Published in the Sunday Times
Sam Scarborough (Human and Rousseau)
My story is about verbal and emotional abuse. I wrote the book initially to help me understand what was going on in the relationship I was in. It was a diary of events and conversations that I felt I had to record so that I would not have to constantly question my sanity. I was being accused of things that I knew were not my doing, nor my fault, so I thought I was going mad. Adding to that, I could not believe that I had got myself into an abusive relationship, me, the strong one, the Leo, the independent woman. So I started writing a diary, to keep track of events and to make sure I was not imagining things.
Shattered dreams went into this book, along with written accounts of each day, my thoughts and emotions, while I waited to see what the evening would bring, when my partner, more often than not, came home drunk.
The inspiration to publish was because, many years ago, I helped a friend get out of an abusive relationship by giving her a book to read. I can’t remember what the book was, but it helped her. And this is why I published, because if this book helps just one person, then it was meant to be a book and not just a sad diary sitting on my laptop taking up megabytes. I hope that by reading about my experience, other woman may find the courage to get out of whatever situation they are in.
At times, I found writing and reading the book tedious because I could see the repeat pattern of behaviour. Yet it took time for me to come to grips with the situation and to finally leave. I was angry that I had allowed myself to get into the situation in the first place. And when I wrote the book, I was still very angry – the book definitely has this tone. And I tried not to edit the anger out, even though it didn’t make me look good at times.
This was the difficulty – including the truth of it, without making it sound glamorous, or better. Some people have asked me why I would want to tell people about what happened. Others have said I am very brave. But mostly, people have encouraged me to tell my story.