Cheryl Jolly suffered emotional and sexual abuse at her father’s hands from the time she was five years old. He was a violent alcoholic who abused not only his family but other children in the community as well. In Daddy’s Demands, Jolly writes about her experiences growing up, about the violence and anger that were a daily part of her life, and about the emotional and physical impact of the abuse she suffered.
The first time Cheryl was raped, she was five years old. The author writes that she left her body and witnessed her own rape from a perch atop the refrigerator in the family kitchen. From that point on, she would often leave her body when her father abused her, and she states that she was able to see other spirits when she did so. After many years of abuse Cheryl was able to leave home, but she continued to leave her body and interact with the spirit world. Not until her father died and she found that he was haunting her did she seek any sort of counseling. When the counselor could not banish her father, however, Cheryl stopped the sessions. Much later in her life, after a work injury led to a string of health problems and a lifetime of pain, she was finally able to rid herself of her father. She had a near death experience, went on a tour of heaven, and came back with the understanding that her abuse was a gift from her father, for it had given her the sight.
Daddy’s Demands is told in a first-person, stream-of-consciousness narrative. The author frequently repeats and even contradicts herself. For example, she writes several times that her father molested her friends, but she later states that he never did more than flirt with them. The grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, and spelling are all very poor and make the book difficult to read. For instance, Jolly describes one attack by her father as follows:
Well that did not go over very well as he charged at me and gabbed my jeans and completely ripped the whole one side of them right up to the top. Then he grabbed a hold of me and through me out the door. One of our neighbors was walking by at the time and when he through me, I landed right into the neighbors arms.
Some readers may also find it difficult to accept the authors’ matter-of-fact statements concerning ghosts, ESP, and magic.
The book largely fails to impart much useful information for victims of abuse, though the last chapter does offer some commonsense advice. She urges other victims to seek medical help and go to the police. The author is well intentioned, but this book is not recommended.
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