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Broken Child Mass Market Paperback – December 1, 1995


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 447 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington (December 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1575660008
  • ISBN-13: 978-1575660004
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #498,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This account of multiple personality disorder and child abuse is intensely moving, exhausting and powerful. When the author was three, her German mother, Gisela, an ardent Nazi who moved to Southern California in 1936, began to torture her?knifing and burning Marcia's flesh, mutilating her genitals and locking her in a closet for hours while Marcia's father, Frank, a German-Jewish immigrant lawyer, was at work. Marcia Cameron (a pseudonym) split into multiple selves?promiscuous, reckless Emily; thumb-sucking Sunshine, an eternal six-year-old; Sophie, a loving Jewish mother; Camille, a blind girl; condescending, four-times-baptized Muriel; and Joey, an angry, food-obsessed Jewish boy. When Marcia, at 13, told her father about Gisela's abuse, he left his wife, taking Marcia and her two brothers with him. A year later, Frank died and Marcia returned to her mother. At 18, spinal meningitis and a coma led to speech and motor impairment, and Marcia was raped several times while hospitalized. Although she eventually married and had a son and daughter, her life was punctuated by dissociative episodes, suicide attempts, "Emily's" affairs and a succession of inept psychotherapists. Through six years with San Francisco psychiatrist Steinman, she integrated many of her personalities and continues to heal.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

It is painfully difficult to bear witness to the countless incidents of physical, sexual, and psychological abuse suffered by Cameron. And after contemplating the possible consequences of a child suffering such trauma, it comes as no surprise that Cameron fractured into multiple personalities. Rendered in appalling detail is a litany of crimes committed against her in childhood by her mother; but to read Cameron's book is to ultimately accompany her on a lifelong journey toward healing. Even after locating a psychiatrist competent enough to treat her problems and help her move toward a realm of mental health, she has had an exhausting and interminable struggle. Cameron's story is heartbreaking and horrifying in its intensity. Alice Joyce --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Eric on March 5, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I discovered The Broken Child when I was in the 11th grade, and I started it and was shocked that this woman went through these trials with her mother. It is a autobiography about a woman who's mother was racist against her own daughter; she hated her from child birth. She would not even look at her own daughter because her mom was anti-semantic. She said this when she first saw her "That is not my child, that is a Jewish child!" Her mother abused her beyond anything I have ever heard of; she pumped a broom stick into her vagaina while screaming "Now I am going to teach how to use your Jewish c*nt!" She was locked in a closet while her father worked, and her mother abused her whenever she got the chance, but when her father was at home, she treated her like she was a princess.
While in the closet, she developed split-personalities and became these personalities when she was put in there, and she saw them as her friends. Eventually she told the truth to her father, and her father divorced her and got joint custody of her and her brothers who were not abused as her. Then her father died in a plane accident and she had to go live back with her mother. As she got older, her mother eventually died, but she left her with emotional scars and physical scars. One of her personalities named Lucy was a s*ut; she would go out every night (her personalities), and would have sex with men she just met, then she would wake up wondering where she was and discovered semen between her legs, and would cry her eyes out.
Eventually she got married, but when she was touched a certain way; she would freeze up like a statue because it remined her of the past. She had kids, but she still had the mental scars with her.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Hall on October 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
While reading this memoir, you find yourself wishing it were fictional. That there are humans out there capable of this kind of torture on their own children is unbearable. Having read many different accounts, true and fictional, of child abuse, I have to say this is the worst I've ever heard of. The author is lucky to have even survived it.
Yet her survival is a hard and long struggle, even years after the abuse itself has ended. Reading of the terrors she endured, then the aftermath of living with it, surpressing the truth, trying to function normally, failing miserably at that, searching for a psychiatrist that will help her...failing at that, it just gets worse and worse.
This is not a story that will make you feel good. You will be upset, angry, sad and hurt. But you do find hope in the end. Hope that the narrator can somehow get through the past and into the future, that if you can survive something like this, then you can certainly survive almost everything. Not an easy read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By rlwilson@hsonline.net on May 21, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I have read this book, and I must say that not only did I cry, but I also gained a totally new appreciation for the blessings that I have had. Marcia Cameron is not only extremely lucky to have survived her undeserving chidhood, she is a wonderful and beautiful person inside. After finishing her book, I mailed her a handwritten letter to commend her for her strength and courage. To my surprise, SHE took the time to write ME a handwritten thank you note for my comments. God Bless You, Marcia Cameron. -- You are one hell of a lady!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By BeatleBangs1964 TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 4, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Marcia Cameron, a San Francisco native describes life with her psychotic, dangerously cruel mother. Marcia's mother beats her, starves her and on one memorable occasion, knocks the 9-year-old's front teeth out with a hammer. She threatens to give Marcia away to "the gypsies;" she enlists the aid of her sons to further demean their sister.
Marcia masters the art of disassociating; she fragments herself into several distinct personalities to cope with her mother's special brand of torture. These personalities are different ages and some are even male. One personality, called Camille is blind. They each have specific roles to play and specific duties to fulfill.
Like many persons suffering from DID/MPD, Marcia is artistically gifted. She makes an impressive showing despite her "loss of time" in school and even functions as a wife and mother.
As her behavior becomes more erratic and time more elusive and questionable, Marcia finally seeks help. It is through her hard work and her therapist's dedication that she finally conquers the demons of her childhood. She is somewhat infantile during therapy; she envisions herself approximately half the doctor's height and turns him into a father figure. She becomes quite dependent upon her doctor and it is to his credit that he keeps the sessions on a professional level. One can speculate that Marcia is going through a symbolic "rebirth," or "renaissance" in treatment because her own real life was so horrendous.
This is a book about hope, loving and healing. It is a Pandora's box that reveals HOPE tucked away at its very bottom.
I highly recommend it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
There are many stories recounting abuse by males, but not nearly as many people have come out and shared their stories about abusive mothers. Marcia Cameron shares her struggles and triumphs with courage and grace. She also talks about her difficulty in finding a therapist who was willing and, more importatly, able to help her discover the root of her adult problems. There are many, many therpists and psychiatrists who disclaim DID or completely miss the diagnosis, because it is masked with many other symptoms. Marcia Cameron brings us through her trials in therapy as well. I highly recommend this book for all professionals and DID's who are ready to read some very triggering material.
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