A little about me and why I wrote the book...
I grew up in various mining towns across Sunny South Africa.
My family were to all intents and purposes socially upstanding and financially secure middle-class white citizens of a country ruled by religious and political racism.
Our good manners, smart clothes and well-decorated home belied the seething emotional turmoil that smouldered and often scorched those of us who belonged to that unhappy unit; a very badly blended family full of resentment and bitterness.
Who can explain why adults behave the way they do? My parents had their reasons for their actions and, just as my siblings do, I live the consequences of their choices. My father abandoned his children to the care of a stepmother who treated us with venomous hatred. I was her youngest step-child, coming into her care when I was almost 2.
I wrote How to Make a Heart Sick because being raised in constant stress and trauma, as I was, had the most awful impact on how I function as a human being. To put it mildly, I was, and to an extent still am, a MESS.
Being a mess is not a positive in any situation, people don't like being around messes and certainly believe that a MESS chooses to be one and should snap out of it, get over it, and move on.
I wrote this work of fiction based on truth...or truth hidden in a lie because I believe that if teachers, partners, husbands and wives understand what went into breaking a persons spirit and mental strength, then they will be able to appreciate the courage survivors of trauma have, they will be able to understand what informs their behaviour and acknowledge that.
Recognizing and accepting the story behind trauma-informed behaviour is a great gift to people who, like me, fight daily battles with our inner demons in a bid to live a normal life. If as a significant person in a trauma-informed persons life you are willing to come alongside and provide a hope that does not disappoint, you will be facilitating a desired fulfilled, be like a tree of life.
In my book I give my character Kate allies (A black woman whose life is controlled by racism, a tramp whose life has been destroyed by alcohol and snobbery, an Afrikaans boy with a kind heart, nuns) in other traumatised characters...this is a fantasy, a re-writing of history to make it more palatable. My story included no allies, and I believe that most child abuse victims have the same experience....prolonged, constant, never-changing traumatic experience. And then you are lobbed into the world and expected to function normally. Do you think that's reasonable?
Are you willing to accept and understand? I hope so.
I would love to hear from you!
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© 2020 by Heather Mac