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July 12, 2021

Durham’s memoir, Seven Broken Souls, chronicles the abuse he received at the hands of his parents throughout his childhood. He hesitated before putting pen to paper, but once he did, he found healing through the writing.

Did you always plan to write your memoir, or was writing it more spontaneous?

I had been told for years that I should write a book, but I never had the courage. During my recovery, I started understanding that I needed to confront my abusers and make sure my voice was heard. It took me three months to actually work up the courage, but once I did, the words flowed rather easily.

Was it therapeutic to write about your past?

Very much so. You learn all these tools in recovery, but if you don’t practice or use these tools, they’re basically worthless. I kept wondering while I was in recovery why I wasn’t acting out, but I still didn’t know what my triggers were. Once I started relapsing, I figured out that my family wasn’t healthy for me and that they were my triggers. I begged, pleaded, and even offered money to try to get my siblings to go through a recovery program, but they all declined my offers.

You’ve said that you were a whistleblower at the bank where you worked. How did that affect your life?

I looked at my life while working at the bank in two parts: my personal life and work life. My personal life was basically in the toilet and I never understood why, whereas I was excelling at work. I was very proud of what I had accomplished given where I had started life. Work became very difficult after I was a whistleblower. I had to walk on eggshells, and I felt like at any moment I could be fired. My boss’s boss could trump up any charge to get me fired, as he ultimately did before I quit.

If you could pick anyone to give this book to, who would it be and why?

I would love to give my four siblings a copy of my book, but truth be told, they wouldn’t read it even if I did. They have wanted nothing to do with me since I wrote this book and have never congratulated me at all. If they took the time to read the book, they would see how I held them in very high regard while I was growing up. They were my mentors and saviors in many respects. Now that my eyes are open, I see how the pain and suffering from the abuse affects them. They can’t see it, as I couldn’t, but now I see it plain as day.

What’s next for you?

I’m going to start a new chapter in my life. I no longer have family or friends where I live in Iowa that truly care about me or understand me. I’m going to pull up my roots and start over somewhere new. I’m selling my rental property and my house and figuring it out from there. I want to become part of a family, and if I’m being honest I would love to start my own family, but time isn’t on my side. I will start living my new life around people who truly care about me and show it in their actions toward me.

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