October is domestic violence awareness month. I’ve never talked about this issue on my blog, but with everything going on in our world today, I thought it was time. Domestic violence is usually seen as between spouses, but it encompasses—sadly—a lot more. Not only is it between parents and child, but at times between siblings. I grew up where the bullying occurred in my home. I was called names, labeled the nothing in the family, mocked because I had a stuttering problem. It used to hurt that my oldest brother acted like he didn’t know me when we were at school. He was a year older than me so we usually attended the same schools. People were shocked when they found out he had a sister going to the same school because he never told anyone. When I was in the tenth grade, and he was in the eleventh, we shared the lunch period and yet I ate alone every day. That year, we also had the same first period class and my mother had him moved out of the class the next day for fear I’d embarrass him. In time, I came to realize that they had unwittingly done me a huge favor. School was a time where I could just be without worrying if I was doing or saying something wrong. I liked blending into the background and not being noticed by anyone. It gave me eight hours a day (I hated summer) where I was safe from the bullying of my siblings, and being abused by my parents.
This is a part of my life I’ve always tried to live past, and try hard not to let it control my life. One of my biggest fears now is being defined by the abuse I suffered as a child—what my father did to me—rather than what I do in life. I realized that the lack of a loving family when I was growing up is why I’m drawn to creating them in my fiction, and was the driving force of the New Beginning Series. This romantic suspense series follows a group of skip-tracers who dedicate their lives to relocating abused women who need a new start in life. These women and men face danger as they keep their clients — and their own hearts — safe. http://www.christinafreeburn.com/#!newbegin/c1yzj
I’ve been in the position of having to save myself because those responsible not only refused to do so, but were the very reason I was in danger. They had built and placed me in the tower I was desperate to escape from. But I did. Not an easy task when you’re really still just a kid, but a necessary one. I learned at a young age that I had to fight my own battles or else let the dragon burn me.
For many, there is no prince (the reason for my blog’s name). No knight in shining armor … actually not even a knight in tarnished armor willing or able to go to battle. Some women will have to defend their own honor. Slay their own dragons. Find a way out of the tower through their own strength. The self-rescuing princess isn’t doomed to a life of unhappiness if a man doesn’t save her because she’ll save herself. One day, she’ll find her prodigal prince, or help that knight shine up his armor. But if she doesn’t find her match, she’ll still live a life to be proud of and admired.
This month, I’ll share some excerpts for my novels and those of a fellow writer, Teresa Watson, and will include links to resources. I pray that no one needs them, but the sad reality is someone out there will.