A List of Things That Didn't Kill Me

A List of Things That Didn't Kill Me - Jason Schmidt

Jason’s memoir should be titled, A List of Things That Didn’t Put Me behind Bars, because after reading his memoir, Jason should be lucky he didn’t lose it. Jason’s ability to write down his daily life without all the negative emotions and baggage that came trampling along beside him was amazing. His father was candid and perhaps that helped Jason in his ability to tell it truthfully and not bitterly, his memoir was truly an eye-opener. According to his father, Jason was a “by-product of his parents attempt to be normal.” What a wonderful way for a child to think of himself in his informative years. Jason spends most of his childhood alone and in the front of the television, welcome to the 70’s. In the novel, we watch Jason as he deals with life and his part in it. His mother is no longer in the picture and his father slowly fades in and out as drugs consume him. His father seems to be searching for himself, always going after something else, never satisfied with what he has. I had that country song where the artist sings about always reaching for something we don’t have playing in the back of my head as I read this novel. Jason’s father is on the move, never content and he’s bringing Jason with him. During one sprint, the two of them move in with John and John watches Jason while his father goes to school. I really thought this relationship was special; John acted more like a father to Jason and they bonded. As they read books together, I hoping this relationship would last but of course, something else was in the cards. Jason was abused by his father and it amazed me how this treatment affected Jason. His classmates also abused him. Jason just couldn’t get a break. How he kept it all together, was beyond me. Jason lacked the skills for making friends and these individuals were the only people within his grasp that he could reach out to. This book was a remarkable memoir, it dealt with a variety of hard subject matter but it showed that the human spirit can overcome and be resilient. I will be rereading this novel again.