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Book: They Loved with a Closed Fist by Carmen Love

Book: They Loved with a Closed Fist by Carmen Love

star rating  5 stars based on the 3 most helpful Amazon reviews
categories: Book, Domestic Violence, Marital Rape, Family Violence, Battering, Sexual Abuse, Teen Suicide, Racial Discrimination, Narcissistic Mothers, Addictions, Eating Disorders, Religious Abuse, Spousal Abuse




Carmen Love

Author Carmen Loveabout this book: They Loved with a Closed Fist is a memoir, documenting the journey that one woman took to break free from the vicious cycle of violence in her life. When I started writing this book in 2005, I prepared myself for possible backlash from family members because I was sharing parts of my life that was never intended for world exposure.

I was physically threatened with their demands for me not to share my story. My fear of what they would do to me manifested physically and emotionally. I had panic attacks, hair loss, weight loss, and developed a rash over my entire body. I panicked each time I opened the garage door, went to check the mail, or while sitting in my office at work. I worried constantly about my children and granddaughters and peeked around every bush and every corner; nervous my abusers would find me and kill me. I suddenly developed a speech impediment and stuttered so much I could barely give the police officer taking the report my full name. I was indeed terrified.

The same people who hurt me both physically and psychologically in my early childhood years wanted me to remain silent about the horrible things they did to me. Family secrets are debilitating and keep us bound in chains of generational curses. God gave me the courage to share some painful experiences in order to bring about personal healing and to help others break free from these soul wounds and heal.

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About the Author

What allows the reader to truly invest in this story is the author's ability to be completely vulnerable. She went back in her life and visited dark places, places brimming with pain and scars, and eloquently revealed this pain to the reader without holding back anything. For this reason, the reader cared about the author's plight. When she hurt, we hurt. When she was scared, we were scared. When she felt hopeless, we felt her despair. We cared about her plight and we wanted to know how things would eventually work out for her, which kept the pages turning.

Everyone needs to read this story. Man, woman, child—no matter the race, no matter the age, no matter the situation. This is a story that embodies hope. Similar to a white rose laying unharmed upon a bloodied battle ground, this story reaches out to the reader and says, "God is not a respecter of persons. If He did it for me, He'll do it for you. No matter your situation, there's always light at the end of the tunnel. All you have to do is keep the faith and keep pressing forward. God will do the rest." As long as I live, I will never forget Carmen Love's story, and will carry her struggle and triumph in my heart as a reminder that if God bring me to it, He can and will bring me through it.

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Synopsis: They Loved with a Closed Fist

They Loved with a Closed Fist: By Carmen Love

They Loved with a Closed Fist is for anyone who is struggling with addiction, low self- esteem, family violence, sexual abuse, eating disorders and suicidal ideation. It is a story which embodies hope in a seemingly hopeless situation. It clearly depicts the journey of a young, timid, lonely little girl, on a quest to be loved and accepted. The reader becomes immediately emotionally invested in her mother's unshakable faith as she struggles to manage her home and care for her five small children in spite of many adversities.

They Loved with A Closed Fist is a true depiction of a young girl's life and times declared with an innocent openness of spirit. It is a powerful story of a poverty stricken family gripped by the groaning of generational curses. In the beginning of the story, Claudia, Carmen's mother, struggles to survive the brutal Baldwin winters, the cold lonely nights, and the fear of violence lurking around the corner at night while her five children lay peacefully asleep. The lights are dim and the light from the lamp sitting on the small wooden table angles across the room illuminating the dark brown couch where she sits quietly reading her Bible, faced with the possibility of death with a complete calm.

Along her journey, Carmen is forced to face tragedies from huddling in the dark streets and hiding in the attic with her siblings and witnessing an attempted murder in a back bedroom at age eleven. The story captivates her struggle with low self- esteem and suicidal ideation stemming from family violence. At some point along her journey she is severely beaten by a family member and forced into the dark streets of Baldwin, bloodied, swollen, and bruised. Later on in the story she allows the reader an opportunity to gaze into her turbulent adult years after being abandoned with two small children and later marrying an abusive man which excites admiration, curiosity, and peaks interest.

Young, timid, and a dreamer, she continues revealing her deepest darkest moments before her escape. She takes the reader into her world of chaos and confusion. In one of the scenes, she is pregnant and finds herself suddenly thrust into a coffin of torment when she is locked in a small closet while her husband boasts about his sexual conquests with other women. He stands against the bedroom door holding her and her children hostage inside while he torments the family for hours. Another scene allows the reader to experience the moments prior to giving birth to Caylen, her youngest child. She is raped and forced into an early labor. Shortly after, her abusive husband goes on a three day crack cocaine binge while she lies in the hospital concerned about the welfare of her eighteen month old son who is in the company of his father.

The story intensifies when she is held at knife-point against a wall inside the master bedroom and later forced to jump from a two story window only two days after the birth of her youngest son Caylen, as she fearfully beckons her toddler son Timothy to jump into her arms. Later in the story she is tormented by the sarcasm of white police officers who mocked and made fun of her while she wept for justice. After seeking help from a local shelter, thirty days later she along with her four children are mercilessly kicked out of a local shelter at night and forced to walk the dark streets of Grand Rapids alone with no support, her youngest child only six weeks old. They are hungry and tired with no place of refuge.

They Loved With A Closed Fist is for men who struggle with anger management issues and addiction, women in abusive relationships, and anyone who has experienced racial prejudice by social systems: including law enforcement and social workers, and how some clergymen and partners use religion to manipulate women into remaining in dangerous unhealthy relationships. It is a story of a young woman, yet at the same time captivates the plight of millions of families plagued by violence. Carmen's story represents a myriad of untold stories silenced by fear. This story will move the reader to tears. It has a religious theme throughout the book and allows the reader into the dark world of domestic violence. It has a pathos appeal invoking every emotion. A story the reader will never forget.

What allows the reader to truly invest in this story is the author's ability to be completely vulnerable. She went back in her life and visited dark places, places brimming with pain and scars, and eloquently revealed this pain to the reader without holding back anything. For this reason, the reader cared about the author's plight. When she hurt, we hurt. When she was scared, we were scared. When she felt hopeless, we felt her despair. We cared about her plight and we wanted to know how things would eventually work out for her, which kept the pages turning.

Everyone needs to read this story. Man, woman, child—no matter the race, no matter the age, no matter the situation. This is a story that embodies hope. Similar to a white rose laying unharmed upon a bloodied battle ground, this story reaches out to the reader and says, "God is not a respecter of persons. If He did it for me, He'll do it for you. No matter your situation, there's always light at the end of the tunnel. All you have to do is keep the faith and keep pressing forward. God will do the rest." As long as I live, I will never forget Carmen Love's story, and will carry her struggle and triumph in my heart as a reminder that if God bring me to it, He can and will bring me through it.

Warmest Regards,
Author Carmen Love


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