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Please find listed a Q&A with me, answering some questions about the book – Pathways to Healing.
Pathways to Healing looks like a personal story. What can you tell us about it?
Pathway to Healing is my journey of recovery from years of experiencing childhood trauma and adult pain from emotional and verbal abuse from the age of 6 years old. As a result, my life was full of rejection, low self-esteem, and feelings of condemnation, and periods of depression.
No one wants to talk about abuse because it can take on so many different forms, and unfortunately can start in our families. No matter how you may have experienced it the pain goes deep. To the point that it can consume your life and you walk around under a dark cloud and unfortunately others see your vulnerability and you get misused over again. I experienced abuse from some of those people who at the time were supposed to care for me, so the title, Overcoming Childhood Trauma and Adult Pain of Sibling Rivalry capture some of what the book is about, but there is so much more in there.
I refer also to two well-known characters from the bible whose life amplifies the hurt and the victory that comes from sibling rivalry, and that is the story of Joseph and Jesus. I explore the comparisons of their life experiences and the beauty that could only be expressed through the pressure that was placed on them. Their stories bring about unconditional expressive love, redemption, and forgiveness.
I’m still on my journey to healing, which has taken years to walk through. Even though I’m a Christian, I questioned God as to why was I going through so much pain? At first, I just had to draw strength from reading the bible. It helped me to get back up and to start showing all be it a flickering light of hope again in the middle of the darkness. I was angry that I was in a battle that I was not prepared for and didn’t know I had to fight!
Over time, God let me know that it was going to be a process to my healing and that there was a purpose for ALL the pain I had gone through! I didn’t know why, but could it be that the process was pushing my greatness to come to the forefront, and it is preparing the beauty of a new character in me, and a more compassionate heart. There is always a cost to greatness and pressure is always required for something beautiful to be birthed. I know it sometimes just seems that the waiting is so long.
It’s in the dark places that a seed has to die to live again, and when it bears fruit. It’s in those moments in life that the pressure is so intense, that if one more thing happens, you’re going to lose it. So much can happen to us in life that something dies inside. Could it be that God is after the hidden treasures that are buried under our hurts, our pride, or the things that take our focus from him? God does want to bring a turnaround to the pains we’ve gone through. He does want to restore us to a place of living a full life. This can take time and can start with first having a personal relationship with him, and coming to a realization that he loves you unconditionally.
We live in a world where both good and bad things do happen. We can find strength through prayer, reading the bible, and having a support system, and seeking wise counsel. This will help us towards building a new foundation in our lives, where there once was a broken one. We will then be able to live again, dream again, trust, and believe again.
I did find my place, where I could love myself and allow the different layers of healing to take place in my life. It is my personal story, a book that will give you a guide towards your journey your healing, and living free from the pain and trauma experienced from sibling rivalry. I can identify with the hurt and despair that comes from being treated differently in your family for no apparent reason. I know that the consequences can be so devastating; to the point, it affects every area of your waking life.
Can you answer yes to any of the following questions?
Have you ever felt like you did not fit into your family?
Do you identify with being an empath; (empaths are highly attuned to other people’s moods, good and bad?
Have you felt stuck in the cycle of broken family relationships?
Have you experienced being manipulated and controlled?
Are you confused about your purpose and where you fit in life?
Are you still dealing with, or trying to get over the aftermath of sibling rivalry?
If you answered yes to any of the questions; you could be experiencing sibling rivalry. When people from the outside look at our family relationships; they may not see the rivalry or choose not to see it or they may respond by saying it’s just what siblings do, but you know that’s not true, you know the truth, you know what you’ve felt and you know that something is not right. You know what you’ve experienced which at times can be so hard to prove.
Several incidents took place on and off in my life for years, like being manipulated and controlled, being falsely accused of things I did not do, getting blamed for other people’s circumstances, not being shown any real care and mutual respect. As if that was not enough, my reputation was being tarnished with other family members and their friends, which is so devastating; because it breaks and separates relationships.
The cover looks very symbolic. What does the cover represent?
The book cover represents the image of a person who has started walking in a new place in their life. They are now experiencing deep healing and the revelation that comes from God’s word in Psalm 119:105(NIV) “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”
The Bible can reach the areas of the human heart and soul to bring healing to the deepest pain. It brings comfort as no one else can, and it reaffirms our identity in God. The cover also depicts someone free to walk their journey in renewed hope and love, knowing that God has a better life in store for them. A person who has surrendered and allowed God to guide them in the good and the bad times, to come to a place of healing, restoration, and flourishing in their purpose.
What inspired you when writing Pathways to Healing?
Even though this is my personal story, and I understand the loneliness of the experience. I knew I had to be vulnerable again. I still wanted to help and inspire others who may have experienced a similar walk. It all started just with me writing in my journal for years. It was a means of expressing my feelings and trying to find answers to what I was going through and to find some relief. I did not know at the time that I would be writing a book about my experiences. I started to change in the middle of the situation even when it had not changed, but I was changing, I started taking more care of myself, loving myself again, speaking positive affirmations. I knew I could not do it by myself. I had to allow God to heal my broken foundation, and I knew what that meant. I had to do something I did not want to do which was to be vulnerable.
I had to ask God to help me to change my perception of the situation because it was consuming my whole life. I needed to be restored from the inside out. I needed to know what it meant to be loved unconditionally again. I no longer wanted to be identified by what I had gone through but to identify with what God says about me. So, I found a powerful truth in the scriptures that says: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well”. Psalm 139:14(NIV)
So, I started to believe this truth, I started to change my mind about how I saw myself and what I had gone through. I shared my story with close friends and for the first time, I saw the power in my story. It was over a long period, that I realized that this could help other people who have experienced rejection that comes from sibling rivalry. Any form of abuse can affect you deeply; your mind becomes unstable and is full of anxiety and fear, your internal dialogue is negative and this also affects your physical health. I also share in detail in the book some of the health issues I had gone through. The scars of emotional abuse are hidden and can have the most power over our lives.
What will readers get out of your book?
Readers will be able to find some necessary tools that they can use to help them walk through the tricky waters of trying to understand and overcome one of the deepest pains you could experience in life – that is rejection from sibling rivalry.
In this book, I will share what I learned from my own experience of overcoming sibling rivalry and it will help the reader understand what their healing journey may look like and to know that they too can find some purpose in their pain. As mentioned, I experienced emotional and mental abuse from a very young age. I had no idea what it was until later in life because it had become normalised. I’ve learned over time that this can’t be left to fix itself, as someone has to decide to change the dynamics that come from the cycle of emotional abuse.
Do you identify with the following questions?
Do you feel like the odd one out in your family?
Are you a dreamer?
Have you experienced difficult relationships?
Have you experienced bullying and being blamed for things you haven’t done?
Have you been told that your opinion does not matter, or that you’re too sensitive?
You know you’re different, you know others picked on for being different, and the wounds are on a personal level. You will find key tools throughout this book that will help you navigate through your pain and confusion, and where you’re able to embrace your uniqueness. These tools helped me in my recovery journey. It will take you to a place where you can experience a clearer understanding and receive your healing if you let it. To be able to forgive yourself, forgive others and start living life to its fullest.
Did anything stand out as particularly challenging when writing Pathways to Healing?
The first challenging aspect in writing this book was that I put off publishing it for years because I was not ready and I was still in my recovery and did not want to share my story. The second was that I wept for my younger self; I don’t know how she got through it, and I applaud her for being so wise and so strong, and to know that her story can now bring hope to others.
What do you like to do when not writing?
I like to dance and laugh with my husband. I enjoy music, watching old movies and comedies. I love reading, cooking and baking, travelling abroad, and exploring other cultures. I also run my Events Promotion and Marketing Company, in Bristol, UK.
Where can readers find out more about your work?
You can connect with me to find out more about my work by going to my website carmencarrol.com you can also connect with me on all social media platforms listed below.