Freedom from abuse: an interview with Erin Ireland

Note: The comments section is right down the bottom of the page.

Erin Ireland’s husband almost succeeded in murdering her and her children. As a result, she spent two years homeless, although her health was terrible. Not only did she recover, but she became stronger, wiser, and with the emotional energy to give by helping others to escape abusive relationships, and even to identify the early warning signs.

You may not know that you are heading for an abusive relationship, or even in one. You may not realize that you are being abusive to your partner. You can use Erin’s book, A Voice in the Night: Silent abuse, the early warning signs that could save your life to inform yourself, and to find a way of improving your life.
The reviews so far have been excellent.

Erin is my guest in this interview. She will send a free copy of the book (as a PDF or e-pub file) to one person who comments, chosen at random.
voiceinnight

Welcome, Erin. What is your motivation for writing and publicizing this book?

Well, my motivation in writing this book was to express to others that an abuse-free life is obtainable. I wanted to reach out and show them that their situation is not unique and that there are others suffering the same indignities. As for publicizing A Voice in the Night, it’s quite simple: to publicize is to extend my words and thoughts around the globe to touch and help as many abused men and women as possible.

Bob

Erin, that’s wonderful, and exactly in line with the message of this blog: “The more you give, the more you get.”

Erin

Exactly Bob, but we never expect to get, because that would imprison us and take our focus off of giving.

Bob

I agree. If you give in order to get, you don’t.:)

In what ways do you consider yourself to be a better person as a result of your suffering?

To call myself a better person is to pat myself on the back I suppose. Whenever we experience hardship and come back stronger than ever, we have of course morphed into a more informed human being. If that makes me a better person, then so be it.

To come back from abuse, homelessness, losing most everything I owned, is a reality that leaves me in a state of having been cleansed. Cleansing was when I realized I did not need all the material things I once had. To lose it all was quite freeing. While I was experiencing the loss, it was devastating, but when I began to pick up the pieces, I realized that my material belongings were not of importance, and I realized I could certainly live without the endless stuff.

I had experienced a new kind of freedom from the ties I once knew and had. After this realization I could fly to a new and free attitude that helped me to find my inner beauty and my inner peace. I found, to free myself of nonsense was to find inward happiness.

To become a better person for me was to simply know I am capable of helping and loving others. I found abundant compassion through my own suffering. There is no greater happiness and satisfaction in this life than making the world better for others. The suffering of one’s being brings these revelations to light.

Bob

Erin, clearly we are kindred spirits. Another of my persistent messages is that stuff does not bring you happiness. The way to a contented life is to want less.

Erin

Yes, lol, and I have much less to clean and take care of.:) Much more time to write and enjoy my precious time.

Describe, if you can, the most powerful tools you have developed or learned that allow you to survive and perhaps even thrive.

First tool: to always love myself and to know I deserve respect. In order to love others, I must have love for myself. If I have self-respect I can give respect.

Of course my experiences in life, good and bad, are ultimately my tools to do good works for humanity. For me everything is God’s work. I am His tool. For those who don’t believe as I do, they too can use their tools of experience to help others in their own inventive, caring ways.

If I have an experience that makes a change in me, I can then teach these changes; my mistakes and my achievements, to others who wish to listen. The tools I now live by are to find happiness in everything I do, to stop and take a breath, and smell the flowers so to speak, to enjoy the breeze, the sunshine, to take life in and utilize each moment.

Tomorrow I may have to rely on yesterday’s memories/tools to get me through the day/days ahead, so experiencing everything that is pleasurable and healing is important to me.

I am learning how to use the resources life hands me, in order to manipulate my experiences today toward the betterment of my life and the lives of others I will be helping tomorrow.

Tools of life: Everything I have experienced and shared has become my crafting utensil in providing awareness of how people can unlearn an abusive existence.

Bob

Nietzsche said, “What doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger.” Of course, he was wrong. Even what kills me makes me stronger!:) In the Prologue of Sleeper, Awake, my character Pip Lipkin says suffering is like the heat and pressure that turns a lump of coal into a diamond, and the terrible heat that makes iron into steel. I think that applies to you.

Erin

Well, that’s a compliment that makes me blush. I have risen from all of this with a determination to make it all worthwhile, by writing a book to help others, but my physical health has been weakened, and those are struggles I put secondary to my goal before I leave this earth. I guess you could say I’m strong in my beliefs and determination.

How difficult was it to revisit the issues of abuse in order to write this book?

In order to write anything with emotion, it takes a measure of examination of one’s experience toward the subject. For me it seemed easy in the beginning, but as time went on and I had to think about what was, and what a person needs to do to realize their situation, and what I really had to do to draw a hard line and get out, I began to feel ill. It was taking its toll on me.

My blood pressure was rising and I wasn’t feeling well. I needed to take breaks and bring myself back into the reality that I was out and I was over this troubled time in my life. My feelings for those who had no awareness of what they were living, and those who were accepting abuse because they couldn’t find a way out, weighed heavy on my mind as I wrote these pages.

Whenever we must revisit our nightmares, it takes its toll in mounting stress for the time we spend revisiting them. PTSD is not only a disorder for war torn soldiers, but for anyone who has experienced trauma of any sort. My contributions for writing this book were and are well worth my sufferings if it can now help another to safety.

Bob

You are perfectly right about PTSD. It can be the result of events most people dismiss, like a child hearing the parents screaming at each other in the next room, without ever seeing them fight.

It’s a pity though that you didn’t seek therapy for it. There are very effective techniques for getting rid of the effects of past trauma. In fact, writing this book may have worked as therapy for you. Did it?

Erin

Writing this book did help me to see things clearer and to put things in their place. When you leave a traumatic environment, and then move to a new one in a different genre, you become shattered. Things become jumbled in your brain. Everything becomes just another day of survival. To sit back and write the facts, and have to think, what from your experience will help another, it does put it all in order so you can see it more clearly.

Who is your Audience for A Voice in the Night: Silent Abuse, The Early Warning Signs That Could save Your Life?

My audience is vast. There are many people who could benefit from this book. Young people — teenagers who are just starting out in the dating world — have a great deal to learn about how they should be treated and what treatment they will accept in order to have a boyfriend/girlfriend.

There are those who are not sure if they are being abused. They have accepted wrong treatment for so long in their lives that they think bad treatment is acceptable. For them this book would be a lamp to guide them to a better place.

Many abused people think they can never get out of their abusive world. They have nowhere to go, they don’t think they can make it on their own, they have kids, they don’t think of themselves as deserving a better life. They need a push and some confidence to know they are beautiful people deserving much more. Definitely this book will help such suffering people.

I will say, many people can benefit from A Voice in the Night, from the young adult to the elderly. Any person who feels degraded, humiliated disrespected and battered can and will benefit from this book.

Bob

Erin, I think this information would be useful also for young people who might become abusers by following the pattern they see in their families, but reading your book may help them to see that another path is possible.

Erin

You are spot on, Bob. I didn’t give this point a lot of coverage while writing the book, but probably should have, because awareness can always help people to better see the light. Those who are abused sometimes become the abusers; they know nothing else, so having to unlearn their abusive behaviour is a journey for them. Having a guide is as important to them as it is to those being abused.

How would you have benefited from your book had you read it forty years ago?

Had I read this book or a book similar to this one, I would have had the tools to find my way out of a world that made me feel I wasn’t worth what others were. I would have gotten the message that I needed to look to my needs before I was to nurture another’s. I would have had a list of what to look for and what was unacceptable in the way of treatment to me.

This book is a guide to help a person know how special they are and how important it is early on to refuse to accept bad treatment. For me, reading this book forty years ago would have meant a totally different life for myself. I can’t make that happen for myself now, but I can for those who wish to read my words and experiences.

Forty years ago, I was a young girl with all of my baggage from a childhood filled with negativity. This book, A Voice in the Night, would have saved me from giving my precious years to those who never did anything to earn them and didn’t deserve them.

What do you wish for your readers?

I wish for my readers to take for themselves, to give to others and to find a safe ground to stand on for the rest of their beautiful and happy lives.

Bob

Erin, thank you for visiting and sharing your wisdom. And no, don’t demur. It is OK to be accused of being wise.:)

Erin

Thank you Dr. Bob Rich for honouring me with an invitation to your most informative, diverse and auspicious blogging world. May all of your efforts to help the human spirit and improve our planet become a reality in the future of our grandchildren, and their children to come.:)

To Purchase this Book

Amazon http://tinyurl.com/pxsyhmt.

Smashwords.

Erin’s web site.

About Dr Bob Rich

I am a professional grandfather. My main motivation is to transform society to create a sustainable world in which my grandchildren and their grandchildren in perpetuity can have a life, and a life worth living. This means reversing environmental idiocy that's now threatening us with extinction, and replacing culture of greed and conflict with one of compassion and cooperation.
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14 Responses to Freedom from abuse: an interview with Erin Ireland

  1. Dear Erin,
    Thank you for sharing the tools that helped you get out of a relationship of abuse. I am happy that you are safe now. I pray that you grow stronger in health, emotional well-being, and safety. God is proud of you and all you do to help others.

    Dear Bob,
    Thanks for sharing your talk with Erin. You are a strong supporter of all of God’s children. Thank you for always sharing your wisdom with us.

    Celebrate!
    Joan

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      Joan, you are first off the mark! I posted the review last night, went to bed, woke up, put on the internet — and here was your comment.

      The issue of domestic abuse is very serious, and very widespread. Erin is right: people need to know they have choices, and that there are early warning signs that a relationship is heading down the path toward abuse.
      :)
      Bob

      Like

    • Erin Ireland says:

      Thank you for stopping by and supporting my efforts Joan. Staying safe is the main objective for the abused. Bringing awareness is so very important. Also i thank you for your prayers.

      Like

  2. Dr Bob Rich says:

    Do note that one person leaving a comment will get a FREE copy of Erin’s book.:)
    Bob

    Like

  3. Thank you Dr. Bob for sharing Erin’s important message. It sounds like a book to bring some awareness to a sometimes unspoken subject. I’m looking forward to hearing who wins the free copy of A Voice in the Night.

    Like

  4. Dr Bob Rich says:

    I’ve so far received about 6 comments — but not here! They are in response to my announcements on various venues.:)
    Bob

    Like

  5. Bob, your book deals with a very important subject and hopefully you will find a large audience for it – schools, for example. I know children aged 11 and 12 years who learn little about it in their phys. Ed. classes. What a great book, or tool for the teacher.

    Note re my website: my old one is still active, but a new one is about to be uploaded and published under http://www.carolyntaylorwatts.ca

    Like

    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      Thank you for commenting, Carolyn. Well, it’s Erin’s book, not mine. It would certainly be good for kids approaching teenage to learn the consequences of being abusive and be on the lookout for abusive behaviour.
      A primary school near where I live has an excellent “anti-bullying” program. A friend told me, she’d said something to her daughter. The girl looked at her and said, “Mum, at school what you said would be called bullying!” Mother thought about it — and agreed.
      However, I think Erin’s book is more for adults. It would probably benefit the teachers and parents, and so indirectly also the kids.:)
      Bob

      Like

  6. Great interview, Erin and kudos on an outstanding book! Hi, Dr. Bob. Following your blog.:)

    Like

    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      Thank you for commenting, Bette. I see from your book that like Erin and I, you are against bullying, unfairness and victimization. You are welcome to send promo items to me for Bobbing Around, and you may want to write an essay on a topic of your choice.:)
      Bob

      Liked by 1 person

      • Erin Ireland says:

        Thank you Bette for your kind words. So glad you stopped by.:)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi, Dr. Bob. Thank you for your kind offer. Right now I’m finalizing and getting ready to format my novel DOG BONE SOUP. It would be great if you would help me promote it once it’s published. I’ll be happy to send you a copy for your review as soon as it’s ready and I would love to write a short essay on poverty and prejudice to go along with a promo spot. Let me know if that sounds like something you would be interested in.

        Here’s a review blurb from the back cover: “Shawn Daniels and his siblings shake off extreme poverty, hunger, a dilapidated homestead and a drunken father, to somehow embark upon an idyllic childhood. Bette Stevens has crafted a remarkable tale of hope and happiness in the face of despair.” ~ Charles Bray (Founder of The Indietribe)

        Again, thanks so much for reaching out. Best regards, Bette

        Like

  7. Dr Bob Rich says:

    A 200 word promo for Bobbing Around is always welcome for a fellow author.
    I’ll email you privately re a review swap or interview.:)
    Bob

    Like

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