Making parenting mistakes since 2008

Too Hurt to Stay, a book review

I was asked recently to review the book To Hurt to Stay by Casey Watson, when it arrived I started to read it as and then I got distracted not because it wasn’t good but because life just gets in the way of my reading time.

When I was asked to read the book I was given this quote from the publisher

Eight-year-old Spencer takes himself to social services and demands to be taken into care. It’s a desperate act, a cry for help, but his parent’s reaction – good riddance – speaks volumes. Casey’s hackles are immediately up for this poor child.

Spencer is the middle child of four siblings. His parents claim all their other kids are ‘normal’ and that Spencer was born ‘vicious and evil’. Casey and her family are disgusted – kids aren’t born evil, they get damaged. Although when vigilante neighbors start to take action and their landlord threatens eviction, Casey is stretched to the limits, trying desperately to hold on to this boy who causes so much pain and destruction.

Casey is determined to try and understand what Spencer is going through and help him find the loving home he is so desperately searching for. But it’s only when Spencer’s mother gets in touch with social services for the first time that gradually everything starts to make sense.

As soon as I read that I knew that this was a book I could read, a book I would understand, a book I could relate to.

It took me a while to get back  to reading it but when I picked it up again I dove in and was quickly reminded of the fact that this book could be the story of one of my sons, in fact it could be the story of so many children I know. Children who were hurt by people who should love them, people who should protect them and instead do unspeakable things to them. Trauma, abuse and neglect affect every aspect of a child’s life and in this book the author does not hold back and lets the reader know just how very hard it can be to care for these very challenging children.

Casey Watson tells the honest truth about what this life like. She is honest and candid about how others react to our children and about some the fantastic stunts they can pull while no one is paying attention. Young Spencer makes my kids look like angels.

Although Casey Watson is a therapeutic foster parent and not an adoptive parent she understands first hand what the journey of loving a child who does not want to be loved is like. I will be searching out some of her other books as there is a great deal of comfort in knowing that I am not alone.

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