Why I Forgave My Parents for My Abusive Childhood
by Barbara L. Sellers

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About the Book
By the time Barbara was four years old, she already knew what she would have to do: Get tough or die.

Before DVDs existed, Barbara’s childhood trauma was permanently recorded and embedded in her head. Long before surround sound technologies were available, she captured all of the sights and sounds of her childhood in vivid detail.

To write this book all she had to do is press “play,” and that scared her because many of those details were not a pretty picture. Some looked more like an old Alfred Hitchcock horror movie.

During her childhood, Barbara often wished she was simply playing a part in a movie where a director would yell “cut,” and everything would be okay. Unfortunately, her childhood was no Hollywood movie. It was real-life—a situation she was born into and had to endure—severe child abuse at the hand of her father, while her mother was too afraid to protect Barbara and her siblings.

Now, as an adult, Barbara looks back and knows it was only by the hand of God and many miracles that she and any of her siblings survived at all. Two of their sisters were not so lucky.

Some parents used to say, “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.” Some of them meant it. We had laws to protect animals before we had laws to protect children. We now have the Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 1974, and yet, statistics show more than four children are dying every day in the United States from child abuse and neglect. That is more than any other industrialized country.

By telling her story, Barbara hopes readers will be inspired to do whatever they can to help prevent spouse and child abuse.

About the Author
Barbara Sellers was the sixth born in a family of 14 children. She grew up on a large farm in Minnesota.

Barbara decided to become a writer when she was nine years old. At large family gatherings, her grandmother got everyone’s attention and read humorous parts of Barbara’s letters aloud. Everyone laughed and applauded, so she continued writing. When Barbara wrote to a Japanese pen pal, she unwittingly developed stronger writing skills. Knowing her pen pal had to interpret her letters into a foreign language forced her to pay attention to correct spelling and better sentence structure.
After graduating from high school, Barbara worked as a secretary in St. Paul, Minnesota, for a few years before moving to Tacoma, Washington, to escape cold weather.

There she met her first husband, the late Franklin Harvey, who was a sonar technician in the U.S. Navy. After living in several naval ports throughout the United States, Barbara earned a bachelor’s degree in English-writing (journalism) in May 1982 from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, where she now resides.

Barbara retired in May 2009 from the Department of Defense, where she worked for an Army newspaper, the Northwest Guardian, as a reporter, editor, and photojournalist in the public affairs office. While there, she wrote more than 4,000 stories and won 32 individual and staff journalism awards, including the coveted Thomas Jefferson Award twice, for best newspaper out of more than 6,000 in all four branches of the military.

Barbara is a 30-year member of Toastmasters International and has won many humorous speech contests. After retirement, she did some stand-up comedy at open mikes and has two CDs of original true stories, True Confessions and Back on the Farm. Barbara is also a special guest on the CD Panic to Power, with three world champion speakers from Toastmasters. Get Tough or Die is Barbara’s first book.

She has two adult sons, Shawn and Ryan, and one granddaughter, Crystal.

• Format: Paperback
• Trim size: 6×9
• Cover price: $16.95
• ISBN: 978-0-9844804-1-8
• Page count: 208