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175 in stock


By Karen Phillips

ISBN: 978-1-78382-101-3
Published: 2014
Pages: 238
Key Themes: Mental Health, Sexual Abuse, Addiction, Depression, Suicide


‘Escape’ is a true story that reveals how childhood sexual abuse and violence can lead to addictions, depression, and to the belief that suicide is our only escape. It shows how we can become empowered and find our way out of this vicious cycle. In this serious, yet entertaining and funny story, Karen tries running away from her haunting pain, only to find a seemingly endless amount of trouble to get into. Lost, feeling unworthy and alone, she speaks her innermost private thoughts through her prose, journals, and poems. Her feelings of fear, rage, and sadness start to breathe. Karen is the voice for all the ones who cannot speak as she clearly expresses her deepest emotions. Through her journey, we learn we are not alone and through her courage we find hope and inspiration.

About the Author

Karen Phillips wrote ‘Escape’ to empower others. It is a moving testament to the power that survivors of sexual abuse and violence can find within themselves to bring about the changes they seek in their own life. Using addictions to fight her depression, she finds herself feeling unworthy and alone with thoughts of suicide as her only escape. Serious, yet entertaining and funny, she takes you through Ecuador, Cuba, Mexico, and Canada. Karen has studied psychology in college and creative writing in university. Her poetry has been presented and acknowledged by Queen Elizabeth II. She is also an award-winning songwriter. Karen is now on the west coast of Canada and lives to compel others to survive as she brings them hope and inspiration.

Book Extract

Oh, how I desire for my heart to sink deep down into the depths of the sea—like a sunken treasure never to be found again. Oh how I want to swim out into the ocean so that I can sink into the deep blue sea, to the bottom—into the dark, black bottom of the sea. I know it holds the power to suck the last breath of life out of me. It holds in its grip the power to take my life. It holds life and death before my eyes.

My energy has left me. All of my hope has vanished. Excruciating pain is devouring me, like a hungry piranha. I am perishing. A cold knife penetrates my heart. I am lost at sea. I can no longer navigate. My life is dark. The fire is not burning.

I am not worth anything. I am but a grain of sand on a desolate beach. I am nothing in the eyes of one man or woman that walks upon the earth. I am trash. I am not even recyclable. I am unworthy of being loved. Surely, not one person would miss me if I sank, slowly, slowly down into the heart of the sea.

Fear is creeping in and it is crawling through my veins. I don’t like to be invisible. I am the only person left on my island in my heart. Everybody else just drifted away. I have no shelter from the storm.

I am starving for love, for affection, for arms to wrap around me and for soft words to be spoken in my ear, to tell me everything is going to be okay. Oh, how I wish to quench my thirst, my desire, for love. My mouth is dry. I am out in the cold.

The salty air swirls around me in the dark night air. All is silent—the silent moment before death can be heard. The stars and the moonlight are dancing on the sea, calling me. I can hear the waves touching the shore. I can feel them reaching out for me. A dark, deep sea of excruciating loneliness is found in my heart.

It is this moment in time when my world grows dark. The sun does not shine for me. The stars have gone out and the moon never shines. My world inside my mind is dark. My heart holds up its shield and its sword. I am numb. I am frozen. I cannot feel anything anymore. My sadness, my happiness, my anger, and my joy—all of my emotions have frozen within me. I can no longer cry. My eyes do not shine. My hollow heart wants to hide from it all. My crushing pain is leading me to my last final escape—to suicide. Death is calling me.

Should I swim now—far out to sea and take my last breath and sink into the depths as far as I can go? Should I let the river of salty water fill my nose, my mouth, my lungs, and my heart? I could vanish into the deep dark sea in the night and nobody will ever know.

I am alone—who will rescue me now? Who will save me from this shipwreck? Where will I find shelter from the storm? I find my thoughts inside a cave, with the water rising from the tide, into the dark caverns of my mind. My escape route is cut off. There is no place to go. Courage and inner strength do not reside in my bones, I feel empty.

I feel alone, so very, very alone. I have pushed everyone out of my life, one by one, and they are all gone. I am alone. All alone on an uninhabited island, I sit in the sand. I have escaped. I have escaped from them all. I ran away from the people and the places that pierced me with deep wounds that made me bleed.

I have taken a small plane, then a larger one, and yet another larger one. I have taken a bus and another bus, another plane, another bus, and finally I have arrived at my destination, on a desolate island. This is where I escape to—I have no other place I can run to. It is as far as I can go. I cannot go any further. The haunting shadow of my pain from when I was a child follows me everywhere—everywhere I go. I cannot leave it behind. It will not stay behind. It follows me everywhere, every step that I take, never missing a beat. I try so hard to get rid of it by leaving the people that pierced me, by leaving them behind—but pain keeps torturing my mind, screaming that I am worthless and unlovable. I want to die. I want to end all my pain—once and for all. I want to kill my pain. I want to murder it.

I can no longer navigate through the effects of the bitter taste of abuse. It sends me riding on an emotional journey, until I am lost, inside my heart. It keeps building pressure becoming more and more painful. It is overwhelming. I feel alone and isolated. It seems like it is impossible to ever solve my problems. My pain crushes me and I have the feeling that only death will stop it. I take another drink. It bites me and stings my throat, as it takes its journey through my body. Feelings of hopelessness overwhelm me. I have no one to listen to me. I need to break my silent secrets that eat me alive, like maggots in gangrene.


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