Rated of 5
by Michele W. (Manchester, MD)
It's not that I'm unsympathetic to the suffering of the author; it's not that I don't admire his writing skill. I actually feel little guilty that I wasn't more moved by this tale of Fitzpatrrick's sad life as a victim, a non-suicidal cutter, and a manic-depressive professional mental patient. I always have trouble summoning up much empathy for people who accept victimhood as passively as David Fitzpatrick did. It's my nature to fight with all my strength, and I don't understand those who submit. Fitzpatrick tells us that self-punishers like him are competitive, and usually stop in their thirties when they begin to understand the essential futility of continuing on this path. David, on the other hand, didn't stop cutting and burning himself until he was over 40, a degree of stubborn hubris that he appears to think is his proudest life achievement. He leaves hints about sexual preoccupations, about family sadism, about religious confusions, and severe drug abuse, but he never puts it all together. His self-punishing, which was always non-suicidal, still seems to be his main source of self-esteem, judging by the attention he devotes to his episodes. Getting better is a process and this is where he is right now, but not where he may end up. I wish him all the luck in the world.