Review: Damaged

Damaged by Cathy Glass

Non-Fiction. Published 2006.

Read: August 2011, 339 pages

★★★★☆

Book Blurb:

Although Jodie is only eight years old, she is violent, aggressive, and has already been through several foster families.  Her last hope is Cathy Glass.  At the Social Services office, Cathy, an experienced foster carer, is pressured into taking Jodie as a new placement.  Despite her reservations, Cathy decides to take on Jodie to protect her from being placed in an institution.  Jodie arrives and her first act is to soil herself and then wipe it on her face, grinning wickedly.  Jodie meets Cathy’s teenage children and greets them with a sharp kick to the shins.  That night, Cathy finds Jodie covered in blood, having cut her own wrist, and smeared the blood over her face.

As Jodie begins to trust Cathy her behavior improves.  Over time, with childish honesty, she reveals details of her abuse at the hands of her parents and others.  It becomes clear that Jodie’s parents were involved in a sickening pedophile ring.  Unfortunately Jodie becomes increasingly withdrawn and needs psychiatric therapy.  Cathy urges the Social Services to provide funding, but instead they decide to take Jodie away and place her in a residential unit.  Cathy promises that she will stand by her no matter what– her love for the abandoned Jodie is unbreakable.

Impressions:

When I received this book from paperbackswap, I had been anticipating a good read.  The book  flows well and describes the plight of little Jodie. I highly recommend this book to any caring adult.

Thoughts:

I adored this heart breaking story.  You can’t help but yearn for Jodie’s improvement.  Cathy helps to voice Jodie’s story– for many are unaware of the torture and hell some children live.  This eye opening description provides a great example of how abuse and neglect can deteriorate a child.  Jodie was beyond repair by the time she reached Cathy.  So many others had failed her.  Jodie tried to save herself the best she could– the reason she finally came into foster care was because she lit her father’s dog on fire as she secured her two siblings to safety in the garden.  In care, Jodie was a terror– hurting herself and others, tantrums, aggressiveness, and she could not connect with others.  Damaged to say the least.. Jodie, may your story inspire others to help!  In closing, I urge others to speak out when you see or suspect abuse.  Speak out for a child who cannot.  It’s a tragic triumph that she has been set free from her perpetrators yet is beyond rebounding.

Quotes:

It was our secret. They said if I told, horrible things would happen.  I’d be taken to a dark cave and a monster would come and chew off my arms.  Will he, Cathy? …Will he come here and bite my arms off? – p133

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