This started out as a book review of Kealen Patrick Burke’s horror novella Jack and Jill. The story is so fucking perverse but it was also a comfort to me. God can speak in many ways, and right now God is speaking through horror stories. For some of us, these horror stories were our lives. The books help me to learn things about myself, they give me hope that things can be different. This book delved into a topic I’ve been afraid to explore but need to, and I can’t really put it off any longer. Some of us have lived lives where we are haunted by nightmares and the ghosts of our pasts.
In this book, Gillian, aided in nightmares where her dead younger brother speaks to her, has to process memories of incest. These nightmares haunt her every night, and this affects her relationships with others, because as much as she wants healing, she knows what happened was perverted. She has built fortified walls and makes sure they are guarded, and that they won’t let people in. She projects her own bullshit on to others, without even realizing she’s doing it, at least until the end. In the story, Gillian finds out that her husband has continued the cycle of incest with her daughter, and her way of breaking the cycle is to kill the motherfucker and chop off his penis while he dies a slow death.
Through a visit to her father, Gillian realizes that her father is actually deluded enough to think that he did nothing wrong. Gillian has to process the fact that he said that he loved her, even while he hurt her. She has been tricked into associating love with pain, she thinks that she is unworthy, all because of what some sick and twisted motherfucker who called himself her father did to her. Lately I have been struggling with where the presence of God was when things happened to me as a baby.
And while I often wondered where God was when bad things were happening to me, and I still don’t understand so much about that, and for how much of my life I felt totally abandoned and that I am still afraid of abandonment, I need to accept love. God’s love, the love of people who want to love me even when I’m prickly and high maintenance. I need to trust and believe that God was there whether I can feel it or not and whether I felt it at the time or not, because if God abandoned me in those moments, then the whole thing is a farce, and I can’t believe that because God has been giving me healing.
In stories, the ghosts haunt the house or the victims until whatever it is that they hung around for are resolved. May God give all of us deeply hurt by those who were supposed to love us the peace that passes all understanding, and in that peace, let us thank the ghosts and then release them to peace. And may we go in peace, to love and serve the Lord.
Kealan Patrick Burke is a talented author and if you’re interested in this quick but intense read, you can purchase the book Jack and Jill on Amazon.