I’m So Glad You’re Here is a memoir written by Pamela Gay. She shares her very traumatic early life experiences and how those shaped her life. Pamela witnessed her father’s forced removal from their family home at a young age. He was restrained and wheeled out right in front of her, leaving a terrible mental imprint on her. Pamela’s family later moved to Florida leaving her behind, which further impacts her mental health.
Pamela shares with the reader that she was later diagnosed with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. She tries a multitude of methods to help her, but finally finds eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) as a therapy method and finds that it helps her. This leads her to the beginning of her healing process.
How I Felt:
Pamela Gay’s story was written with such an honest, emotional voice. I thought that she was very open about her experiences and her recovery process, and I appreciated that. She talks a lot about her family’s dynamic, how they interacted with one another, and also about their mental health history. I like how this information helped to shape her story, and I found it very interesting.
I’m So Glad You’re Here is a fairly short memoir, at 168 pages, and while I did get a good sense for her overall story, I would have enjoyed more information. Her first experience is at 5 or six years old and she discusses events all the way into her 50s. It’s a lot of time to put into a 150+ page book, so there are definitely portions of her story I would have liked to delve deeper into. What she was willing to share though, was very interesting.
Pamela includes a variety of information in the story, which reduced the overall length of the narrative, but provided such an interesting addition to her story. She includes quotes, entries from journals, and poems. There were even recipes added throughout the book, which I really enjoyed.
Overall, I thought this was an emotional memoir that had a good story with shines a light on the importance of mental health and wellness.
Mental health, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), abandonment.
To Read or Not To Read:
I would recommend I’m So Glad You’re Here for readers that enjoy an emotional memoir that focuses on the journey to recovery.
Where to Find This Book:
I’m So Glad You’re Here by Pamela Gay is available at these sites.
I’m So Glad You’re Here is the story of a family disrupted by ramifications of a father’s mental illness. The memoir opens with a riveting account of Gay, age eighteen, witnessing her father being bound in a straitjacket and carried out of the house on a stretcher. The trauma she experiences escalates when, after her father has had electroshock treatments at a state mental hospital, her parents leave her in a college dorm room and move from Massachusetts to Florida without her. She feels abandoned. Both her parents have gone missing.
Decades later, when Gay and her three much-older siblings show up for their father’s funeral, she witnesses her sundered family’s inability to gather together. Eventually, she is diagnosed with PTSD of abandonment and treated with EMDR therapy―and finally begins to heal. Poignant and powerful, I’m So Glad You’re Here is Gay’s exploration of the idea that while the wounds we carry from growing up in fractured families stay with us, they do not have to control us―a reflective journey that will inspire readers to think about their own relational lives.
Just the Facts:
I’m So Glad You’re Here by Pamela Gay
Page Count: 168 pages
Publisher: She Writes Press
Pub Date: May 26, 2020
I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of this book for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.