Reflections of Mamie - A Story of Survival

June 17, 2014
John Rosenman's review

A Courageous Autobiography that Should Inspire Us All

Reflections of Mamie, A Story of Survival, is at once a Mommie Dearest book to end all Mommie Dearest books, and a story of a daughter’s indomitable spirit and refusal to be destroyed by the vile, evil monster who gave her birth. Again and again that creature seizes Mamie’s hair, beats, rages, insults, and utters filthy lies about her, and the author never quite succumbs to despair or hatred. I kept thinking, “Surely this time she will have to give in to this despicable beast, especially since she gets no protection at all from her father.” But no, she never did, even when her mother crept into her room at night and invaded her sleep and dreams. Eventually I realized the author possessed a remarkable nobility and magnanimity of character, something neither of her parents possessed, though perhaps her older brother Herb did.

This is a great book for many reasons, too many to cover fully here. One reason it’s great is its overriding message: On page 124 Mamie vows that if she survives her mother’s vicious, homicidal attacks, “I would become the best person I could possibly be,” including a loving mother herself someday. She vows as well that she will “Never Give Up” and will use her own experiences with abuse to help others “stop the pattern of abuse in its tracks” (296), whether it applies to people or animals. Furthermore, the author has been a dreamer all her life and urges others never to give up on their dreams. Her own mother told her repeatedly she was too stupid and without talent ever to be a writer. As Adkins notes, she has been vindicated by having not one but two books published and featured at prestigious book signings.

Another notable feature of her courageous autobiography is its psychological acuity. On page 127, Mamie observes that “it was this need for her [mother’s] love that kept me alive.” How perceptive! She goes on to tell how for many years, she struggled to recover painful lost memories of a life of abuse, and how she passed from one failed relationship with a man to another, seeming to make the same mistake over and over. Fortunately, “My saving grace was my firm resolve to keep my dreams alive” – a goal she ultimately achieved in triumphant fashion.

Whatever you do, don’t miss this book.

reflections of mamie

June 28, 2014
Trish Jackson

Shocking and heart-rending.

From the time Mamie was a baby, her mother was inflicted with an insane desire to hurt her. She hurt her in every way possible—with savage physical beatings and blistering, demoralizing verbal attacks. When Mamie finally got the courage to report her, she was not believed. I can understand why. Nobody in their right mind would do what Mamie's mother did to her child.
Her mother was exceptionally adept at knowing Mamie's every move, and was able to thwart each and every attempt at escape, until at last, after several attempts, Mamie finally made it to Florida. I heaved a sigh of relief. Thank goodness she had managed to get away and was free at last. But did she stay away? No. When Mamie couldn't make it on her own, rather than allow her boyfriend's kind and willing parents to help her, Mamie went back to her mother.

Abusers seem to have some instinctive ability to recognize victims of abuse, and target them, so it did not surprise me to read that Mamie's husband beat her. What I found particularly disgusting was that Mamie's mother aided and abetted him.
I found it very hard to understand why Mamie kept going back to her mother. Why couldn't she cut the ties that bound them forever and leave and never look back?

Two ultra-powerful emotional forces were at work here. Mamie's unconditional love for her mother, and her desperate need for her mother's love—or at least approval; and her mother's uncontrollable passion to inflict pain on Mamie.
I can only say Mamie, you are an amazing person and I am so happy you've found your knight in shining armor.

reflections of mamie

Good Reads, December 29, 2013

Clayton Bye

Reflections of Mamie is a book you cannot read without being touched. Whether it be the gratitude shown so clearly to many of us in her life or the support of such important charities as DREAM CATCHERS for ABUSED CHILDREN or the moment when she reveals that her mother used to beat her with a coat hanger until the flesh was ripped from her tiny body, Mamie takes our hand and guides us through her life, her dreams and her hopes until we finally see her for the vibrant survivor she is.

A member of my family bought Mamie's book and declared it to be the best book she/he had ever read.

"What was it to me?" I asked myself.

The answer is not simple. I admire Mamie greatly—for the strength of spirit she showed by writing a book about the private details of a life where the abuse never really ended until the day her mother died, when Mamie was a grown woman still looking for a simple "I love you." she never did get. I treasure her capacity to make friends and forge unusually strong bonds, something you can see developing as you read the book. And I love her for her ability to hold her dreams and her hopes close, to never let go of them in the face of tremendous adversity, both as a child and now as a mature woman. Mamie is a light for other victims and a teacher for those of us who will never know the kind of suffering she writes about in her memoir.

If I had to guess, I would say that Reflections of Mamie is garnering so many accolades because there is no guile in her writing. This book is an honest account of a child who should have been left irreparable but who refused to give up and who learned, as an adult, to trust and to love far more deeply than most of us.

Read it yourself...

reflections of mamie

I voted for "Reflections of Mamie" by Rosemary "Mamie" Adkins, to be Book of The Month because she made me laugh through tears. She's an amazing writer and a darling survivor. Wonder what it is like living behind the deceptively inert doors of child abuse? You don't have to know first-hand to love this book.

reflections of mamie

Readers' Favorite, November 21, 2013
Kim Anisi

Reflections of Mamie - A Story of Survival by Rosemary Mamie Adkins is the story of a little girl who didn't get the love she wanted from her mother. No, what she received were harsh, mean words and beatings that were executed in a way that wouldn't make them visible to other people. This memoir is heart-breaking in the beginning, and shows how much a little girl had to suffer and how easy it is to make a kid think everything is her fault. The story then slowly starts to show how things in life can still improve, how even hurt souls can slowly heal and dare to hope again. Life is never truly perfect, which you can also see in the memoir, but there are always opportunities and the story of Mamie shows the reader that there is always hope.

People who have an interest in memoirs and people who would like to know how to overcome their own damaged past should have a look at Reflections of Mamie - A Story of Survival by Rosemary Mamie Adkins as it is a tale full of hope and encouragement, but also of sadness. The writing style is nice, the words flow well, and you won't have a problem relating to the author, especially if you have had some similar experiences in your life.

reflections of mamie

A Triumph for Mamie!, July 22, 2013
Peter Healy

"Reflections of Mamie" is the story of a young girl who spends her entire life searching . . . no, pleading for her mother's love and approval, but instead receives only physical, mental, and emotional abuse in return. Yes, Mamie's mother, a woman of high standards, and an even higher opinion of herself, engages her twisted mind and self-justifying ways to make little Mamie's life a living hell.

However, Mamie is not about to be so easily broken and finds escape in the serenity and solitude of the beach and the call of the moving surf. And when such excursions are not available, she finds comfort in imaginary friends, who support her through the most unbearable times. And, of course, there is a blocking out mechanism that shelters Mamie enough to temporarily deliver her into a void of internal safety.

Nevertheless, this unsettling tale is more a story of hope as Mamie's fighting spirit leaves the reader in awe at the young girl who comes to life on the tear-stained pages. True, it was a painstaking, difficult endeavor for the author to write such a revealing and personal story, but Rosemary “Mamie” Adkin's intention is to try to help any other unfortunate soul whose childhood lacked the common and inherent love of a caring and decent mother. It is more than commendable that our Mamie seeks the higher ground of her childhood dilemma by proving to others that they still have a chance for love and happiness in a sometimes callous and uncertain world.

Indeed, it is perplexing that a mother could maltreat such a needy and devoted child as Mamie. But, then again, certainly a dark heart is difficult to illuminate . . . even by the wonderful radiance of one's own little girl. For shame!

reflections of mamie

Mother is Everything
John David Lionel Brooke

I have read Reflections of Mamie thoroughly through once and in some sections I reflected on the Mamie’s paradox several times.

The author’s paradox is that she never gave up, she never gave up loving her mother. A tearjerking story right to her mother’s only salty tear at the end of her life. Despite all the physical abuse she took at the hands of her narcissistic sick mother, notwithstanding constant chicanery, deceit, sadism, and through wickedness, love for her mother endured.

This is a valuable enlightening journal that every girl, young women, and mothers must read. Unvarnished and truthfully reveled tribulations, told with just the right touches of welcome humor.

This was not an easy book for me to experience and review. It forced me to relive moments of frustration and ways to finally escape from my inflicted family mental prison. Yes, I took this book personally.

Overall, I rejoiced in the happy endings that Mamie is enjoying in her successful life. A stalwart husband, an adorable loving daughter and living the life of a successful, vital author.

reflections of mamie

A Story of Pain and Hope

Sandra Nachlinger

When I started reading Reflections of Mamie - A Story of Survival I wondered what kind of book it would be. Sad? Depressing? Uplifting? Educational? The truth is that it's all of those things.

We've all heard stories about child abuse, most of which seem to focus on specific horrific incidents. Rosemary ("Mamie") Adkins' book does describe the abuse she suffered; however, it also tells the story of the effects of this continuous mistreatment - both physical and emotional - throughout her life. The result is a compelling and deeply personal story, written as if told by a friend.

What I liked best about the story was Mamie's ability to bounce back. No matter how bad her life became, she eventually recovered and never gave up on her dreams. Although Mamie continuously sought love and acceptance from her abusive mother, she still managed to develop and maintain lasting friendships and find ways to get the approval she so desperately needed from others. She made the best of her life and moved forward - damaged but determined.

Early in the book Mamie gives startling statistics about the prevalence of child abuse and neglect (provided by Dreamcatchers, a charitable organization for abuse victims which she supports - If you read that section first, you'll have an even greater appreciation of the importance of Mamie's book. Thank you, Mamie, for reliving and sharing your painful memories so that others will have hope that they too can survive and even thrive, just as you have done.

reflections of mamie

Hope Within Darkest Hours

Sharla Shults on September 13, 2013

Reflections of Mamie is certainly sub-titled appropriately as 'a story of survival'... more than that it is a story of hope, hope within the most adverse of situations. From the age of four to fifty-two, the cries of both child and adult, inward and outward, never lost sight of her love for her mother, even when that mother was the reason for all the turmoil. Hopes and dreams to feel the warmth of arms offering comfort, the brush of a tear proposing forgiveness and the emotion of hearing the words "I love you" kept spirits alive. Dreaming, expressions of desire, however, brought along with them a price, a very high price of depravity, physical and mental abuse. The harder Mamie tried and the better she became only added fuel to a never ending smoldering fire that fed on belittlement and infliction of pain.

Many reflections within Mamie's story took me by surprise as to how it is even possible for a mother to inflict such pain without any sense of remorse. Then, there were moments when I smiled and even laughed at Mamie's escapades of intended escape. Throughout it all, good and bad, hope never waned!

It is most important for all readers to know that this is a true story not something fabricated within a world of anyone's imagination and it took immeasurable courage for Rosemary "Mamie" Adkins to relive such experiences in order to pen her story. To open doors closed for years, perhaps decades, within the attics of her mind released screams long, long ago hidden away but never truly forgotten. One might question "Why?" Why bring into the light life experiences that are best left in darkness - concealed, buried, secreted? This question is best answered by Mamie herself. I highly recommend reading the Reflections of Mamie by Rosemary "Mamie" Adkins.

reflections of mamie

Dreams do come TRUE!, August 12, 2013

Lori Foroozandeh

Reflections of Mamie - A Story of Survival
I loved this book, "Mamie" had a horrible childhood in which she blocked out a lot of memories. Herb Mamie's older brother was her "protector" who loved her unconditionally and swore to always love and protect her. While on the other end of the spectrum was J. Watson who was Mamie's mothers favorite child and the youngest. There are endless stories of how Mamie's mother beat her almost to the brink of dying, she still carries those welts and scars with her to this day. How a mother could do this to a child while displaying outright favoritisms for another child is beyond me. Mamie was kept from her grandparents due to her mother fearing she would tell them about her abuse. Mamie's father had a chance to be close to her and Mamie loved him and thought he loved her until he let her down by not sticking up to their mother and allowing her to be beaten.

Without giving the story away, Mamie continued and hoped to gain her mothers love and support throughout her life but unfortunately it never came. Even when Mamie's mother was stricken with an illness that killed her, she took her into her home and did home care for her to ensure she had the best when cared for. Eventually Mamie did find HAPPINESS and fulfilled her dreams of love and travel with her husband Douglas with whom she's been married to for 25 years. So Mamie has proved to us all that despite desperate situations Dreams can really come true!!!
A must read!! You won't be able to put it down!

“It has been my overwhelming pleasure to read and experience Reflections of Mamie. What a tragic childhood the author experienced. I felt, the whole time I was reading the first portion, that I wanted to just be there to protect little Mamie. Just to hug her and tell her she is loved. The author paints incredibly detailed scenes that quickly transported me there by her side. This is a book that makes you open your heart and see how wonderful life can eventually be, and how we can rise above anything. After reading I cannot help but apply Mamie’s wisdom to my own life and family history of abuse and about how we can all leave the garbage-of-our-pasts behind, and move forward. I have and will continue to share my experiences after reading this book and my strong recommendation to anyone to enjoy this journey with Mamie.” ~ Mike Foxworthy, Federal Way, WA

rosemary adkins

Reflections of Mamie: A Story of Survival is an excellent five star memoir that is written in a highly engaging narrative form and I feel so fortunate that I had a chance to read it. It is a brave account of Mamie’s experience of living through horrendous physical and emotional abuse as a child and young adult in the 50s and 60s. It is a story written to open the door of communication and provide an invitation, even a calling, to other victims of abuse to also share their story. Mamie writes about the difficulties she experiences in dredging up these frightening memories of abuse, but she also shares the need and relief she feels sharing her story rather than leaving the impact of the abuse buried deep within the interior of her psyche to haunt her and cause her further harmful stress.

One gets the idea from reading her story that if she can move out of abuse toward creating a positive environment with loving relationships in her adult life, that others can do the same. I love the way she addresses the reader throughout her sharing and brings you into her close confidence. It is this warm closeness with her readers in which she instills confidence and empowerment in anyone who has experienced abuse to be strong and work toward a better life through sharing with others whom they can trust.

I highly recommend this memoir for anyone who has experienced abuse as well as to anyone who needs to understand what people abused as children go through. This book says what many others will not say, reveals the abuse experience as it is lived, and leaves you with the clear understanding what you need in order to be sensitive and knowledgeable on this issue with anyone you might know who has been abused. I plan to recommend it in my coaching as an empowering example of a person who has found her strength in life despite the many hardships she endured and who understands the power of sharing one’s life feelings with others who care and how that can lead to a transformation toward happiness." ~ Martha Love, Author of What’s Behind Your Belly Button? A Psychological Perspective of the Intelligence of Human Nature and Gut Instinct

rosemary adkins

Reflections of Mamie is a sad and joyous firsthand account of growing up under adversity.  It is a story of survival during times of darkness that will leave you feeling Mamie’s anguish.  A must read for anyone with a difficult childhood or anyone wanting to understand the cycles of abuse!” ~ S. Allan Kane, Jr., M.D., California

rosemary adkins
“As a book reviewer, I’ve had the pleasure of reading many memoirs. Few have touched me with the purity of heart and soul presented by author Rosemary Adkins on the reflections of her life.

Author, “Mamie” narrates her memoir in such a way that it causes one to feel as if sharing a cup of tea and cookies with her, spellbound by the brutal honesty and innocence of a beautiful little girl. This sweet four-year-old child relates her lack of motherly love, and harsh physical and emotional abuse in heartbreaking renditions of her family life. Her quiet, pleasant father does not or will not stand up to his maniacal wife. One wonders if he’s truly aware of what goes on during his long hours at work, or if he chooses to look the other way. Her older brother, Herb, is abused as well and does his best to protect his little sister, while the youngest son, J. Watson, is oddly doted upon by their strange and unpredictable mother.
Mamie talks directly to those reading her book, enveloping and including them into the sordid world of her youth. She has an endearing, chatty way of making one part of her world, clinging to her every word.

This precocious child as she grows up, gains an inner solid strength that makes her life bearable, even capable of holding on to hope . . . hope leading her to one day finding the love she was denied as a child. The road is long, full of trials, bumps and disappointments. The wounds are deep, causing ailments both physical and emotional. Mamie only grows stronger — becoming the antithesis of the one who refused to give her love — her own mother. In doing so she becomes the type of mother she herself so needed. This story is not a downer, due to the author’s innate sense of humor and the light that she continually reaches for at the end of the tunnel.

This is one story that any reader interested in the survival of the abuses to the heart and spirit, will not want to miss. Will Mamie be able to hang onto her indomitable strength and spirit, or like so many others suffering abuse, will she slide back into a life of victimization?

The book has the added attraction of pictures of Mamie and members of her family which offers an even more visual closeness to her readers. If rated by deserved stars, they would shower from the sky like diamonds." ~ Micki Peluso, writer, journalist and author of . . . And the Whippoorwill Sang

rosemary adkins
"It is said “where there is no vision the people perish.” Rosemary “Mamie” Adkins has rightly said she is a ‘dreamer’ and her dreams and visions reveal how much hope can come from what may seem to be the most hopeless of situations. In her book Reflections of Mamie she details the horror of being raised in a home without love as she speaks of the abuse that she experienced. Sadly, there is no doubt that her story has been seen in other families, and I would recommend this book to those who are seeking to know the answers from those trials of life.

Rosemary speaks quite frankly about how she felt within herself as a young child seeking to cope with both the emotional and physical scars of life that no one should have to endure at such a young age. She also details the way she discovered help from her ‘special friends’ who were there when she needed them. Today, as an adult, Rosemary “Mamie” Adkins blossoms as she pursues her goals in life by keeping her dreams and visions alive." ~ Jon Magee, author of From Barren Rocks to Living Stones & Paradise Island, Heavenly Journey

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