Books

The Next Time I Leave

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A Story about Intimate Partner Violence is the first of a three-book special of the Begin Again Series. This book talks about topics very few people choose to discuss, such as domestic violence and child abuse. What makes this story special is the main character, Asuma’s fight to escape the permanent victim status. She wants to overcome, she wants to thrive and learn who she is.

After enduring such an abusive relationship, Asuma is forced to reflect on many things that have taken place in her life, including her complex relationship with her mother. Most of all, she finds herself questioning God and her spiritual beliefs…what does it all mean and where is God during her dark times?

This story details an astounding journey that begins with rejection and depression and evolves into renewed hope, new challenges and a different outlook on life and relationships. It is hoped that readers will be educated and inspired to thrive from life’s curve balls and not be afraid to talk about their pain and experiences. You are not alone!

 

What people are saying…

“A very engaging, sensitive heartfelt journey of a woman fighting the emotional abuse from her husband who was supposed to love, honor and protect her.”

-Mildred Muhammed, Domestic Abuse Survivor, Award-Winning Keynote Speaker and ex-wife of the DC Sniper

“First off, I want to commend you on writing such an inspiring and personal manuscript on a subject that is very important in light of all the stories we hear about domestic violence on a consistent basis. You have touched a nerve with this story (rightfully so) and I wish you much success as you continue on the journey to the book's release…From the very beginning, I connected with Asuma and her complexities throughout the story. I enjoyed how you wove her interactions with Joseph and, specifically, her mother and how complicated their relationship was; and, in turn, how that affected he future relationships. Her letter to God was a great summation.

-Timothy Cooper, Blogger and Contributing Writer for the Huffington Post

  • EXCERPT
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Chapter 5:

Empty Walls, Thoughts & Recalls

The freedom didn’t come when Joseph said he wanted to separate. As she sat there on the couch listening to Joseph give his breakup speech, many things came to realization. Yes, the marriage was definitely over. Second, she no longer had to fight for something no one was forcing her to be in anymore. Third, she was free to move on in her life with a true sense of direction. Asuma was able to accept her faults and make her own decisions. Although it was painful to realize, it was also her moment of freedom; it was the answer she was seeking from Elohim. After throwing some smart comments at Joseph, she calmly got up from the couch went to the bedroom, grabbed the laptop and started searching for apartments. The ease and peace she had in her heart to do this task was indescribable. She had been praying hard for a couple of days, for some type of direction, some typeof breakthrough. Did she have to hold onto what she was taught in the church to stay in the marriage and make it work, or walk away a free soul? Joseph’s words were her answer. She had no doubt in her mind that God wanted her to get out before she destroyed herself or the marriage destroyed her –whichever would happen first. Within three days, Asuma had signed a lease on a new apartment and started packing her things. One day while at work she received a phone call from the current leasing office where her and Joseph shared their condo. The young lady on the other end of the phone asked her when she would be coming in to sign the new lease. Around the time they decided to separate,their lease was also coming up for renewal, which worked out perfect for Asuma. So she was confused as to why the lady was asking her to sign a new lease. She didn’t know what Joseph’s plans were, but she was not about to sign a new lease. Asuma instructed the lady to remove her name from any new paperwork involving a lease with Joseph. They hadn’t spoken much since that night, but things were pretty clear; the marriage was over, and everyone was moving on. Maybe there was some type of confusion on the leasing office’s part.

When she arrived at the condo that evening, Joseph seemed to have been waiting for her. His demeanor was calmer than usual. He was calm, but serious. Asuma went about her usual evening activities. They had been sleeping in different rooms at this point so these days her trips to the bedroom weren’t filled with dread. As she laid in bed watching TV, Joseph entered with a copy of the lease. “Since you decided to move out, there are some exit forms they want you to sign” he said. Asuma knew he was trying to call her bluff, but she kept it cool. He left the forms on the table for her and before he knew it she was handing the forms back to him – signed and dated. He was stunned. All he could do was gaze at her signature at the bottom of the forms. That seemed to set things in motion between the two of them - up until this point, things had been peaceful. The tension began to grow and Asuma knew she would have to leave sooner than planned. The more she packed and stacked boxes, the more irritated he seemed. She began to feel uncomfortable around him and stayed away from the apartment as much as possible. She had to sort things out properly before moving into the new apartment. She couldn’t wait for it to be ready. They never exchanged more than two words in passing and the awkwardness became more real. Then things began to take a turn for the worst. After the last few years of mental, emotional and sexual abuse, there were never any physical altercations between them. One day Asuma was in her room with the door locked and closed when Joseph suddenly started banging on the door. “What did he want?”, she wondered. She went to the door,cracked it open and peeped out, waiting for him to say what he wanted. “I need to come in and get something”, he said. The two had been sleeping in separate rooms for a while, so everything he used was in the guest room, where he slept. “What is it? I can just get it for you” she offered. But Joseph didn’t want that. He insisted on coming in and Asuma started to close the door. To her surprise, he stopped the door from closing and started to push his way into the room. Asuma started to push back,then he forcefully pushed the door, and caused it to hit her. She stumbled back and fell in shock. “Oh he’s going to finish me, right here in this room where nobody can see or hear" she thought to herself.