First published as only parts of her life, this book brings together the full life story of the woman known as Annie O'Sullivan. Horribly abused at the hand of her father, it is a collection of essays that graphically recount memories of her life as a confused child and young adult as she careened through life without compass, to ultimately, and against all odds, prosper. Culminating in the event that brought a degree of closure to her torture, O'Sullivan brings the reader on an intimate life journey through the eyes of this child’s misunderstanding, will to persevere and desire to seek goodness despite her circumstances.
Terrifying, infuriating and uplifting, this book touches not only survivors; but parents, childcare workers and teachers; reminding us of the true vulnerability of children and our collective responsibility to protect them.
ISBN Trade Paper: 978-1-926760-69-8
BIOGRAPHY | Personal Memoir & FAMILY | Child Abuse
List Price: $16.95
Published: April 9, 2012
"As an avid reader and supporter of survivors, I applaud Annie’s willingness to look into those dark corners of her truth. Her genuine honesty awakens our common battle to reclaim our lives." - Nell Cole, Producer, Fire Talk Production
Annie O’Sullivan has done it! “Can You Hear Me Now?” is bravely and creatively written to expose the reader to a world full of chaos and madness as she paints her canvas of her painful childhood; a world of darkness and destruction, a world of pain and the reality of growing up abused in a dysfunctional home. Annie shares her soul with us in hopes to open our eyes, and open our ears to the plight of so many abused children today. Compelling, frightening, and completely honest, Annie O’Sullivan demands our attention and we hope she will continue to do just that." - Laurie Ann Smith, Author, Child Abuse Prevention Public Speaker, No More Silence Penworks
"The events of her journey—incomprehensible, the evil to which she was habitually subjected—unimaginable. Yet while soberly and heavy-heartedly working my way through her painful recounting, I could not help but come away with a profound sense of astonishment and admiration: In spite of the horrors consistently heaped upon her pure young soul, the strength to survive—even thrive—is irrepressible in this resilient and courageous woman. Read this disturbing yet engaging saga; sensitize yourself to the grim reality around and amongst many of us. You will find yourself affected and changed—forever." - Mary Beth Egeling, Author of Messages from My Hands and Love-abouts; Proud sponsor of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
"With life's depradations, perpetrated against the vulnerable, the Great Mystery is raising an amazing group of whom I coin "Warrior Survivors". As the chief of the Turtle Island Warrior Society, and advocate for Sky, Earth and All In Between, I also stand with these Survivor Warriors in what in all reality is a battle against the crimes of abuse perpetrated by those whom we are supposed to trust. In my journeys, I met such a warrior. Her name is Annie O'Sullivan; an extraordinary human being, with Sacred Fire which burns in her. Annie tells her story eloquently, bringing readers, or listeners, to a place and time beyond one's own realities. She takes us successfully out of the comfort zone, and into a world of such cruel reality as to make it virtually experiential. Yet, through the truth of her ordeals, this Warrior Survivor shines with strength, power and hope - not just for herself - but for all who have been through literal hell on Earth. It is a great honor to know Annie, and I know that through her story, you will come to know - and honor her - too." - Chief David Little Eagle, The Turtle Island Warrior Society
"Annie O’Sullivan has looked evil in the face and lived to tell about it. Through her art, photos, and talented writing, she vividly shares her life of unrelenting sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. Other survivors will find hope in her ability to succeed against the odds. Every reader will gain an insight into this epidemic that plagues our society; therefore, having an awareness that may save a child from abuse…perhaps their own." - Brinda Carey, Advocate for Child Sexual Abuse Survivors and Author of Don't Cry, Daddy's Here
"Saying I’m an avid reader would be an understatement… Rarely if ever has a book touched me like "Can You Hear Me Now " by Annie O’Sullivan. I found myself crying with her, angry, yelling and screaming right along with her. "Can You Hear Me Now? " totally captivated me as it will anyone who dares to read it. This book written from intense pain, abuse, tragedy and triumph, it has it all. This is a must read you will never forget." - Becky Striblin Kemble, Rome, Georgia.
"Seldom am I speechless, as I was when I finished her book. I know many survivors personally and have heard hundreds, if not thousands of their horror stories of Childhood Abuse and Childhood Sexual Abuse. I have listened to them for over three decades of my own recovery from drug addiction and from the horror of my own Childhood Sexual Abuse. The stories are not pretty. The ones who tell theirs are the ones fortunate enough to survive. Many do not. Most go unreported. The remainder are seldom heard. Others suffer a lifetime of torturous silence. That Annie survived is an act of Divine Intervention in its highest form. That she talks about it is truly a miracle.That she has triumphed and thrived is almost other worldly. Her riveting and poignant story has deeply touched my soul. I am awed, honored and humbled by her presence in my life, and for her courage to share the raw and hard to hear truth of her personal experience in order that others may heal." - Bo Budinsky, Survivor, Advocate, Speaker, Author
"After reading "Can You Hear Me Now" by Annie O Sullivan I can only think what a wonderful book this is for survivors of abuse of any type. This is a book that truly touches the heart and serves to show us we are not alone. God bless you Annie for sharing your story with us. In you the rest of us can find strength. God bless." - Joan Davenport, Survivor
MY MOTHER, KATE, was a beautiful woman; raven-haired with the red highlights of her Irish ancestry. At 5’7”, she was tall, slim and long legged, and built like a Barbie doll. However, she lacked the confidence one would think beautiful women have. Shy, quiet, naïve, gullible and passive, she was the perfect woman for a man like my father. Mom stayed with him for twenty-five years and left him only when her mother discovered he was cheating. He cheated on my mother my whole life. I thought husbands just did that. Grandma had proclaimed, “We are not having that! What are you doing with him?” I can only imagine my mother’s reply.
Bryan was my father. He was 5’7”, the same height as my mother. While tall for a woman, 5’7” was short for a man. Mom never wore heels. “It bothers your father,” she would say. Otherwise, he was attractive, well built, and charming. People always liked my father. We moved around so much I doubt anyone ever got to really know him. Dad was a violent child. He had “problems”. They called him “Poor Bryan”. He couldn’t seem to get along with anyone for very long and was passed around the family from aunt to uncle to cousins. At sixteen, he violently raped his cousin and as was the practice back then, the courts gave him an ultimatum: join the military, or go to prison. My father joined the military, got married, and went on to breed his own victims.
The first child protection laws were enacted in 1966 when I was eleven years old. Until that time, to rape, beat, or otherwise abuse your own children, although immoral, was not a crime. People looked the other way. It was believed, and some still believe, that what goes on in your family is a private matter. By my father’s own words, I was six months old when we first
“played house”. I was told that I started it. In my preteen years, during his time in the Marines, my father was in an explosion that blew his legs off and killed his colleague. Instead of being a wake-up call, the accident made him worse and encouraged his belief that nothing could touch him, since he was now a war hero.
I have three living brothers. I am the oldest. Curtis was nine or ten months younger than I and died a questionable crib death at six months. John is nineteen months younger. Gabe is seven years younger and Bryan the youngest, was born sixteen years after me.