by Julie Lambeth Pitts
Details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of this book & a link to purchase it.
My name is Julie Lambeth Pitts, and I am the author of the recently released book Scar Wars Forged In Fright. This book is a very powerful read. Some of it is so sad and heartbreaking that at times I had to stop writing because the emotions were washing over me like tidal waves. You see, this is a story about a little girl who was physically, mentally, and sexually abused. This child was raped at eleven and again at sixteen because she did not think anyone would believe her, and so she never told. This child was me.
I ran away from home when I was seventeen and married my husband about eight months later, two and a half months before I turned eighteen. This is where the book begins with me as a new bride in my first home. My life from then on out was going to be perfect. Except… there were a lot of ghost memories that kept forcing themselves to the forefront of my mind.
The first memory that descended on me like a tsunami was one that had been haunting me for years. I kept hearing the moaning of a dying man. That’s all I could think of when I would hear it begin, and it usually came when night began to fall. The moaning in my head was incessant. I remember it torturing me, making me frightened of the light that would slip in around a closed door. Why that was so frightening to me, I couldn’t fathom. But each night the moaning man would begin his incessant sound and the light around the doorjamb would terrify me. I was married to a soldier, so I knew in reality I was safe—yet I slept most nights in a fetal position.
I was just eighteen, and although I thought I was a grown-up, I really wasn’t. The first time my husband left for a two-week-long military maneuver was the first time as a new Army wife that I was totally alone in a new city, in a new state, and I knew no one. For some reason that triggered the moaning in my head: it became louder and more persistent and I grew more and more terrified.
The eighth day my husband was gone, the moaning started earlier than usual. Oh: I found out why the man was moaning! I remembered every detail as if it were happening right that minute. I did not know what was happening at the time, but I was having a flashback. It was so vivid that I could smell bloody bandages. But that was not the horror that awaited me in that room.
The book is about recovering the memories of the abuse I went through in my childhood. It is also a story of how I went from victim to victory. It is a powerful read—but it is not an easy read. The people who have read the book and know me personally never knew those things had happened to me or knew the dysfunction of my childhood. Their responses to the book made me happy that I’d gone ahead and published the book, even though it was really a tell-all type book.
The women who read it were the elder women of my church, and I was worried they might find the book so horrifying they wouldn’t be able to read it all the way through. They did read the book, and as each one finished it they called me and thanked me. I was shocked, but they said thank you for being real and telling the truth of how it was to live in such dysfunction. They told me how proud they were of me and that the book had changed their lives and they knew it would change the lives of anyone who read it.
I know the abuse I went through was horrific and there are many more instances that are not in the book. Only the memories that brought about major breakthroughs are in the book. I was in weekly individual therapy for three years, and later joined a therapy group. It was the first time I knew that there were other survivors like me out there in the world. Their courage to share their stories and their heartaches and triumphs helped me so much in my own healing.
There are two things you need to know while reading the book. The first is that I always knew God was with me, and the second is that I have forgiven my abusers. Forgiving my abusers was the hardest thing I had to work on. But I am a Christian and Jesus says that we should forgive others as He has forgiven us. It was an extremely hard process to go through for me. But when I realized I was the one hurting myself with the anger I had toward them, I wanted that last burden gone. I worked for years on total forgiveness. When a flashback happens now, it has no power over me… but to tell the truth, I have to forgive them every day. I choose to forgive them every day so that my life finally has peace in it.
To enter to win a copy of Scar Wars Forged in Fright, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Scars,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen June 27, 2015. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
Check out KRL’s Mental Health section for more mental health related articles, and watch for more from Christine.