but I appreciate all of you that have bought the book and hope that it continues to reach more people! I wrote the book because I really wanted people to gain strength from my story–so I have decided to excerpt some of the book here for people to read–
Chosen and Humbled
I knew at a young age that I loved being the center of attention, singing and dancing and making my family laugh and lifting their spirits–that way I could avoid having to talk to them almost completely. They were hairy and smelled like herring, garlic, and onions, and shrieked at each other in loud shrill tones.
But they were a great audience, and to me, that pretty much made up for the fact that I had to be around them all the time. I never really bonded with them, or with anyone on Earth really, until I had children of my own, who now wish I would just shut up and leave them alone. But I can’t, not now, not after all I have been through.
Almost everyone in my family was musical and played an instrument and sang and loved to show off, so I was no stranger to it. During my brilliant and audacious performances, my family constantly remarked that they thought I sang like Shirley Temple, only way better and a lot more adorably, and that my dancing made hers look contrived and boring. I humbly accepted their assessments and believed them to be true.
After all, my own grandmother, Mary Bitnam, had left her town of Aborniki, Lithuania, to move to the United States after being accepted at the Salt Lake City Conservatory of Music, so she knew something about the arts!
She played the ukulele and other stringed instruments and sang soprano. She performed at weddings and bar mitzvahs until she married her husband, Ben Davis, whose father was Utah’s only kosher butcher.
She encouraged me to sing and dance and tell jokes every Friday night, Shabbat, in the windowsill of her living room after everyone had gorged on her brisket. She also talked about God all the time, and the importance of being honest and obedient to Him, so I figured that she was honest with me about my singing and dancing talents.
My family would laugh and clap, adoring everything that came out of my mouth and every move I made–every twirl, every note, every word I said. I was the first grandchild, niece, and daughter in my extended family, and therefore, I was spoiled rotten until I became dissociative and narcissistic enough to imagine myself to be “special” as well as “chosen.”
It did not occur to me at that young age that empty flattery is actually quite toxic and would one day be my complete downfall.
Click here to continue reading…Chapter 2 excerpt.doc