Child abuse is a terrible thing to live through, but you don’t have to live with it the rest of your life. I struggled with it for many years. There was something in me that wouldn’t let me give up no matter how hard I tried. I think that survival instinct is in all of us. I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t have the tools yet to help me break through the beliefs my father had implanted in me as a child, about being stupid, unattractive and worthless.
I was terrified that if I wrote this book and told all that I would lose friends and people would look at me differently. My past was not pretty, and I did some pretty awful things and made some really bad choices. Well, l sucked it in and wrote. I cried many tears while writing this book. They were not tears for the me of today, but for the person in the book. When I look back, it’s hard for me now to believe that person was me.
I’ve had about 35 people read my manuscript and they all said the same thing, they couldn’t put it down and thought it would be a big help to others who are in similar circumstances. People that knew me said if I hadn’t told them it was about me, they would not have believed it. I have not lost any friends; in fact, I made a few. Opening myself up to ridicule did not hurt as I feared it would.
I used seven different names over the years, and each time I changed my name, I felt different somehow, but it didn’t change what was happening to me. I was still making bad choices.
My name is Caroline Michele (Humbert) Frantz. I went by Caroline until I went into the eighth grade and my family still calls me that today. Then I was Kay until I graduated from high school. Then I went by Carol or Carolyn for a while. When I moved out west I started going by Michele, and after I was married the first-time friends started calling me Mitch, which I liked at the time. Then I got divorced and move back to Michigan and got married again and my in-laws called me Mike, and everyone else called me Michele, and it has been that for over fifty years now.
A few letters at the beginning of the book are signed Caroline, but Michele signs all the rest. Following is the first letter in my book. I was a senior in High School at the time of this letter. It is followed in the book by what happened after the last time my Father beat me. You’ll have to buy the book when it comes out if you want to know that.
Daddy, can’t you hear my cries,
Oh my God, this was the worst beating yet. How could you do this to me? Can’t you see that I need your love? What’s wrong with me? Please, I can’t take it anymore. I hate you, and I hate myself for being so stupid and ugly. I bet if I was smart and pretty you would like me.
I’m not going to hide what you did to me this time, and you’re not getting away with it.
During my recovery, I learned a lot about beauty. I’m sure you’ve heard it said that beauty comes from within. Well, it’s true. Haven’t you met people that at first, you thought were not very attractive, and after you got to know them you forget all about their physical appearance? That’s because you are now seeing their Soul qualities. That’s where all the love and kindness, the art and music and talent are. When you let those things show you are truly an attractive person.
The same thing happens in reverse when you meet physically beautiful people who seem to be lacking those Soul qualities. When you get to know them, they are truly unattractive.
1. providing pleasure or delight, pleasing; charming; alluring: an attractive personality.
2. arousing interest or engaging one’s thought, consideration, etc.: an attractive idea;
3. having the quality of attracting.
Love and kindness are qualities that attract, and I had to learn to bring those things out in myself before I could attract and keep friends.