his memories alongside him. I had to write the book. I had to let people see what I saw, not just for me but for him. I had to let the world see what the reality is for victims of child abuse.
What's the purpose for sharing this book?
Some children don't even survive to tell their story, but without the proper help, those who do survive will continue to suffer. My inspiration for writing the story was to help this man who was stuck reliving the memories as a little boy to find closure, healing, find peace within himself. We both hope to shed light on child abuse for the sake of the children suffering today as well as the adults who are dealing with the aftermath of childhood abuse. For most, the physical abuse may stop eventually for one reason or another, but it is never over. All throughout growing up and well into adulthood the mental anguish continues for most. It effects your mood, your mentality, your reactions and plays a part in almost every and any part of your life. For someone who had to endure abuse the thought of trying to bury these feelings is too much to bear, some don't get better. We need to shed as much light as possible for the children and adults suffering today. This book is not only a vehicle for healing, but also a call for action.
Katryna, what do you hope readers will gain from this story?
In the exact moment you are reading this on your phone or in the comfort of your home, copious amounts of children are being abused, right now! They need help, they don't have voices. If you see something out of the ordinary, or you have a bad feeling about something going on, don't doubt yourself. Don't be like the witnesses in this book who could have intervened many times over but never did. We can be their voices and we can break the cycle. But most of all, for Brandon "Boy" Benson and the hundreds of thousands of abused children every year who will NEVER receive justice and healing, don't let this all be for nothing. Let this story and so many others be for something. Let it be for advocacy, let it be for justice, let it be for inspiration and change! That will never happen if we don't all do our part to share and get the word out. Awareness is your biggest advocate and complacency is your biggest enabler. Be the change you want to see in the world, don't let all the suffering be for nothing...not today's, not yesterday's, not tomorrow's. Together we can change the ending of another child's story.
About the Author:
This book was truly a joint effort. I may be the author, but the entire story is a narration from the mind of my wonderful husband. Although we both were vagabonds of sorts from other parts of the country, happenstance made us cross paths and now we live in the Milwaukee area and have 5 beautiful children and one lovely cat between the two of us. We are beginning the path to not only getting the word out about the book but advocating loudly for those children without voices. We love to hear from our fans, advocates and other survivors. We befriend each and every one of them so we can build a strong network of advocates.