In the Rubble by Anne Peterson, Guest

Today I have the pleasure and honor of welcoming Anne Peterson, author of Broken: A Story of Abuse and Survival. Anne has graciously prepared a post recalling how she came to write Broken and what the process of that writing was like. As I prepared Anne’s post for publication, I was struck by many of her words and their combined power as an affirmation of the healing benefits found in writing.
Please join me in welcoming Anne!


Broken CoverI knew it would be hard. I just didn’t realize how hard.

When I started writing my memoir Broken: A Story of Abuse and Survival, all sorts of challenges met me head on. You don’t write painful events without reliving them. And in my case, it was a full length movie.

Loss is hard

Loss has been a recurring theme in my life. I was actually introduced to loss when I was a little girl. Our neighbor called out for her son. Into the street he ran after his ball. He just never came back. All night long his mother wailed through open windows on that summer night.

But that wasn’t the only loss. They would come one after the other for years upon years.

Why write a book about loss? It’s what I’ve known.

Experiences are great teachers

We are products of the experiences that make up our lives.

We don’t have control over many things that happen to us. But we do have control over how we respond to them.

I found as I continued to pour my life into the pages of my book, I found healing. It’s not the first time I had shared these stories. For years, I’ve shared them to various groups of people. Highlighting how God taught me about his character through my pain. And what was the benefit? Apart from pain, I would never know God’s comfort.

God wanted something else

When I started writing my sister’s story I thought it would go smoothly. And then God said, “I want you to tell your story as well.” Although I didn’t expect that, I knew I had little choice.

I have tried arguing with God in the past. He doesn’t let me dictate what he should or shouldn’t do. I know because I’ve tried. He is God, after all.

To give my readers some background, I took them back to my childhood. After I was hit, I’d lay there crying, listening to my siblings plead with my dad to stop.Those early experiences set the stage for who I’d become one day.

Abuse colors who we are

Those younger days determined how I’d feel about myself. After receiving negatives for years, I grew accustomed to dismissing anything positive. I wore shame like a well-fitted sweater.

By the time we were young adults, we didn’t know how to think for ourselves and in
some ways we were emotionally frozen.

At sixteen, I said goodbye to my forty-three year old mother who died of a stroke. I felt aimless, losing my anchor.

Writing Broken, I opened my heart, inviting the world inside. Carefully I unfolded the fragile events. And when I was completely spent, the unexpected happened. Other stories started bubbling out.

After the healing…restoration

Not heavy stories of pain or loss. These were different. Stories full of life.

Ever since my son placed his newborn in my arms, stories would come to me.

“Grandma tell us a story?” his little ones would ask.

“Okay, which book would you like?” I’d respond.

“No Grandma, we want a story from your head.”

Where did these stories come from? My theory is they were inside of me, hiding.

Pain yields fruit

As I learned to work through my pain, each story started to surface.

So why did I write Broken? What possible good could come from a book on abuse?

God knew all along. It wasn’t just for those I addressed. It was for me as well. Broken was written for the person who has been abused as well as for those who are being abused. But there’s another group of people this book is for.

Broken is for those who have no clue as to what an abusive home is like. It’s time we gave a voice to those who had no voice. It’s time we valued those who struggle through life because of their brokenness.

What I learned from writing this book

It’s important to be open. When we open up, sharing the deepest parts of ourselves we free others to do the same.

And the person who feels all alone realizes they are not the only one going through their difficult experiences.

Being vulnerable yields great results. And the bonus is the surprises you find beneath your pain, in the rubble.


Take a Moment to Meet Anne

553242_500730869983076_1451347173_nAnne Peterson is a poet, speaker and published author of Real Love: Guaranteed to
Last, Broken: A Story of Abuse and Survival, and most recently, her first children’s book, Emma’s Wish. Anne’s poetry is sold throughout the U.S. and in 23 countries. For more information about Anne visit http://www.annepeterson.com, or https://
www.facebook.com/annepetersonwrites.


 

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43 thoughts on “In the Rubble by Anne Peterson, Guest

  1. Thank you, Anne, for having the courage to use your gift to put into words what others would find impossible to express…Blessings!

    1. Doris, thank you for visiting my blog and reading Anne’s post. She is an amazing writer and has definitely been blessed with the gift of expression.

  2. Thanks for sharing your raw truth Anne. As a memoir writer I feel it is freeing and cathartic to be able to take some of the pain from our heads and hearts and get it onto paper. I always hope our words will leave something positive for our readers who have had their own struggles.

    1. Debbie,
      Thank you for reading and for your comment. I agree. It is freeing, but at the time it is difficult. After I wrote the book I was totally spent for a while, but later when I felt better I was so glad I had written it. Yes, it costs something, but if we can help others. That is priceless.

      1. I agree with you Anne. Writing my memoir was emotionally draining and before I published I was very apprehensive to. Only after publication did I exhale. I always hope to be able to help someone with my words. 🙂

      2. I think I was surprised at how much it took out of me to write my memoir. Since I had shared the story for years I assumed it would be much the same. It was more than that. Even so, I am glad I did it.

      3. I know what you mean. I thought if I could get my words out and try and make sense of my emotional neglect that by putting it into perspective would help me live with things better, and it did in a way. But I am right now living in a time of reckoning for the decisions I made to walk away from an emotionally absent, narcissistic mother. Now I’m dealing with the finality of it all as she is on borrowed days and find the guilt never really leaves.

      4. I think there is always some shadowing of guilt for the abused. Always believing it’s our fault even though we now better. Is it because guilt was so engrained? I find some days, even though it’s still not finished, writing parts of my memoir can be extremely draining. Some days I really have to walk away from it.

    1. And thank you for reading my post. For without readings we are just putting words onto a screen before us. It’s when they get read that they can make a difference.

  3. You never cease to amaze me Anne! An example for all of us, you have turned your unbearable life pain into comfort and encouragement for everyone who knows you or reads your soul words. God bless you my wonderful friend! What a blessing you are in my life!Praying for you, although I believe you are connected to a red line that takes you straight to God.

    1. Katina,
      Thanks so much for stopping by and reading. Your words were like a salve to me going into the deep places. Thank you. I have to write. It’s what God made me to do. But sometimes it’s hard. Hearing my words bring comfort, well that comforts me.

    2. Katina, welcome to my blog, and thank you for reading Anne’s post today. She is an amazing writer, both prose and poetry, and definitely an encouragement to so many. I liked your words, “you are connected to a red line that takes you straight to God.”

  4. Anne, thank you so much for, once again, sharing your story of pain. As hard is it is for you to write it is even more needed by those who are in the midst or coming to grips with their own stories of abuse. What a brave woman of God!

    1. Kim,
      Thank you for reading and for your encouraging words. I honestly thought the trial was one of the hardest things I did. Then I wrote the book and relived it all. But still, if it could benefit someone that would really be great. I hope no one has to go through what our family experienced. No one.

    2. Kim, thank you for reading Anne’s post and visiting my blog. Anne’s story is one of pain and hurt, as are the stories of many others. God directs us to share that hurt to hopefully help another heal or perhaps avoid the pain and hurt.

  5. Sherrey, thank you so much for bringing Anne’s story to our attention. I will definitely be adding this to my reading list.
    Anne, I love your style of writing… I can tell from this post alone. I also visited your blog, and it confirmed that I cannot wait to read your book.
    Sherrey, I’ve been meaning to introduce myself. I’ve been following your blog, and I’ve seen you around on others’ blogs. Thank you for the passion you bring to the subject of writing to heal. I know the journey well…
    All the best to you both. I look forward to reading more…

    1. Welcome, Saloma! Thank you for your kind words and the introduction. I’ve been following you as well and appreciate the wisdom and encouragement I find in your writings. Look forward to connecting more often.

  6. To Anne, my gratitude and respect for how she has used her story to not only help others but to help herself. Anne, you have amazed me from the first moment we crossed paths. Your writing, both prose and poetry, is crisp and moving, and you are supportive of other writers all the while.
    I appreciate your taking time to share with my followers in my space today. Your post, as I formatted it, spoke to me in myriad ways. You are one of God’s gifts to me.

  7. Beautiful post, Anne. I love the way the Lord has brought beauty from your ashes. I’m so glad He’s given you stories of life to make up for all the loss. God bless you, my friend!

    1. Maria,Thank you for reading and for your encouraging words. It’s always afterwards we can see what is beautiful. The ashes part is quite difficult. Furnaces are like that.

      1. Nice to meet you too, Sherrey. I’m always amazed by what God can do with our brokenness. You have a lovely website. God bless you!

  8. Joan,Thanks for stopping by. I believe it could be true that we hold onto things, whether we are aware of it or not.
    I remember when God gave me the poem Open Your Hand
    What is that you are holding in your hand,
    in your fist that is closed, ever tight?
    What is that you are purposely keeping from me,
    for you feel that you have the right?
    Don’t you know as you grow in your walk with me
    I can see even things that you hide?
    Oh if you only knew what’s in store for you,
    you would open your hand so wide.
    Thanks for your encouraging words, Joan. I appreciate them.

  9. Anne, I thought a lot recently of something you said to me (I think in an email) that your children’s stories were hidden beneath the pain. It made me stop to realize how many of us are holding on to things and hiding gifts and talents within us. Whether it is writing, art, etc. Your words (and you) always encourage me.
    Blessings!

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I believe it could be true that we hold onto things, whether we are aware of it or not.
      I remember when God gave me the poem Open Your Hand
      What is that you are holding in your hand,
      in your fist that is closed, ever tight?
      What is that you are purposely keeping from me,
      for you feel that you have the right?
      Don’t you know as you grow in your walk with me
      I can see even things that you hide?
      Oh if you only knew what’s in store for you,
      you would open your hand so wide.
      Thanks for your encouraging words, Joan. I appreciate them.

    2. Joan, thanks for stopping by today. Speaking of encouragers, you are one I always appreciate each time I come across your comments here or on others’ posts. Blessings to you!

      1. Anne, there has certainly been an outpouring of encouragement in response to your post. I find it gratifying to have partnered with you in sharing this part of your story.

  10. Telling our stories of loss and abuse is one of the healthiest things one can do. When we open ourselves up, we allow the pain and grief to escape and begin to absorb the sunny side of life. Good work, Anne. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Joan,Thanks for reading and for your comment. Many of us are afraid to share the hard parts of our lives, but it’s in sharing those that we are blessed twofold.
      First, we can be healed of those scars, and secondly, we give others the opportunity to also be transparent.

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