The Snipers We Couldn’t See


The Snipers We Couldn’t See is Karen Comba’s memoir of rare power, a harrowing and intimate portrait of the far-reaching, generational effects of severe mental illness. Told with determination and searing honesty, this book recounts the shattering details of growing up as the prime target of her schizophrenic mother’s mental and physical abuse.

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Karen’s story is sure to resonate with anyone who was the quiet child who quietly retreated in school— and who felt shame and anxiety as relatives, friends and neighbors ran away from her mother and the situation as far as possible. Much like Jeanette Walls recounted about herself in The Glass Castle, Karen spent much of her adulthood hoping to bury her own history in the hope that nobody– especially herself–would find it.

Now in her 60’s Karen shares her story as a means to create a franker dialogue to help heal and inform others. The Snipers We Couldn’t See is a story of survival that is as chilling as it is redemptive.

Karen Comba has dedicated her life to mental health advocacy. She has managed nursing homes and medical offices and has worked directly with those afflicted with mental illness for years. She was born in rural Nebraska and now lives in Castle Rock, Colorado with her husband, Curt. She believes in “staying in your happy pond” and shows up every day to do just that. For more information, visit her website at


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