If I’d had a choice, I never would have written And Be Happy. I could not, however, ignore the calling forever.
The first requests came from fellow members of a support group for survivors of domestic violence support group. They loved the way I related my experiences. I somehow articulated thoughts and feelings they had struggled to develop. They wanted to hear more and to be able to share the message with friends who needed it.
“No way. I can’t.”
I could not look at my life without feeling the quarter-century of pent-up self that screamed for comfort. I had been away from my ex-husband for over a year, but my battle with PTSD had only begun.
The request came every so often as new members joined. My answer remained the same. I needed to move on, not relive my abuse. Something else echoed the call. The closer I got to achieving my goals for my post-abuse life, the stronger a certain voice inside came to the surface. Whenever I meditated, and asked what next, the unwelcome answer rang loud: that book, write that book.
I wanted none of that. For years, I refused. Just before the five-year anniversary of the final attack from my ex-husband, I had had enough.
I screamed inside at the voice that persisted with the terrible answer. If I have to write this fucking book to get another fucking answer, I’m just going to do it. Get this shit out of the way and get on with my life.
It was not a good feeling that came. No sense of relief or strength was involved. It made me think of the showdown scene I ended up describing in chapter 24, Support. It was not good, but it was solid.
I had a new mission. I would write that book as fast as I could, send it to everyone from the group I still had contact with, and then never think about all that torture ever again.
Talk about naïve.
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Rebecca encourages survivors of domestic to speak about their experiences and to lean on each other for support.