Last night I was playing cards with a couple of great friends, one of whom recently read my book, Acts of Desperation. As they were leaving, the wife asked, “So how much of what was in your book actually happened?” Since I stated in my book blurb that my story was inspired my actual events, I thought the same question was bound to pop up again by at least one or two others (if anyone actually picks up my book that is). So the idea to write this popped in my head.
Here’s my story…
Roughly three years ago, my sister and I were in my kitchen and we were talking about our other sister’s bachelorette party we’d just attended (Yep there’s a third sister and she didn’t make it into the book. I’m fairly certain I will never hear the end of that either. I left her out though because I thought it would further complicate and already complicated story. It’s not because I don’t love her too, but she was in the midst of planning a wedding and wasn’t as involved in the story that my other sister and I lived through.)
I digress…”Sarah” had gotten a little drunk at the bachelorette party. Who doesn’t when you’re celebrating your big sister’s impending nuptials that were long overdue? She said, “I think I might need to explain my behavior the other night a little bit.”
I thought, what needs to be explained, we were partying. But, it was an odd thing for her to say so I simply said, “Ok,” and listened as I wiped down my counters.
She said, (To preserve her privacy, let’s continue to call him Anders) “I think Anders and I are having some problems.”
That one sentence was the start of it all. What happened over the next three years was a complete nightmare. The scene my book opens with, two sisters sitting in the park, actually happened. As she went through everything Anders was doing, I was in complete shock and denial. The obvious answer was right in front of our faces, but I simply could not accept that someone who I’d know for fifteen years, someone I considered a brother, could be so dishonest and deceitful. It couldn’t be true. But, it was.
Now let me give you a little background into our sisterhood. Sarah is the middle sister. The good one. The one that always got straight As. The one that never got in trouble. She was always tough with boys. No one ever pushed her around and if you tried, she’d likely stop you with her sharp tongue. Our oldest sister was the party animal and the one who usually kept my parents up at night. And I was left in their dust simply trying to “be cool like them” as the baby of the family. Throughout my adolescence I’d say I was a little mixture of the both of them.
Sarah and I shared a bedroom growing up and we were forced, quite literally, to be close. But boy oh boy did we fight. There were plenty of times that I hated her with every ounce of my being. We had real live “cat fights” where we clawed at each other and took chunks out of each others flesh. But, as the years progressed we all became best friends.
The anecdote I shared in the story about our walk home from school, actually happened as well and was only one of many similar experiences. We all had an unspoken bond. We could hate and fight with each other behind closed doors, but if you messed with one of us outside our home, you were going down. And not necessarily in a physical sense, we weren’t the physical type. But if someone wronged one of us, we sought justice.
In case you haven’t already figured out, I am not a lawyer and Jax does not exist, that part was the love story I created. I really did fall in love with that man as I made him up. But, the experiences Sarah lived through with Anders all happened with the exception of one. In one scene Anders comes into Sarah’s house uninvited. That was the only one I created.
Her experiences in court, how she was treated by Anders, how Anders treats (present tense) the children, and many more that I couldn’t go into because it would make your head spin, in some similar version, happened. There were legitimate times that we as a family were fearful for her life. The threat of him doing something to harm her was very much there.
As I stated before, I was always there at her side, holding her up and experiencing all of her misery. God, the night she called me sobbing when he actually took his things and left her and their two children will forever be etched in my mind. The sister who rarely cried and showed “weakness,” was destroyed and it destroyed me (as I sit here in tears, remembering).
I was nestled snug in my bed, feeling to heaviness of sleep creeping in and then my husband walked into our bedroom and handed me my phone. I knew from the look on his face that it was bad. Sarah and I talked. I stayed strong for her and I ended up fighting to go to sleep that night. The following morning, I had to excuse myself from breakfast so my two children didn’t see me cry; I didn’t want to scare them. They knew nothing of what was going on and I couldn’t begin to explain it. How do you explain something you’re having a hard time wrapping your own brain around to a then three-year old and five-year old?
So as Sarah and I went through all the painful motions, she constantly said, “You know, you’re really great at writing, you should write this story. No one will believe it. Maybe something good could come of this.”
For two years, I laughed at the thought. Me a writer? No way. Who’d want to read my rambling shit? But because of her pushing, one day I sat down and started to write this story. It took me a year to get it all out and to get it right. It has been a cathartic experience and it has been my therapy. It takes one hell of a toll on you physically and emotionally when you absorb so much pain, especially when I have a family of my own that I’m trying to raise. I needed to do this for my sanity. But don’t get confused. I’m not complaining. I know either of my sisters would not hesitate to do the same for me.
So my sister lives on and is creating a brand new existence that she was thrust into. She didn’t want it, she didn’t ask for it, and she sure as hell never expected it, but she’s in a much better place. Anders lives on as well. His outcome in my story was apart of my “therapy”.
He still won’t admit to the deceitful things that he’s done, but we know the truth. I’m hoping this truth, my story, will set me free and will lead me toward the path of forgiveness.
If you having any additional questions about my story, please feel free to leave them here.