(an autobiography of child murder and rape)
When Robert Ben Mitchell asked me to review his autobiography, I accepted based on the lone fact that he had a telling story about his child abuse. And I generally understood that he needed his story, his message of abuse to coincide with the Pennsylvania grand jury report about Catholic priest being abusive in August of 2018.
“I want ‘Speechless’ to be more than a book. I want it to be the beginning of an international conversation on child abuse,” Robert Ben Mitchell’s response when I thanked him in advance for giving those abused a voice.
He went on to tell me this before I received Speechless in the mail a few days later: “I’ve spent 60 years carrying this poison inside of me cause there was zero public dialogue about it… hopefully this will change things.”
The ‘Poison’ that he carries was a reaction for me in the epigraph: “Monsters never tell the truth, and they never give up their dead.” And there was Speechless (an autobiography of child murder and rape) with the door open to his narrative.
The floors upon which I walked in the beginning of the book were of unthinkable consequences. The innocence period of his childhood was damaged. “I did not speak for the first five years of my life” he states noting the abnormality of verbal communication yet the nocturnal screams from the sexual abuse he endured from his parents, those ‘Monsters,’ who “tortured and terrified” him.
The length of Robert Ben Mitchell’s story is around 90 pages which includes historical footnotes about his powerful and influential father’s career in the 1950’s, the immersion marriage of his parents is grappling, and his two brothers (which is a tale of two siblings), but the graphic details, cruel portraits of a social timeline that are at times grueling to comprehend creates a perspective for the reader to ponder. In Speechless you read page by page, sensed the action by action, witness the abuse and murder at the hands of a father who was ‘both a homosexual and a pedophile.’
Mitchell’s writing style is meticulous in crafting a book that is rightfully timed to heighten the public’s awareness, especially after the abuse in Pennsylvania to which he dully notes in Dedications: “to the gold cross boys of pennsylvania you are not alone.” In addition to telling his story, Mitchell presents what is paramount in the Prologue, a 2014 Child Abuse Survey that he administers to his patients as an osteopathic physician.
Those who conquer, persevere
In Robert Ben Mitchell’s epilogue, he states, “Do not pity me” because “Many other children have endured far worse, yet never live long enough to tell their tales.” Mitchell only asks for one thing when you finish Speechless, and that is to share your story, like he did.
Speechless (an autobiography of child murder and rape) is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle addition. Robert Ben Mitchell is an osteopathic physician who helps people who suffer from addiction to opioid pain medications and heroin. He is also a survivor of childhood sexual abuse.
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