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Pretend You Don't See The Elephant is a personal memoir about the author's life growing up in the 1950s. Throughout the narrative, the elephant represents the silence surrounding familial dysfunctional behavior. Christian Science provided the background of denial in a home where physical, emotional, and verbal abuse ran rampant. The severity of the abuse and the denial of it destroyed the author's desire to live and at the age of twelve, she tried to commit suicide. Failing to die, she was exiled to an alcoholic uncle's home, barely escaping sexual molestation before being returned home to her parents. The Christian Science religion of her mother was responsible for the refusal of medical attention, leaving her to die after a ruptured appendix. The author was told every day of her life that she was a failure as a Christian Scientist and her illnesses were her fault. From her father she was told she was so clumsy and ugly that no one would ever marry her. Don't talk, don't tell was a way of life, and she spent a lifetime living under this code of silence. The effects of Christian Science denial, coupled with the physical and emotion abuse would ride on her shirt tail for the rest of her life. This then is the story of a victim who became victorious. The memoir continues on as she faces a tragic automobile accident. Accepting medical assistance removed her from the Christian Science Church at a time when she needed her faith the most. The success of her story is celebrated when she comes to terms with 'who God is' in her life. It is with peace of mind that she now shares her story, lifting the veil of silence from the little girl, to tell the story that she was told never to tell.
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