Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Honoring one Mother's courage to speak out: Comparing our stories with theirs, and discovering pathways to protect the next generation of children that we love

 A History of a Pedophile's Wife by Eleanor Cowan is that rare memoir written from the perspective of a wife and mother with courage to speak out. This memoir is well worth reading. (the link to Eleanor Cowan's  web page/ blog is
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Eleanor Cowan's  memoir focuses on her traditional upbringing in a Catholic community in Canada. She recounts the lasting influence child sexual abuse had upon her early life, her choice of husband and, sadly, upon her children's fate. A History of a Pedophile's Wife is a personal story told with clarity and courage. It is a sadly familiar story many women on Not the Life, and perhaps making their own choice to  stay or go, will recognize:

"Bending his face to his knees, Stan wept. His shoulders shook. He told me I had stabbed him through the heart, that I was killing him, that I was merciless and vengeful. In the past, Stan's powerful emotional outbursts, especially his tears had convinced me that he was genuine. But this time I unraveled the bizarre twist that had confounded me for so long. I realized that Stan's feelings were, in fact, a hundred percent authentic, but they did not extend beyond himself. He wept with deep feeling only when his own safety was threatened.  Even as his tears fell, he blamed me. His predation was my fault. I dressed our daughter in flannelette nightgowns he found seductive. Mere seconds after I'd caught him molesting her, I was the guilty one. I should apologize," (pg 215 A History of a Pedophile's Wife) 

I found Eleanor Cowan's courageous memoir unique. It lights the path for many of us showing the steps she took in her own recovery from the effects of child sexual abuse inflicted first upon herself and subsequently inflicted by her husband, Stan, on Eleanor's daughter and son.

I highly recommend this insight-filled memoir to women, wives, and mothers like me, searching for shelter, solace and community here on Not the Life I Chose.  Please comment on Eleanor Cowan's memoir then add your own experience, strength, and hope on Not the Life. Do you know of similar books that have  helped you, books that might help the rest of us?   Take care,   Janet Mackie

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