Monday, April 18, 2011
Tara Taylor Quinn - Guest Blogger
My husband, Tim Barney, and I met at 18. Fell in love. And because I didn’t tell him the truth about something that had happened to me, we went our separate ways. But I’d had a taste of true love. I’d met my true love. I knew that the love existed. And so I spent the next twenty-seven years writing about it. Successfully. I have 56 books in print with Harlequin and MIRA books. I’ve hit the USA Today bestseller list. I’ve won awards. And in my deepest core, I was living a lie. The only person I could love wholeheartedly, honestly, was my daughter. Because she didn’t have to know about my past. It had nothing to do with her. Parents weren’t supposed to saddle their children with baggage so keeping my secret was the right thing to do. Or so I thought.
I didn’t see, couldn’t see, that my baggage was in our home. It enveloped the choices I made. The people I associated with. In keeping my secret, I was setting an example for her that I regret with all of my heart. I told her to always listen to her heart. To act on the dictates of her own heart. I believed that I was doing the same. I was not. The only part of my heart that was open and healthy and capable of fully loving was the huge part that she owned.
My daughter is not the only person hurt by my silence. There are so many. And I bear the weight of that every single day. And so I bring you It Happened On Maple Street, the complete truth of my relationship with Tim and the abuse I suffered, with circumstances changed in the middle years to protect the innocent. I hope that in the telling of this story those I have inadvertently hurt will gain some understanding. And I hope that the one in four women in the United States who suffer from domestic violence still will find the strength and the will to take control of their lives. To dare to speak up. To dare to reach for the joy. Because the bottom line, the end of the story is that there IS joy. Wonderful, all encompassing joy. A joy that holds my hand through the hard moments. A joy that holds on to my life when I cannot see the value in it.
I’m here to testify that standing up is worth every single bit of the pain of doing so. I took my stand, twenty-seven years late, but I took it. In January of 2007 I verbally spoke my intention to take control of my life. And less then twenty-four hours later, I was blessed by an email in my inbox when I sat down to finish the work I had in progress (Behind Closed Doors, MIRA Books.) The email was from Tim Barney, my very first love. It was the first I’d heard from him in twenty-seven years. Six weeks later I’d moved cross country. And now, four years later, married to Tim, I am living the love I’ve spent more than twenty years writing about.
This past fall, at the invitation of HCI books (non-fiction publisher of the original Chicken Soup for the Soul books) Tim helped me write It Happened On Maple Street. It is our love story. And it’s so much more…
This post is brought to you as part of the It Happened On Maple Street International Blog Tour. For a complete tour schedule visit http://www.tarataylorquinn.com/. All blog commenters are added to the weekly basket list. Gift Basket given each week to one randomly drawn name on the list.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, or if you suspect someone is, please contact http://www.thehotline.org/, or call, toll free, 24/7, 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY). The call can be anonymous and is always confidential. There is not one second of life that is worth wasting.
Next tour stop, Tuesday April 19, Fresh Fiction: http://freshfiction.com/pages.php?id=blog.
To get your copy of It Happened On Maple Street, visit your favorite bookseller, or http://www.maplestreetbook.com/.
Don’t miss The Chapman Files! Still available at: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Tara+Taylor+Quinn.
It Happened On Maple Street is soon to be available on Kindle and Nook, too! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0757315682/ref=s9_simh_gw_p14_d2_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0SKJ9D86BB5XG2BPT4MV&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846; http://search.barnesandnoble.com/It-Happened-on-Maple-Street/Tara-Taylor-Quinn/e/9780757315688/?itm=15&USRI=tara+taylor+quinn.
Thank you, Tara. It takes a great deal of courage to write and speak about abuse. Thank you for sharing your story in It Happened On Maple Street.