Mark October 1, 2010, on your calendar. That’s the day Behler Publications is bringing out the expanded second edition of The Unbreakable Child, Kim Michele Richardson’s powerful and ultimately uplifting memoir. Kim is a friend of mine and we talked about her book:
Elizabeth: Kim, your book juxtaposes two narrative threads—your terrible experiences as a child and your experience as an adult with joining the lawsuit and opening up your memories to the world. What happened in between? How did you manage as a teenager? What were your ambitions, your vision of your adult life, in those years? Did you follow that vision, or end up in an entirely different place?
Kim: As expected, when I left the orphanage life did not get better. Frying pan to fire. I went from eating gruel to living off toothpaste. My mother was simply incapable/not suited to caring for children. This coupled with the culture shock of moving out of the orphan asylum and into the ‘real world’ was overwhelming. I had not been prepared. However, as a very young child, I’d always felt I possessed a strongly adult sense of survival and I knew I would be okay—if not someday ‘great’ in the sense of emotional healing and moving forward and reaching positive goals. No easy feat, with many setbacks—stumbles along the way, but I was determined to carve a decent life out of the rubble, mud and muck I’d been given. With The Unbreakable Child’s 2nd Edition I explain and dig deeper on the subjects.
Elizabeth: Tell us a little about your life today, post-lawsuit and post-publication of your book. Have you felt the catharsis you hoped for? How might the world have been the poorer if you had not been an unbreakable child?
Kim: I feel anytime you can express your emotions with pen and pad, it is a catharsis. The healing also deepens and multiplies when you can help others. I’ve been honored and rewarded by the countless readers who’ve read my work and reached out to me. The Unbreakable Child has also become a valuable resource tool for teens, medical professionals, advocate groups and students entering the field of social work and or law. The Unbreakable Child is still, yet, the first book of its kind to be released in the US traditional publishing world, and one many feel is needed so that history never repeats itself. And with the 2nd and better detailed edition of The Unbreakable Child due out this fall, it will gain a wider audience and continue to help others emotionally and because a percentage of all proceeds go to a child advocate group; financially as well.
Elizabeth: I know you love animals. Do you think your connection with animals and compassion for animals in trouble is related to your own experiences as a child? How?
Kim: I do love animals. But just as equally, I’m passionate about senior citizens, children and those who are in need of an advocate—a voice.
And Kim is a voice—an unforgettable voice. The expanded second edition of The Unbreakable Child is available for pre-order now. Make sure you choose the second edition, from Behler Publications!