A Child of Royalty by Diana Ketterman
Diana Ketterman recounts her lifelong journey in her narrative, A Child of Royalty. As a young child, Diana was often the subject of affection from her father and of care and love from her mother. Diana recalls times when her mother defended her from a neighbor boy who teased her, and her father was one who often stopped the car on the side of the road, simply to pick wildflowers for her own bouquet. As Diana begins to grow, however, disabilities and disorders plague Diana’s family, changing the dynamic and happiness that was once so prevalent in her life. While Diana’s mother has begun to act strangely and eventually disregards care of her three children, Diana’s father is suddenly diagnosed with a brain tumor, eliciting a change in his personality and resulting in a debilitating surgery. Diana’s parents begin to fight more often and more violently, with the violence often spreading to the three young children. As Diana continues to find herself caring for her younger siblings and acting as a mother figure in their lives, she is also struggling with graduation, a new job, and a young marriage. When Diana’s father passes away, her mother becomes increasingly more incapacitated, eventually resulting in her removal from her home and the placement of her two minor children in foster care. Throughout all of this, Diana continues to have hope and pursue her dreams, never allowing her lack of a “normal” family to prevent her successes or the preservation of her family. Eventually becoming an immensely successful businesswoman and leader, Diana epitomizes the narrative of a dedicated, hopeful individual who overcomes adversity to achieve a well-deserved, positive outcome.
Diana Ketterman is anything but a child of royalty. In a narrative that reads as well as fiction, readers are allowed a window into the life that encompasses a mental disorder. In A Child of Royalty, readers are able to experience and understand the toll that a mental disorder takes not only on the sufferer, but also on those loved ones of the afflicted. These firsthand experiences tell the story of the emotions that result from watching the sanity slowly slip from a parent, and from the deep, long-lasting psychological damage that it can inflict on others. From something as apparently simple as an awareness of physical appearance to something as impactful as a constant fear of mental disorder development, we are able to see how Diana’s mother has affected her to this day. Along with this insight into the repercussions of a disorder, however, we are also able to see how these situations have shaped Ketterman into the successful adult that she is. As Ketterman mentions in the last pages of her narrative, she would never have chosen these cards and this path in her life if presented ever with the choice – but her past and her experiences as they occurred are precisely what have allowed her to become who she has become. Readers with a variety of interest and backgrounds will be able to find inspiration from Ketterman’s memoir. Whether interests are in mental disorders, “underdog” stories, or somewhere in between, readers will undoubtedly walk away with a new appreciation of the various obstacles that are presented throughout one’s lifetime.
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