When everything that glitters isn’t gold, the lies we tell ourselves become the only ones we believe.
“He was drinking. It won’t happen again.”
“I tripped and fell. I’m so clumsy.”
Eve McMillan is no stranger to lies.
After being freed of her sexually abusive father and escaping death at the hands her physically abusive boyfriend, Eve finds herself alone and afraid. Her girlfriends don’t understand why she’s content with being their “single friend” but there isn’t a man alive that can take away Eve’s fear of choosing the wrong one.
When hair stylist, Chyna, joins the group of close friends, Eve learns that Chyna is no stranger to lies either. Convinced that she and Cameron are just having “a hard time” after the loss of their child, Chyna says and does everything to keep her friends’ suspicions at bay and cover up her pain.
Eve is relentless in her efforts to help Chyna realize that what she thinks is love is truly not. Eve knows she has to intervene before Cameron ends up killing her best friend.
Writing fiction based on real life events can come easy to some authors. People ask me if any of my books are based on my personal life. Normally, the answer is no. I never wanted to be in my work. I like building stories from the ground up. It’s more fun that way. So why now? Why this book?
First, The Lies We Tell Ourselves is not an autobiography. It’s fiction based on real-life SITUATIONS. The characters are not me, my family, or my friends. I didn’t do the “the names have been changed to protect the innocent” thing. I am a fiction author. But I knew that in order to write this book and give it the emotional depth it needed, I would have to draw upon my real life experiences. I was never a drug dealer like my characters in A Hustler’s Promise, nor was I white male blues guitarist like Aiden in UNTITLED. However, I am a Domestic Violence survivor and the sister of one also. I know what I’m talking about.
I grew up in a single parent home, the middle child of my mother’s 3 daughters. I was an introvert even back then. I was quiet, not shy, but I watched everything. I was very familiar with what was happening to the women around me. I saw my mother be verbally and mentally abused constantly. When the abuse became physical, she left. I learned from that. However, I didn’t learn the right thing. I thought I was supposed to deal with being talked down to, the mind games, and every thing else that comes along with mental and verbal abuse as long as he never put his hands on me. I thought that was what a relationship consisted of.
But I stayed. I endured the threats pf physical violence that were always there, lingering in the air like the smell of curry or fried fish. It took 2 years before he put his hands on me.The first blow came when I least expected it. Then came the promises and the apologies. And thus, the cycle began. He was bigger and stronger than me and despite believing that I was tough, I knew I couldn’t take him.
I ran. I fled like a slave on the Underground Railroad. I still call my leaving The Great Escape. But I never told anyone why I was leaving. I lied. I was tired of Georgia. I want to live in many different places. I’m a free spirit, I’ll never stay in one place for long. I lied to cover up my pain. I lied to make myself feel better. I lied to convince myself that I’d brought it on myself.
When I was in my abusive relationship, I failed to see that my older sister was going through the same thing. Because we became great at lying. Lying to others and lying to ourselves.
When I fled, I went home to my mother. i’m sure she knew that something wasn’t right, but she never said anything. She didn’t ask any questions, she just opened her home to me. Finally, I was safe. I was learning about abuse and trying to become a better, stronger woman so that I would never have to go through that again. During this time of growth and reflection, I learned that there was nothing I could do to help my sister because she wasn’t ready to be helped. That was and still is the most painful and frustrating experience I’ve ever had.
Battered Woman Syndrome (also referred to as Battered Person Syndrome) is very real and very dangerous. It has an effect on everybody in that person’s life. Outsiders looking in repeatedly as “why doesn’t she leave?” “Why does she stay with someone who hurts her?”
Only an individual who has been in that situation can answer that question.
I wrote this book because I’ve been in that situation and I’ve met strong courageous women who share the same stories as me and my sister. We hear about the victims and survivors of domestic abuse all the time. There’s even a month dedicated to spreading awareness. Who we don’t hear from are the loved ones who have lost sisters and mothers and friends to domestic violence. We don’t hear of the help offered and refused because of the cycle. Domestic Violence doesn’t just affect the victim just like a murder doesn’t just happen to the victim. It happens to everyone associated with that person.
I’m happy to say that my sister is doing better and found the courage and strength to leave. It is her story that inspires me and gives me hope. I didn’t write this book intending to change the world. I wanted to share the other side of the Domestic Violence coin. Hopefully someone does pick up this book and it sparks something. Maybe someone’s life will be changed or saved. Who knows? But the story was there and I told it the best way I know how.
OFFICIAL RELEASE DATE: MARCH 19, 2015
Why Women Stay: Understanding The Battered Wife – Ann Veilleux http://bit.ly/1Fz7YGO
Battered Woman Syndrome – Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) http://bit.ly/1Fz8h4g