I Wrote A Book
I am about to publish a memoir about recovery from an abusive marriage. I started the memoir in October, 2014, after nearly five years of resisting the idea.
A few women in my first support group asked me to write my story. They liked the way I talked about my experience. They wanted to read about it and share it with their friends.
I said, “No way, I’m working really hard not to think about all this crap all the time. I can’t write about it. I can’t even journal. I end up just stabbing the page with my pen and crying.”
As the years away from my ex-husband passed, friends and casual acquaintances added their own suggestions that I write about my abuse. The idea never grew on me.
How Did This Happen?
I made a lot of progress and a happy life for myself, but I still felt lost. To make matters worse, every time I asked in meditation what to do next in my life, I got the same answer: “What about that book? Write that book.”
At a time when my new life imploded, I tried so hard to hear some other answer when I closed my eyes and begged to know, “what next?”
One day, I had had enough. I opened my eyes from a meditation, and I had a plan. I would write that book. I would write, not about the abuse but about how I got through it and my journey of recovery from domestic violence.
Desperate, I thought, “if I have to write this f****** book to get a new answer, then I just have to write this f****** book.”
Writing And Be Happy has been even more difficult than I had anticipated. But I am stronger than I thought I was, too. The experience brought me a deeper understanding of myself, abuse dynamics, recovery, and human nature.
What Happens Now?
Now I get to learn all about the self-publishing process. I’ll have the book out in May of this year, and then I have more writing to do. I have started a sequel to And Be Happy called Without Him. Recovery is a long process, and so much growth happened for me in the years after the end of And Be Happy.
What I Love Most
The best part of having shared my story is the inspiration I have seen others take from it. Other abuse survivors realize they do not have to keep their pasts secret. They do not have to pretend they are magically cured by being away from their abuser. They don’t have to feel alone.
Loneliness and isolation were two of the most painful parts in my own journey, and I’m happy for any bit I can contribute to the community of support for abuse survivors.
Rebecca encourages survivors of domestic to speak about their experiences and to lean on each other for support.