Reflections From Christy’s Book Writing Journey

 

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS BOOK?

During my marriage, as I was planning how to leave, I had a safe deposit box where I kept emergency cash, a Living Will and a Durable Power of Attorney. I also kept a written record of every abusive and violent incident that my ex-husband inflicted on me. I would add my written notes to the documents in the safe deposit box on a regular basis. I did this in case anything ever happened to me and I wasn’t able to communicate who injured me… or worse. I had it all written down. Each event was documented in detail with the dates and times noted. My parents had a key to the safe deposit box. They didn’t know what was in it. I just told them “If anything ever happens to me I have important documents” in there that they should get.

It wasn’t my intention to write a book. My only intention, at the time, was staying two steps ahead of him, trying to anticipate his actions (which were always unpredictable) and creating my safety plan as I prepared to leave the marriage. I was in survival mode. It wasn’t until I was out of the marriage and I was sorting through papers that I came across my detailed notes and was inspired to write the book.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO FINALLY GET STARTED?

It wasn’t until my marriage was over and I had processed much of the trauma with a domestic violence therapist that I began to consider writing my story. I only had the thought of writing my story after I had found my way back to a place of strength and power and healing. I have always been a writer and I knew that I could communicate my experience in a way that would help other men and women in abusive relationships.

I also wanted to bring awareness to the fact that domestic violence doesn’t have a certain “appearance.” Domestic violence can happen to anybody. I waited until I was 35 years old before I got married. I owned my own home, was financially independent, had a successful career, and a good education. I was a strong person and I came from a solid home where my parents were still married.

There were very subtle red flags that I wish I had recognized. They were subtle, but they were there. Domestic violence and abusive relationships are so much more prevalent than people realize. So many people are living it, but they don’t talk about it. I knew I had to use my experience to help others. I wanted to help them recognize the subtlest of red flags. Because I lived it, I wanted to help them understand their own conflicting feelings and understand why an abuser does what he does, as well as whether or not an abuser can change. I wanted to help family and friends of someone who is being abused know how to help in the most effective way. Because I lived it, I know what is useful and what is actually detrimental, despite family and friend’s best intentions.

HOW LONG WAS THE ENTIRE PROCESS OF WRITING THE BOOK?

Once I decided to write the book, a couple years after my marriage ended, I formed an outline of the key points I wanted to communicate in the book. All of my detailed experiences had already been written down in the notes from the safe deposit box. Then, I let it all sit for nearly eight more years. Once I felt moved to finish writing and expanding all my hand written notes into chapters, the words just poured out of me effortlessly and I completed the book in about three months.

 

Click Here to Get a Copy of the Book

“Marry Me” Doesn’t Mean “I Love You”

WHY DID YOU LET THE PARTIALLY WRITTEN BOOK SIT FOR EIGHT YEARS?

I wasn’t sure how I would feel about mentally and emotionally reliving the abuse in order to write about it.

WHAT WAS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF WRITING THE BOOK?

I truly believe that in order to write well, a writer must feel what they are writing. In order to do that effectively I had to “go there” again. I had to mentally relive and emotionally connect with each of the experiences that I write about. Without reliving the experience and connecting to the feeling states of the events, I would not be able to communicate effectively to the reader. It is not my goal to simply write words, but to share feelings, elicit emotions, and invoke thoughts in a way that will make a positive impact in the readers’ lives.

WAS THERE AN EASY PART ABOUT WRITING YOUR BOOK?

When I really buckled down and committed to writing, it was very easy. The words just poured out of me, effortlessly. The book was ready to come to life and it did! I think I needed those years of distance and healing in order to revisit the abuse from a place of strength. It is only from a place of strength that I can write in a way that will serve others.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOTIVATIONAL PHRASE AND WHY?

The motivational phrase that resonates so strongly with me is “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Our experiences are part of who we are. We can’t change them. We cant pretend they never happened. We can decide what we are going to do with them and how we are going to let them affect us. We can hold onto the pain and the fear and allow those experiences to keep us from living our best lives, or we can use those experiences as motivation for change and turn them into spring boards toward real happiness. Sure, it is brutally painful at the time, whether you stay or whether you go, but the pain of leaving an abusive relationship is a temporary pain. The pain of staying in an abusive relationship is permanent.

 

 

Click Here to Get a Copy of the Book

“Marry Me” Doesn’t Mean “I Love You”

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