Today's post is more than an excerpt. And it's a special thanks to my blog tour hosts and those who followed along!
It is also the very last day of my tour. Please see my sidebar and visit Kathy’s blog & Belle of the Books for the final features.
Thanks to everyone listed below for allowing me to visit your blog through reviews, guest posts, & interviews. This was a lot of fun, and a lot of work, for everyone involved. In addition to those who featured me from August 11-27, I’d also like to thank the seventeen individuals who featured me on Deviant Art with interview questions & announcements. My hosts were all awesome and the comments received wonderful. Thank you, everyone!
And if you missed any of these stops, I’ve provided a direct link to the post:
J Kaye’s Book Blog & Giveaway Guest post - From Dream to 5-Book Series
TexasRed Books Review & Interview
Genevieve's Blog Interview & Giveaway
Jamieson Wolf Review
Jo-Jo Loves to Read Review & Giveaway
Frenetic Reader Guest post - Challenge of Writing 5 Overlapping Books
Always Something to Read & Interview & Review
Pudgy Penguin Perusals & Giveaway Guest post - Abuse & Self-image-James's Story
The Story Siren Guest post - Writing from a Male POV
Find Your Next Book Here Guest post - Do the Right Thing
Kathy Erskine’s Blog
Belle of the Books
NEWS FLASH! This article DID appear today at Belle of the Books !!!
The Cycle Ends Now
By James Alan Sheppard
I will not remain a prisoner of my past.
I will not repeat the mistakes of my father.
I will not hurt those I love.
The cycle of abuse stops here…
I stare at those words as they lay scrawled across my notebook paper. They were written earlier today during my anger management class. I should’ve been paying attention, but I just couldn’t relate to those who were speaking. I feel so out of place there, but at this point, I don’t know what else to do.
I endured many years of emotional and physical abuse at the hands of my father. And now I’m terrified I’ll turn out just like him…
I hate living with that fear, too. It’s a tough burden to carry, especially alone. Seeing my father’s reflection in my mirror, hearing his angry voice in my own – fear just haunts me. Some days it feels like I am smothering. The sensation weighs down my heart and I often go days without smiling. I live trapped in a bad dream, only waking on rare occasions.
It’s difficult to hide my nightmare, especially from my closest friends. Bad enough they know my past and the pain I endured. God only knows their opinion of me if they knew my hidden anxiety, though. Those dark thoughts I share with no one. I should take comfort in the fact none of my friends ever expressed concern that I’d act like my father. Maybe they see something I don’t.
More than anything, I just want to erase the pain. Some days I feel so depressed, it almost angers me to see others enjoying their life. I want to be happy, too! Of course, I just feel like striking out at whoever crosses my path at that point, and that sensation scares me. If I could just forget my lonely childhood… I can’t carry this burden forever.
My father used words and fists to intimidate and exact compliance, but I don’t want that to be the extent of my communication with others. I don’t want my friends to fear me. That’s why I have to get a handle on this now, before I do something really, really stupid. I don’t like anger management, but it may be my only chance for a better life. And I’ve got to try.
So, I’m back to those words written during class. Cold and defiant, they are a challenge, and I can either cower in fear or stand up and defend myself. If I ever wanted to fight, now is the time. My past does not equal my future.
The cycle of abuse ends now…