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I pushed open the short wooden paneled door — then, like a jack-in-the-box. Whack! Mother with her switch. I was beat — and beat — and beat.
I entered junior high school laden with secrets, sex, shame and guilt in my veins.
It was the same old stuff, “You’re not fit. You’re bad. You’re a whore. You made your bed now lay in it. What if ANYONE knew the whole story, the true story? Just a slut that’s what you are!”
It was the same pattern — the things that made me feel loved at first made me loathe myself later.
I let the waves toss and throw my body around, praying to die.
I’m so sorry you drowned? Couldn’t you have fallen asleep and not woken up, like I want to?
From the time I was four until I turned twelve, May filled my loneliness, fear and anger with sex.
I lifted my little pleated skirt, pulled my tiny panties to the side, and coaxed Mickey to my ‘button’ by patting lightly on the seat.
I remembered I woke up in the morning, near naked, in a stale, suffocating, back seat of some lifeguard’s car. On the ride back, I found myself wondering if the guy ever told me his name or if I had forgotten it.
What did I do with all that anger, sadness, rage and shame? I fucked eleven guys over the next eleven months.
I didn’t have any self-confidence but I had lots of sex-confidence.
Fucked on the kitchen table, counter, couch, chairs, stools, desk, bathtub, shower, even the toilet, and of course the bed.
I could no longer hear anything. I broke. I screamed in pleasure. I lost all sense of self, sight, and sound. My first real orgasm.
He unzipped his pants and pulled my jeans and long johns to my knees. We made love as the heat of our bodies slammed against the cold of the snow.
As we made love, we would literally slip and glide over each other. Then we would lay motionless in the scent of sex, and let the warm evening breeze dry off our dampened bodies.
He exploded, filling the inside of me. I collapsed on his chest, letting his hot liquid eventually seep out and run down the inside of my thighs into the cool of the afternoon.
Our bodies molded into one. The sun-drenched particles in the air danced across us like itsy-bitsy ballerinas.
A mixture of honeysuckle and jasmine floated in and mingled with our kisses. His broken English enamored me.

In this memoir, Shhhh! Sad, Shocking and Sexy, Flook draws us into a world of childhood abuse baring beauty with brawn, love with illusion, and trust with betrayal that shadowed her for decades before finding her self-worth.

“Shhhh! is a sad, shocking and sexy story about what happened to a child born into an upper-class, Southern farm family when she didn’t ‘act like a lady.’ In 1940 my father married his maid – twenty-seven years his junior. He was a proud ‘ole peacock. She was his young hen. Mother lived to be the ‘proper wife,’ the ‘proper mother.’ We were to be ‘ladies.’ Mother was. My sister was. I wasn’t.

I had to be broken.

The beatings with a switch from the willow tree, a belt or extension cord were used for the blistering, biting lashes given me from age three until I turned sixteen. I escaped Mother’s wrath and the feeling of loneliness by going to Grandma’s whenever I could. But not to Grandma’s bosom or Grandma’s big apron. I went to May’s bed. May was Grandma’s adopted niece, six years my senior. From the time I was four until I turned twelve, May filled my loneliness, fear and anger with sex.

I became aware of the enormity of childhood abuse after I finished writing this book. At the end of the 20th Century, they reported in the U.S. one in four boys and one is six girls were sexually abused. This gave me pause to ask why our society is so overburdened with obesity, alcohol, drug and sex addiction — these are symptoms and direct results of childhood abuse. This put a light on all the self-abuse I had endured. Now I had understanding and compassion for me.

My book is aimed at the countless and their families left casualties by their predators over some seventy years, from the 1930s through 1990s. This is an invitation for those who suffer to begin healing. I trust I can help lift the tarp, let the sun peak into the dark, and shine on those beautiful souls.

I believe no one wants to live in the dimness of addiction, or the aloneness of mental anguish!”

Read the Book’s Full Introduction

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“A frank, sometimes-disturbing debut novel that highlights the darkness that can lurk within picture-perfect families.”
Kirkus Reviews