Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Confrontation - Meyer

Confrontation – not a pleasant topic. Certainly, it would be more appealing to talk of reconciliation, of mediation, of restoration, of understanding, and of forgiveness.

Coming to an understanding of the absolute necessity of confrontation adds nothing to its appeal.

I am currently working on the fourth book in a seven-book series that demonstrates with fictional characters the seven steps in healing from the effects of abuse. In the book, Missy, the healing required is from past and ongoing verbal abuse, and the step in the healing journey is confrontation.

Not pleasant… Not appealing…

When Selma Poulin, mental health clinician and board chair of Rising Above Abuse Counseling ( read the manuscript, she asked, “Where is the confrontation?” When my wonderful, faithful editor from New Zealand, and my even more wonderful husband, read the manuscript, they both advised me to cut out the very nice romance I’d gotten sidetracked with and get to the heart of the issue – confrontation. After a suitable amount of whining, I have done just that. It’s hard because I don’t want to experience it vicariously as an author any more than I want to experience it in reality.

One of the hallmarks of an abusive relationship is denial – both on the part of the victim and the perpetrator. Much healing occurs when the victim can recognize the abuse and “break the silence” by telling a trusted friend or preferably a counselor. This fourth step in the healing journey involves for the first time the perpetrator (either directly or indirectly). For some victims of abuse, a direct confrontation is not safe or is no longer possible. Sometimes a letter written to the abuser is sufficient – whether or not it is actually delivered. The victim should never go alone to meet with a past or present abuser, and they should never go unprepared. Much prayer and discussion should happen beforehand.

It is important for the perpetrator to be shown the effects of the abuse.

Think of it as a victim impact statement – something that is being used to good effect in many courtrooms today.

Missy will be released (the Lord willing) on March 26, 2012. I hope you will consider reading it, if not for yourself then maybe for a friend who might need it.

And I did leave in just a wee bit of the nice romance…

Dorene Meyer
Author of The Little Ones, Jasmine, Lewis, Joshua and Missy

1 comment:

Peter Black said...

Dorene, what an interesting porthole you provide here through which to view the writing life, in your inclination to avoid confrontation -- even in the writing of fiction!
Hmm, I'm sure your keeping a little sprinkling of romantic spice in the story will prove to be a positive thing.

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