It’s a tall order to be featured on a blog as a guest writer and an even taller order to write about a topic so painful to millions. I’ve been asked to write a guest post on the topic of abuse as this is the foundation for what the title character in my new novel, Jane, has faced. Jane comes from a childhood background of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse; and though she survives and overcomes her painful past, she still carries deep, unseen scars from her traumatic experiences. I chose to write a book that focused on the often unseen consequences of abuse.
Many times people are unaware of another’s past or pain because the person doesn’t share it and if they do, they don’t behave in a manner that is alarming. But despite the lack of demonstrative pain, many people are continuously bleeding from pasts that haven’t been resolved or fully healed. It doesn’t have to be from something as severe as what Jane faced; it can be from a more common experience of childhood bullying or a misunderstanding with a teacher or even a parent who wasn’t as affectionate as they should have been. Every person faces a time in their life when something or someone seriously wounds them - most of the time it’s internal, sometimes it’s external. Regardless of the source, it’s important to seek healing. And the first step to healing is acknowledging the pain, something Jane has to do in order to move forward.
I was originally asked to talk about how important it is for women of color not to be silent about these issues because it “is a topic a lot of people don’t bring up with black women.” While this is certainly true and valid, Jane’s situation was much more complicated. At the time of her abuse, she was a child - an adolescent. Women too often protect their abusers and people in the African American community can be all-too-silent as well but children are notoriously silent about the abuse they suffer because they do not have the emotional or mental tools to articulate what they are enduring. Often times the abuser will groom and manipulate them into silence. Many times the child will blame themselves for the abuse or view themselves as the person at fault in the situation, not realizing they are the victim - not the perpetrator.
They know that something terrible has happened and they suffer the pain silently because the fear of condemnation keeps them silent. It is critically important for parents and adults in contact with children to be observant and communicative with the children they are around. I applaud parents and guardians who caution children about what type of touching is acceptable and what’s not. It is especially important for parents to communicate to their children that the child can and must report any inappropriate touching to them immediately - without fear of ramification. An open invitation to tell Mom or Dad “this person did this to me…” can mean the difference between a child being abused in silence or a perpetrator being stopped in their tracks. Equally important is observing the child and immediately asking them if something has happened if there is a sudden change in their demeanor or disposition. Be specific and ask more than once if you suspect something is off. Also extend an invitation for the child to tell you if something has happened. They may find the courage to speak up at a later time and knowing that the door is always open helps.
Even when the abuse comes to light and therapy occurs, it can take years and a huge dose of brutal honesty to clean the wound that has been cut. Just when it appears the issue is “dealt with,” something will trigger a reaction and a new area in need of healing is discovered. Often times the wound of abuse is left unattended for years and as a result, an emotional and mental infection can take over - seeping into relationships, trust, and self-esteem. Jane healed physically and socioeconomically from her abuse. But she was emotionally and spiritually crippled, having made a vow at a young age to never trust or rely on others again. Vows made in reaction to pain only evoke more pain.
I wrote Jane to illustrate the deep soul wounds that can exist when abuse occurs in conjunction with internal vows a person may make in response. Jane is a story that shows you how.
Interested in following the rest of the tour? Here's the schedule!
Saturday, February 14th
- Guest Post at To Be A Person
- Review at The Art of Storytelling
Sunday, February 15th
- Interview at The Art of Storytelling
Monday, February 16th
- Interview at Crafty Booksheeps
Wednesday, February 18th
- Review at Remain in His Love
Thursday, February 19th
- Guest Post at at Twinja Book Reviews
Friday, February 20th
- Review at Crafty Booksheeps
Saturday, February 21st
- Review at The Book Junkie Reads. . .
Monday, February 23rd
- Review at Kim Talks Books
Tuesday, February 24th
- Review at i blog 4 books
Wednesday, February 25th
- Review at To Be A Person
Friday, February 27th
- Review at Romance Between the Covers
Saturday, February 28th
- Review at Twinja Book Reviews
- Book Spotlight at Musings Of An IR Romance Junkie
About the Book
Damaged and abused.
Jane Daugherty has survived what can only be described as the childhood from hell. After years of mental, physical, and sexual abuse, she has become a fiercely independent young woman - closed off from human connection. Unable to believe in people or their capability to be kind, she has vowed to build a new life for herself so that she never has to rely on, or trust, others again. At 24-years-old, she is fulfilling this vow, successfully working as the youngest tenure-track professor at the University of New York.
Brilliant and remarkably accomplished, Jane's life takes an unexpected turn when she is reunited with the childhood friend she protected in foster care. Alexa Masterson introduces Jane to the family that adopted her, a family that includes her older brother, Aiden Masterson. Instantly drawn to each other, Aiden and Jane embark on a relationship that will either destroy them both or shape them into the man and woman they were always meant to be. Can what started as lust transform into love? And what will bring about the transformation that they ultimately need?
About the Author
Michelle N. Onuorah is the bestselling author of Remember Me, Type N, and Taking Names. She wrote and published her debut book, Double Identity, at the tender age of thirteen and has been writing ever since. A graduate of Biola University, Michelle continues to write and publish under her company, MNO Media, LLC . You can learn more about Michelle at www.mnomedia.com and like her page at www.facebook.com/authormichelleonuorah.