My Father's Eyes:
A Story of Stolen Lives
In this deeply personal story, Linda seeks to find the truth of her history. Who is she connected to? Who holds her DNA? Growing up she was told, “you are no good and should have never been born” by her mentally ill caretaker. Feeling like an outsider in the family, she would dream of one day connecting to her real family.
However; Post-Traumatic Stress left a deep wound and her Nemesis-- Loneliness--created a chasm, an abyss she could not cross. Ever present and too painful she would grow up believing she was alone and unloved.
With the passing of her “daddy,” a man who remained a mystery, she would find the secrets adults kept from a three-year-old orphan. Once the conspiracy of lies was exposed, the truth of being loved by her own tribe, her real father, would lead to a path of healing.
My Father’s Eyes: A Story of Stolen Lives is moving and compelling. It is a poignant, true story which author, Linda Blackmer, tells openly and honestly. A must-read for all survivors of childhood neglect and abuse, as well as anyone living with PTSD. Readers can expect to cry and to laugh at the reality shared in this book. –S.A. Mead, Author of Susceptible Hearts.
My Father’s Eyes: A Story of Stolen Live
By Linda Blackmer
Vikki L. Vandiver, DrPH, MSW
Dean, School of Social Work, The University of Alabama
In the book, My Father’s Eyes: A Story of Stolen Lives, first-time author, Linda Blackmer, delivers a beautifully written, yet haunting and poignant memoir. In 15 short and mesmerizing chapters, Blackmer masterly chronicles the journey of several generations of her family, descendants both recognized and loved and those outcast and forsaken. Their past becomes the challenge for Blackmer’s present and, thus, for readers, a glimpse into the power and pain of generational family dysfunction, abuse, secrets and loss.
In the book, Blackmer demonstrates a writing style that is a mix of autobiographer, investigative journalist, novelist and clinician. Written as a memoir, we are introduced to the intimate details of her life as an abused child living amidst a fury of distressed relatives and homes. As an adult, she takes on the role of investigative journalist seeking to go to whatever lengths necessary to uncover the truth of her childhood origin. She travels across state lines, visiting multiple cemeteries and long retired towns to catch a glimmer of an unknown past. At some points, one may feel that they are reading a novel that cannot put down because the story line just keeps twisting and turning with each page. Using her clinical social work background as a framework for storytelling, the book introduces readers to the concept of how such unresolved histories and accompanying trauma can contribute to the development of a condition now recognized by the medical profession as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. In this respect, the author brings more than lived experience to her story. She also brings credibility. She maintains a master’s degree in social work and has over three decades of extensive behavioral and mental health practice experience. She knows what she writes about.
Readers will find the writing accessible, conversational and crisp. Some will find the material relatable; others will find it shocking. After reading this book, readers will be moved to look at their own family histories and repeating patterns in a new light. Perhaps exploring what could have been different, what needs to be said now, truthfully and honestly.
In the end, Blackmer allows readers a final, intimate glimpse into her life as it is today. One of reflection, new family relationships, partial closure, yet the search continues: where do I belong? After a lifetime of not belonging, the journey continues and thus a message for people who seek immediate relief from a life-time of neglect. It takes time. Perhaps the next book title for Ms. Blackmer’s will move from stolen lives to found lives. It will be worth the wait.