Saturday, March 8, 2014

Blog Tour: Therapy by Kathryn Perez

I’m needy.

I’m broken.

Cutting breaks through my numbness, but only opens more wounds.

Depression, self-harm, bullying....that's my reality.

Sex and guys....that's my escape.

The space between the truth and lies is blurred leaving me torn, lost and confused. And while the monsters that live in my head try to beat me-- the two men that I love try to save me.

This is my story of friendship, heartache, and the grueling journey that is mental-illness.

Sometimes you have to get lost in order to be found…

5 Fantastic Stars

Review by Jen Hagen

From the very first page the author grabbed me with her words and played on several emotions.  I was horrified at the abuse this girl had to endure on a daily basis.  I would have crumbled, but Jessica somehow finds a way to continue to find her strength.  Unfortunately, some of that strength comes from her being in control of one thing…cutting herself.  It is through the motions of cutting that gives her the self-satisfaction of controlling when and how deep she can cut.  She’s not the only one in her family that has a secret vice to get through the day.

My mom drinks coffee with a shot of liquor to start her day. I cut myself.

Jessica has no friends, however she finds plenty of members of the opposite sex to make her feel better about herself.  She is promiscuous and everybody knows this.  They play upon this knowledge as a base for their bullying.  I wanted to cry for Jessica knowing the everyday struggle she had to put forth a stoic face and force one foot in front of the other.  I was nauseated at the words thrown at her and the fact that every day in real life there are adolescents facing this challenge.   

“Don’t you ever just think about ending it all and sparing us the repulsion of looking at you every day? You’d be doing everyone here a service.”

There is a brightness in Jessica’s life and that beam is found in the gentleness and security of Jace Collins.  Jace is an all-American boy, star quarterback and just so happens to be dating the top instigator of Jessica’s torments.  Jace is able to ward off the attacks towards Jessica and he becomes a great friend to her, as she has become to him.  Months of her senior year go by and life has gotten better for her.   

He’s my escape. Every time I see him, it’s like a high, my new drug of choice. Before, cutting and sleeping around gave me a high. Now all I seem to need is Jace’s presence. 

Jace is leaving town to attend college and Jessica is staying behind not knowing what her future holds.  In a moment of passion, a question is asked and a lie is told that will forever change the course of their lives.  After this deception and lost trust, both Jessica and Jace struggle with finding a new direction in their lives.  Ultimately Jace is able to use his unanswered questions regarding mental illness to determine what direction he will take  in his life, while Jessica is still caught in limbo not knowing where she belongs.  The only thing that changes for Jessica is the fa├žade she puts on.  Before she was quiet and tried to be invisible, and now she is a blunt bitch.   

Through court-appointed therapy Jessica is able to find the little pieces of herself that have forever been hidden.  She is slowly becoming a person who has regard for herself and others.  But of course a curve ball has to be thrown into her recovery.  Her past is knocking at her door.

“I’m sorry. I loved you too. I still do.” Tears spill down my cheeks and I stare into my lap. The pain on his face is too much to bear.

“I think your version and my version of love are two very different things, Jessica.” 

Jessica is now caught between her past and her future.  She is in limbo of where she belongs and ultimately who can accept her for her broken pieces.   Jessica is running out of self-sticking adhesive tape, she can barely keep herself together, but now comes somebody who is willing to accept her for her cracks and missing pieces while somebody else wants to fix her with his help. 

My poor heart couldn’t take much more.  Jessica has been through so much in her short time.  She has never truly known happiness and when she finally is able to hold onto a small piece of happiness it is taken from her and she is left with so many broken pieces of herself…again.  As much as we all want to think we are strong and cannot see ourselves being in such a dark place, those that are there see no other place to go.   I love how the author was able to give us insight into how the thoughts of suicide appear to the one in control of their destiny. 

Fear. I should feel fear. I should be terrified, but I’m not. Life is either about pressing the continue or quit button. I can’t press continue anymore. My world slowly fades to blackness and I quit. 

There are manipulative people abounding in Jace and Jessica’s lives.  The strongest presence being his mother…ugh…I hate her.  I mean it…I HATE his mother and those are very strong words.  She does so much damage to something that was beautiful and pure.   

Some of you may have read The Sea of Tranquility and remember the significance of the garage.  There is a semblance of similarity in this story and it brings chills and frogs to my throat every time I think about it.  (In fact, I’m crying right now thinking about it) 

Reading Therapy is a necessity for everybody. It will hurt, it will make you furious, it will warm your heart at the never-ending love that does exist, and most important it will allow you to understand mental illness from an important source…the one who is suffering.  Therapy doesn’t leave any questions unanswered as it incorporates more than one point of view.  In the end, my heart was put back together. 

Jessica is a survivor…

“I think sometimes something in us has to die completely for there to be a rebirth. I’m ready. Today, Jessica Alexander starts to live, learns to love herself, and begins to shed the ghosts of her past.”

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Married. Thinking about Jace being married to someone else puts a crack in my armor. It hurts; it burns my throat as I try to swallow the acidic thought of it down.

“Well then, in four weeks you should get married. Buy a big fancy house and go to charity dinners with your mother and wife. You can have the white picket fence and everything. It sounds like a perfect happily ever after, Jace. Don’t give it up for some broken girl you slept with once.” I bite out. I’m doing my best to keep it together, but I’m slowly unraveling. I love him; I hate him. I want him to stay; I need him to go. My contradicting thoughts circle my mind like vultures. 

“Jessica, falling in love can’t always be a happily ever after or a once in a lifetime kind of story. Those happen in books, in movies. This is life and it’s real. Life has no script, no outline. We broke the rules of love long ago. All I know for sure is that with you, the rules will never apply.”

Before dejectedly walking out, he stops to look at me once more.
“And you weren’t just a girl I slept with once. You’re a girl I’ve loved—always.” And then he’s gone.

Kathryn lives in her small hometown in East Texas with her hand and two amazing children. Kathryn is an advocate of suicide prevention, supporter of ant-bullying efforts and does all she can to provide support to organizations who educate and bring awareness to these topics.  With music being her second love to books she claims to be a music infused writer and book junkie who loves to live in a fictional world.

Connect to the Author
Twitter:  @kathrynp_author
Instagram:  Kathryn_Author

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