26 11 2012

Thirty Days With My Father

by Christal Prestley

There was no doubt in my mind that I would be absolutely engulfed in this book, so much that I would have to put many things aside to make room not only for reading this book, but also for processing the response it triggered in me.

Author Christal Prestley took a leap of faith when she set herself up for a brief – but oh so intense – journey of her lifetime. The one that led her to discover the truth about her PTSD-striken father, and the truth about her PTSD-striken self.

Priceless experiences are those that lead us through pain and discomfort towards enlightenment. To know the difference between just having fun with one’s Dad and having a special quality time with one’s father requires a certain degree of maturity and wisdom. To dare try turning a potentially negative and destructive event into a positive, self-educating and empowering one requires, undoubtedly, the rare bravery of heart. My sincere thanks to Christal for finding the courage to do so – her action and the book he wrote about it serves now as the torch of light and hope to many hurt daughters who never knew – or lost – their real fathers due to a terrible war trauma the men had to endure.

I was able to relate to Christal’s story in many ways due to the similar story going on in my own life, where actual bonding with my Dad occurred much later in my adulthood, when I didn’t really need it that much anymore. But I remember when I was making that first call – after sixteen years of vacuum – and feeling scared of a rejection, scared to lose what I didn’t  have.

I could feel that in Thirty Days With My Father Christal Prestely felt just that. And I felt so relieved that I was not alone going through the same thing. This knowledge was important to me. Christal managed to create a guide through this uneasy process of stepping outside of one’s comfort zone and doing what felt right, what felt necessary.

The road to healing starts with exploration and acknowledgment of a problem. There’s uncertainty, there’s anger, frustration, bitterness and plain simple pain, at times overwhelming – this all stands on the way to recovery, on the way to forgiveness.

Will we ever be able to understand what people who gave us life went through? Maybe we won’t. Or perhaps we will come very close and will cherish every moment we had with them, because of those brief moments an entire life is built.

I will never forget this book, Thirty Days, and will be coming back to it again and again. For my own healing has just began.


Copyright Camilla Stein ©2012. All rights reserved.



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