- Come Back: A Mother and Daughter’s Journey Through Hell and Back
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She tucks her knees up under her chin and looks up at me. I cup her little face in my hands. I grab her and shake her, yelling at my child who is here and not here. I sink to the floor in front of her, crying like a broken animal, howling like only a mother can howl.
Come Back: A Mother and Daughter’s Journey Through Hell and Back
Paul comes home to find Mia asleep on the floor curled around me. He lifts her into her bed. First, we shove the piano in front of the front door. Then, Paul starts screwing her bedroom windows shut while I get her backpack and empty it on the dining table. I scour every corner of it, I even smell the lint. It seems our bouncy, bright Mia, the A student who never said a disrespectful word to us, who laughed and cuddled with us, has led a double life for nearly a year.
She kept another Mia hidden from us, one several shades darker. Paul sits beside me as we read poems and entries about whips and chains, broken glass, gutters and blow jobs. Are these the people who will take care of her? Out there where she has to go, has to go, has to go? There are quotes by street kids doing revolting things with revolting people. I remember a library book she brought home last year for her photography class. Apparently, she thought it was a guide book. I cannot comprehend a Mia who wanted this. We close the journal.
The pages themselves feel slimy, repulsive. How could she possibly hide this so well? Like the TV commercial— This is your brain on drugs. Or maybe the chicken came first—she felt pretty screwed up first, then took drugs to feel better. Enough shock and horror, Claire, think, think of what to do. Okay, right, yes. Get the drugs out of her system. Get us all into counseling. Take her on a trip, make new house rules, have family meetings. Who knows, this may even lead to better communication! That journal. What if Mr. Hyde never returns home to become Dr. Jekyll again?
Too bright. And too early. I stuff my face under my pillow to block out the sun. I go to get up but I feel like my muscles have turned to gum. I pull the covers back over my head. And, somehow, strangely familiar. I make a mad dash across my bed to the window. This is impossible! I crawled out this same window four days ago.
Then I see the screws. I creep down the hallway, skipping the creakier floorboards. I slip into the utility room, slide out the drawer, lift out the screwdriver and tiptoe back to my room. He nods. I know why he did it, but it seems cruel to trick her. Too late. Paul grabs her arms and she fights him like a biker chick. He wrestles her to the floor, uncurls her fingers from the screwdriver. She wriggles and yells as he yanks the screwdriver out of reach and stands up quickly. Mia lies on her back with Paul standing over her.
They stare at each other and time seems to stop. Eat, Mia, eat.
Come Back: A Mother and Daughter's Journey Through Hell and Back
Just one little slice of pear, she says. I have no appetite. I just want to curl up into nothingness.
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Come on, honey, just one piece. I stare at her through a fog. I was about to fix everything, not we. All her so-called help did was ruin everything. I walk behind Paul and Mia to the car. I walk behind them as I did a few days ago, on the way to school. I held her lunch bag. Her uniform hung crooked from the way she rolled the waistband like all the girls did.
I suddenly stop, because I remember something else. Another memory surfaces from the deep end of our history. This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue? Upload Sign In Join. Save For Later. Create a List. Summary The unflinching true account of a teenage girl's descent into society's underbelly -- and her mother's desperate and ultimately successful attempts to bring her back. Read on the Scribd mobile app Download the free Scribd mobile app to read anytime, anywhere. Publisher part one 1. I have no idea.
With the window open?
He looks up from his drawing, puzzled. Of course not. Paul checks her bathroom. Solve what? Can you get some officers to help you look for her? Paul asks softly. Can you be less polite right now, Paul? I want to vomit. When he returns his voice has shrunk. I can hear his wife crying.
She could be dead by tomorrow. Forget the new house—call the broker. Before sunrise, I raise a glass of water to my lips and find that all of my teeth have loosened. Inside is bad. Rain is walking arm in arm with Mia and Talia. I say softly as I start to put my arms around her. She twists away and darts to the bathroom. I rush after her and jam my body into the doorway to keep it open. Leave me alone, she hisses hoarsely. Fuck off! I like sleeping on the floor, she rasps and slides to the carpet. Winter is burying us already. How did this happen?! I stop, suddenly realizing— You hid the Phillips.
We run to block the back door, she stops us in the kitchen, clutching the screwdriver. Let me out of here! I touch her arm softly to calm her, which only enrages her. She raises the screwdriver over me. You better let me go! Ultimately, Mia was forced into harsh-but-loving boot camp schools on two continents while Claire entered a painful but life-changing program of her own. Mia's story includes the jarring culture shock of the extreme and controversial behavior modification school she was in for nearly two years, which helped her overcome depression and self-hatred to emerge a powerful young woman with self-esteem and courage.
An unforgettable story of love and transformation, Come Back is a heart-wrenching and humorous portrayal of the primal bond between mother and daughter that will resonate with women everywhere. Toggle navigation. New to eBooks. Nov 13, Elyssa rated it liked it Shelves: recovery , psychology , addiction. I read this book because it was assigned to the graduate students I supervise as part of their internship experience. Co-written by mother and daughter Claire and Mia Fontaine, it's the story of their simultaneous recovery.
It begins with Mia as an adolescent, starting to act out drug abuse, promiscuity, cutting, eating disorder, etc and inexplicably running away. After deeper examination, it appears that Mia is acting out unresolved trauma from being sexually abused by her biological father. As part of Mia's treatment, Claire and Paul are also required to engage in group counseling and special workshops as parents of troubled teens.
I liked that the story was told by both Mia and Claire and that their words were interspersed in each chapter. The reader is able to hear about the same time period and events from two different perspectives and see a parallel process of exploration and recovery. I am also happy that the treatment approach included Claire and Paul and that she was forthcoming with the details.
It was interesting to read about Claire's process of becoming aware of her own dysfunction. The book is an effective illustration of family systems therapy in action. Overall, this was an interesting book and I am glad that the graduate students are reading it and I look forward to discussing it with them.
Claire and Mia Fontaine have done a masterful job of showing what happens inside a reprogramming center for out-of-control teens Since this is a "memoir", I was somewhat skeptical of some of it. I think the book could have used some editing for length and I also found the plethora of details about the seminars attended by the parents and the sessions the da Claire and Mia Fontaine have done a masterful job of showing what happens inside a reprogramming center for out-of-control teens I think the book could have used some editing for length and I also found the plethora of details about the seminars attended by the parents and the sessions the daughter attended for two years to be just too many words.
I got real tired of all the jargon and lingo, to be honest. It began to sound cultish. I also think that there was a lot of unneeded trivia in this book. One thing that I found to be unbelievable was that Claire "forgets" that a therapist told her that when Mia became a teenager, the memories and emotions of her abuse as a young child will begin to have an effect her.
How could she possibly have forgotten such a warning?!?!?! But it was a compelling, horrifying inside look at what a family goes through when one of its members is a drug addict. Their desperation led them to do what they did, and I cannot judge them for that as many other reviewers have done. Jun 22, Amy Plum rated it really liked it. I read this book after chatting with the author Claire by email. It was a gut-wrenching story for a mother to read. I can't imagine going through what she and her daughter experienced.
Though it's non-fiction, it's definitely a page turner, with the reader crossing fingers, toes, and anything else crossable - praying that the story will not end in disaster. Sep 27, Caitlin rated it really liked it. I wasn't expecting to like this book as much as I did, but I found the psychology of abuse and drug addiction and the dynamic between a single mother and her daughter fascinating.
The story jumps back and forth between the mother's story and then the daughter will jump in with her perspective, so the book flips back and forth between them, which I thought would be gimmicky but actually works. By the end, I really found this book quite moving and hopeful- I can't actually think of an example I've seen in my own life of two people taking a hard look at themselves and deciding to change and spending years and years trying to do so.
I also thought it was amazing the mother actually looked at her own behaviour and how that contributed to her daughter's drug addiction and set about changing her actions and approach to life -again, I've never seen a parent in a dysfunctional family scenario take responsibility and make a serious change. Anyways, for me, that made this story really amazing, and thought it really gave you a look into child abuse, drug addiction and where that can lead and how to get back from it.
Jun 25, Suzanne rated it it was ok. I appreciate all that Claire and Mia Fontaine went through, and I almost hate to not write a good review of this book, but I am reviewing the book, not the people. I found the book to be basically what felt like an ad for a recovery program for teens and parallel programs for the parents that sounded very cult-like to me.
It worked for Mia, who sounded seriously drug-addicted before entering the program and I have to believe the mother knew nothing of this until she ran away, even though she I appreciate all that Claire and Mia Fontaine went through, and I almost hate to not write a good review of this book, but I am reviewing the book, not the people. It worked for Mia, who sounded seriously drug-addicted before entering the program and I have to believe the mother knew nothing of this until she ran away, even though she was only , but after a while, reading the special language and way of thinking of the program gets very tiring.
It also was hard for me to believe that Claire, the mother, stayed with her first husband as long as he did. He sounds like a monster.
http://kinun-mobile.com/wp-content/2020-01-01/nod-cell-phone-locate.php When someone comes across as that evil in a memoir, I always start to wonder if I am not seeing both sides of the story, although in this case, even a tenth of the bad things he did would be pretty bad. Overall, not a book that really engaged me or added much to my knowledge of the world portrayed here. Aug 27, Leslie rated it liked it Shelves: have-read. It is a great story, especially sense its true. Although at times it is hard to follow Otherwise I loved it.
Just found myself wanting to read the parts the daughter wrote more.
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Jul 12, Lynn rated it liked it. It was a really good story, but sometimes hard to follow I didn't really like the ending.
Very well written memoir from the mother of a daughter who was an addict. There was a touching bond between daughter and mother that really made this book flow and kept me interested and wanting more, 'til the very end. View all 5 comments. Dec 29, Yasmin rated it it was amazing. I am not one usually to read non-fiction, but this mother-daughter story "through hell and back" was a fantastic read.
Apr 08, Mom rated it it was amazing Shelves: must-reads. Jul 25, Rhonda rated it really liked it Shelves: read-in Mia is sexually abused at a very early age by her father, and this story is her struggle to deal with the emotional damage she suffers in her teenage years as a result of this terrible trauma. Mia goes from a very good student to a runaway druggie This is written by both Mia and her mother, Claire, offering parallel points of view throughout the book. This book was enlightening in that it was not just tough love that Mia is sexually abused at a very early age by her father, and this story is her struggle to deal with the emotional damage she suffers in her teenage years as a result of this terrible trauma.
This book was enlightening in that it was not just tough love that brought Mia back, it took drastic measures by the parents, too. Mia spent about two years in a behavior modification school, and her parents had to take training, also. It reinforces how we are all responsible for our actions and choices we make, even though sometimes we can't control what happens to us, we can control our reactions.
The child as well as the parent. A very gripping story. I really liked it. It was NOT a religious book, but a few of my quotes are religious, just because the mother questioned God for what happened, and there are a few quotes when she works through the answers. I highly recommend this book, not only for the insight into child sexual abuse, drug use, street life, but also for taking responsiblity for your choices and actions in life. Quotes: "She lists her family's Ten C's for a loving, joyful, supportive familythe kind we don't have.
Clarity, cooperation, choice, caring, change, ceremony, comedy, communication, commitment, conflict resolution. I glance at Paul and wonder if his list starts with chaos, catastrophe, or crisis.
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And here's what bridges the gap between the two. Now, she's talking Guilt we get. She wrote that when God wants your attention, first He throws feathers. After that, He starts throwing bricks. With her tied to my waist so she couldn't run away while I slept. In the end, she did run away, when I was asleep in my own life, when I wasn't looking because I didn't want to see.
She untied the knot between us and ran as far and fast as she could. Because, I now believe, she knew, she always knew in her heart, that her mudder would catch her, still. I no longer rail or beg or sass back. I was standing on a bluff over the ocean the other day and suddenly laughed out loud as I realized what an illusion that was, what an impossibility. That would assume a relationship between a "me" and an "Other", a separation. There is no otherness; to be separate from God is to be separate from myself, from life itself.
What I've been looking for , I'm looking with. I'd never been in love, never had a child, I'd never loved unselfishly. So I couldn't fathom how someone's live for me could also be their undoing, make life unbearable. I wasn't capable then of understanding the pain I caused, just as Sonia isn't now. I have always thought of my mother as my hero, and here she is making me feel like one! The process makes complete sense now, and it's so powerful in its simple metaphor. We blundered our way through the darkness to rediscover what was always within us.
I think of my brave little self running into the dark to save my mom, much like she ventured into the darkness to save me, and feel happier than I think I ever have. And you are. But there'll come that inevitable moment where the world conquers you, and it's then that you'll choose. We live by two thingslove and fear. Every choice, every thought, every action, stems from one of these, and when you time comes, when you reach outif you reach outit's love that will save you. Love will get you through everything.
But there is darkness in the womb as well; inside a cocoon only blackness is visible. Yet, the creature inside is exactly where it needs to be in order to transform itself. And there's only room for one. I could put Mia into a cocoon called Morava or Spring Creek, but only she could put her broken pieces back together and emerge the winged girl she is. Mia was never really mine all mine, as I had once thought. Mia only ever belonged to herself. Mia' done it in reverse, gaining wisdom before accumulating most of her experiences.
She watches Dr. Phil and shakes her head. People often marvel at how open we both are to giving and receiving the kind of feedback and coaching most people pay a professional a lot of money for. Still, the relationship between any mother and daughter is both primal and complex. The same intimacy and intensity that brings such joy to our relationship will also bring the inevitable storms; what we've learned is how to stay connected and communication through them.
Morava and Spring Creek's philosophy is based primarily on accountability, of being aware fo your choices so you don't wake up one morning miserable and wonder how you got there. But, it's ironic that the most powerful lesson I learned, the awareness that you alone create your reality, is one that children instinctively know. It never occurs to them that there's anything they can't do or be.
And it shouldn't occur to adults either; we've just grown accustomed to living with limitation. Nov 05, Jana Singley rated it really liked it. The book "Comeback", by Claire and Mia Fontaine was a very special and eye-opening book. This book was a story written by a mother and daughter, talking about how they each felt while going through a very difficult time. The daughter Mia, a smart, and beautiful girl goes from having good grades and hanging out with friends, to smoking drugs and roaming around Indiana.
From Mia's point of view, it talks about how she needed to get away from her "seemingly perfect" life. Claire, Mia's mothers point of view was totally different. She was wondering how her daughter went from all A's, to running away. Throughout the book, you could vividly see how distraught Claire was, like any mother would be in this situation. It being a true story helped me see how even though such a tough time, they ended up closer than ever. Throughout the experience, you can see how both mother and daughter understand more about themselves and each other than ever.
I found this book, looking through my high school English teachers bookshelf, and know that it can be found at most libraries around Los Angeles.