Why you need to read Broken: A story of abuse and survival

And why you need to pass it on

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

“Divorce” the letter read; “violence,” it went on.
A long-distance call made: “I can’t talk now!
He’s harassing me again.”

Hours later a phone rings, and two sisters talk.
One tells of a hurting heart and ten years of pain;
the other sobs in silence.

“Calling the police was easy,
I wish I would have done it sooner.”

Days later, another caller, “She’s gone.
No one knows where. She never showed up at work.
Her husband says she just walked out.”

Disbelief fills a sister’s heart,
Too many questions invade her mind:

Why would she leave her kids?
Why didn’t she take her car?
Why not wait for the money that would be hers the next day?

Some questions in life get answered, and some take time.
It has been thirty-six years since two sisters talked,
And one still hurts.

It was 1982, when I got that letter. If only she hadn’t waited so long to tell us what was going on. If only I had known it would be our last conversation, I never would’ve hung up.

If only she had let us in. If only.

We would one day get our day in court. But things did not go the way we had hoped. And her husband was found not guilty.

Our lives were changed forever. Just because you lose a loved one, doesn’t mean you ever forget them.

They were part of your life, they’ll always be part of your life.


Now what?

I remember the day we were told in our writing class to write what was scary. My heart started beating fast, my mouth felt dry like cotton. But I did it. I put one scary word in front of another until her story was out there. My story was out there. Our lives became an open book.

She was our sister. My brother, Gus used to be the one who would go to the police station when a body was found. He hoped against hope that it would be Peggy’s.

We were after closure.

We never got it. Instead, we stood on her empty grave and said goodbye. To the only sister I ever had.

She waited too long…Please don’t wait

Sometimes we’ve wondered how things could have been different if she hadn’t waited so long to tell us what was going on.

Maybe we’d be sharing our lives with her, with her kids. Instead of us trying to fill in the gaps for them, letting them know what she was like.

Trailer for Broken

Why I wrote Broken

I wrote Broken for two main reasons:

1) For those who are in an abusive relationship, so that they know they are not alone. So that they will have the courage to do the hard thing — to leave their abusive relationship.

2) To give a better understanding to those who have no awareness of what a dysfunctional relationship is like. To help those who would like to help, but who aren’t sure what that looks like.

What Broken is NOT.

It is not a perfect little story wrapped up neatly with a bow, where everything fits nicely in the end.

It is life in its rawest form, and death in its ugliest.

It’s an opportunity to raise awareness for those who need to know.

What others say about Broken

Some stories need to be told, no matter how hard or painful, because some stories set people free. This is one of those stories. Thank you, Anne, for telling it.
— Jeff Goins, Author, Real Artists Don’t Starve
As much as it is about grief and loss, tragedy and pain it is also about survival, healing, and forgiveness.
-Cori Leigh
As a psychologist of over 30 years, I found what Anne had to share to be authentic, moving and inspirational.

Dr. Nick Lazaris

Cover photo by Jessica Peterson

Call to Action:

Everyone’s life has value.

Do you know someone who would benefit from this book? 
Would you be willing to share it? 
Maybe together we can give my sister a voice again.

(Broken is available on Amazon)

Life is hard, so I write words to make it softer.

Download my free eBook, Helping Someone in Grief: 17 Things You Need to Know