Family Violence Healing - Writing about a Mother's Nightmare of Abuse Beyond Control
When you have a story to tell, there are two questions. How do you do it? And how did you do it? Domestic violence survivors often ask these questions of me. Read on to learn how your story can write itself.
Where did you get the where-with-all to write your book (All But My Soul) people continue to ask seven years after its publication. This question has been presented to me so many times, I'm compelled to give you the answer in this article.
I didn't write it; it wrote itself. Now I know that sounds ridiculous on face value, but that's actually what did indeed happen. Here's how.
Why I Wrote All But My Soul
First, I've known since the 80's through studying the work of James Pennebaker, Ph.D. that when you write about trauma, it releases from the physiology. And I didn't want to go to my grave with this drama.
Secondly, my children were being told by their father (and his family) that I abandoned them, yet nothing could be further from the truth. What actually happened is I was abused out of their lives.
And lastly, I had learned so much about domestic violence and the legal abuse syndrome, I wanted to put it out there for the hundreds and thousands of people who are in abusive relationships and those headed toward one.
I wanted to help them see the dynamics of battering relationships and understand how domestic abuse can be transformed into legal domestic abuse. I wanted them to know that if they were encountering family court denying them the right and ability to protect their children and themselves that their case was not an anomaly.
I also wanted them to have information to better protect their children and themselves. I thought that by knowing the common strategies used to railroad domestic violence survivors through the system at the bequest of their perpetrators to silence the abuse, they would have an advantage.
So my intentions where pretty clear but the writing, well that was a different matter. I simply didn't know where to begin. I thought about it for about two months and wrote nothing more than an outline.
How the Book Was Written
Then one day I had the honor of speaking with Byron Katie after one of her events. I told her that I had been struggling with writing a book. I said, "I need to write this book, and I can't seem to get it out of me."
Katie looked at me and said, "No, you don't have to write that book; the book needs to write itself."
So, I went home and thought who do I want to hear me speak? I placed pictures of my children around my monitor and every morning upon awakening I went directly to the keyboard. Exactly 100 days from the day I began, I had a 400 plus page first draft of the manuscript (most of which is the final draft).
The Inner Ache to the Outer Release
But I think when people ask me that question, what they really want to know is how did I get around, or over, the anger and anguish to bring pen to paper rather than resorting to the destruction of those that impacted the life of my children and myself? Or, as some do...rather than resorting to the destruction of myself.
Here's how. Each time I would come to a player in our saga that would make my hair stand on end, I would pull back and run those feelings through The Work until I could go to the keyboard and effortlessly write their chapter.
So for me it was a zigzagging between inner work and outer expression. Compounding this was the way I allowed the material to come to me up from the inner depths of my own quietude. When I'd fatigue from writing, I'd sit in meditation until another block of thought rushed forth running me back to the keyboard.
In many respects the book did write itself, and what I did was get out of the way. My hope for you is if you have a story to tell, you do all that is necessary to allow it to pour out from you to benefit all those who are drawn to it. It has meant so much to me to hear how my writing has impacted women worldwide over the years.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
For information about the dynamics of abusive relationships and healing from an abusive relationship, visit http://www.PreventAbusiveRelationships.com and claim your free Survivor Success Tips & eInsights. Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D., founding director of Partners in Prevention, helps individuals recognize, end and heal from domestic abuse. www.AllButMySoul.com Copyright 2008 Jeanne King, Ph.D.