The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Book Review-Comes the Darkness, Comes the Light

Book Review-Comes the Darkness, Comes the Light

By Keisha McDuffie/reporter

bookcoverIf you passed Vanessa Vega in the supermarket or if you were one of her students, on the outside she appeared together and in control. Looking at Vega without really looking, one would see an award-winning teacher, a devoted wife and a seemingly successful woman.

Comes the Darkness, Comes the Light is her version of who she really was, a painfully true story of Vega’s life-long battle with self-mutilation and anorexia. She has successfully captured 15 years of abuse, anger, self-hatred, coping, loving and eventually healing in just 212 pages.

Growing up the oldest in a family of three, Vega realized at an early age she had to go above and beyond for her parents’ attention, whether positive or negative. However, with two younger brothers, she quickly learned how to live without being the subject of any positive attention.

Vega’s father was an “extremely driven and purposeful man.” He was also a perfectionist while her mother was a woman who “preferred peace, more than her own desires.”

From a young age, Vega was able to grasp her mother’s role as caretaker and her father’s as the head of the household.

However, until later in life, Vega was incapable of understanding her mother’s actions; therefore, she saw them as weak and cowardly. Vega decided she never wanted to be like her mother, so she vowed to be important like her father, or as important as she believed him to be.

She eventually realized that her best was not her father’s idea of best, and no matter how hard she struggled, she simply would never be good enough in her father’s eyes. 

Her father constantly reminded her of how imperfect she was to him. He regularly said to her, “You disgust me. You’re retarded. You screw-up everything!” Vega died inside each time her father reminded her she would never be anything more than a failure in his eyes.

As a coping mechanism, she began secretly fighting back. In order for the pain of others not to cut so deep, she had to cut deeper. In other words, as long as Vanessa hurt herself worse than anyone else could, they would never “win.” So that is just what she did.

Onset at an extremely young age, her self-mutilation and cutting rituals would last all of her adolescence and most of her adult life.

Vega could not accept that she couldn’t control everyone or everything, or make everything better all the time or that no matter how hard she tried, she would never be flawless or perfect.

At all cost, she has managed to keep a deep, dark, scarring and ultimately deadly secret from every person in her life. Colleagues, family, not even her own spouse of 12 years was aware of what a damaging habit Vega possessed.

Comes the Darkness, Comes the Light is a resource for those who have contemplated cutting or harming themselves or who have (about 2 million people in the United States engage in some form of this behavior).

Friends and family members of cutters can get a glance at a fraction of the nightmare cutters endure daily by reading Comes the Darkness, Comes the Light.

The accurate and detailed glimpse into Vega’s mind will benefit all who have somehow been affected by self-mutilation victims.

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