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Don't Ever Call Me Mother cover

  • Paperback Edition
    • 978-1-03-916745-2
    • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 330 pages
  • Hardcover Edition
    • 978-1-03-916746-9
    • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 330 pages
  • Keywords
    • memoir of a difficult childhood,
    • loss of parent as a child,
    • evil stepmother,
    • dysfunctional family,
    • childhood emotional abuse,
    • childhood physical abuse,
    • adaptability

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Don't Ever Call Me Mother
Homeless In My Own Home
by Helen Martin

The first six years of Helen Martin’s life, living on a Saskatchewan farm in the 1950s, were idyllic. But everything changed when her mother passed away. The sudden and inexplicable cruelty and neglect that Helen endured at the hands of her stepmother—a much younger woman her father married within months of being widowed—are the subject of this distressing, but ultimately triumphant, memoir: Don’t Ever Call Me Mother: Homeless in my Own Home. In a voice that is clear, courageous, guileless, honest, and hopeful, Helen captures the innocence and bewilderment of her childhood. She shares with readers the various ways in which she managed to cope and endure the terrible trauma of her youth. At the same time, Helen uses the pages of this memoir to pay homage to her Ukrainian culture and traditions. She especially highlights the few individuals who offered her kindness and support at a time when she was so often hungry, cold, lonely, bruised, and unwashed: her two older sisters, a couple of neighbours, and an elderly hobo who became her best friend. Such unexpected and enriching relationships make all the difference in a young life and are explored here with feeling. This beautiful memoir serves as both a testament to the author’s resilience and a reminder that childhood abuse of any kind must never be tolerated.

When Helen’s daughter began asking her mother questions about her youth, Helen decided to write it all down. Her memoir would be a gift to her daughter – a way for her daughter to learn about and understand the trauma that Helen had endured after her own mother died when she was still so young. Although she never planned to publish her recollections, Helen quickly realized that her experiences, and the way in which she was able to overcome her childhood trauma and grow into a happy and positive adult, might be of help to other survivors of childhood abuse. Don’t Ever Call Me Mother might also serve as a valuable reference to the mental health care professionals who work with those survivors.


Helen Martin

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