Shattered Dreams started out as a short story, would you believe. It existed in its short form for some time before I decided to build on it and see what could happen for Kimberly.
I dedicated this book to my mum, because I strongly believe she taught me strength and determination in a way nobody else could. She was a survivor, a fighter and a lover of life. My passion for supporting survivors of domestic violence came from my own childhood experiences, through closely observing my mum and all she went through to keep myself and my siblings as safe as she could.
Through Kimberly, I explored different emotions and scenarios, using a little bit of my mum in her but not completely. It is true that we fled from Birmingham to Bradford, and then back, fleeing abuse from perpetrators of abuse. It is also true to say that as children, we spent time in women’s refuges, and I grew up aspiring to work in one, which I have done.
As a child, I was frustrated at my mum’s seemingly delayed reactions to things, her indecisiveness when it came to leaving and angry at having see her experience so much abuse. As an adult, I came to learn and understand the dynamics of domestic abuse, why women don’t leave, what barriers they face, how much they are actually dealing with, and much more. It is a process, I realise that now.
She was a fiercely independant and proud woman, refusing to ask for help and wanted nothing more than to be loved. Yet, I know that when those who cared persisted, she was able to access the help and support she needed, and helped move us all to places of safety.
What I am sad about, is that by the time I have come to understand, appreciate and respect her for all she did for us, her battles and sacrifices, it is too late to thank her for it. It has been 10 years since her death, it seems her amazing strength and love was no match for cancer.
My book is first and foremost for the woman who taught me love, strength and determination. Forever in my heart, everything I do is for her.