“The Power of Telling One’s Truth is Explored in Novel that Tackles Domestic Violence”
By Vernon Williams
What do all these numbers have in common? They all have values. In our lives, we all experience many things, and although these experiences differ, they all have value, individually and as a collective. Each and every human being can find value in not only their own unique experiences, but also the experiences of others.
Cherie Jordan is a woman who has a wealth of experience. She is a distinguished professor, a novelist, a certified life coach, a devoted mother and a domestic violence survivor. Somehow, Jordan has been able to find value in her experiences of continued domestic assault at the hands of her ex-husband. She uses that found value to help others through whatever tragedies they’re experiencing. Through her work, Jordan is helping others find value in their experiences too.
Words Will Never Hurt Me, Jordan’s debut novel, hits close to home for far too many women. In WWNHM, Jordan draws from her personal history, experiencing and overcoming domestic abuse to tell a visceral story of what happens when the person who promised to protect you is the one who continuously puts your life in danger.
To talk more about Words Will Never Hurt Me, advice for abuse victims and much more, here is my interview with Cherie Jordan.
Vernon: How did you feel on the one-year anniversary of your book’s release?
Cherie: It is surreal that I was able to write this book. It was really a download from above because I’m still trying to get the motivation to write another one. It was a dream come true to finally get my thoughts on paper.
Vernon: Words Will Never Hurt Me appears to be ‘real life adjacent’ to some of your own personal experiences. How did you find the voice to share such private moments?
Cherie: I was called to write WWNHM. If I had the choice, I probably would have kept it until the grave. After healing, I realized that there are some women or men who are less fortunate than me and would have a hard time escaping their abuser. I felt it was my duty to tell my story and show warning signs in a relationship.
Finding my voice came natural to me because I was kin to the subject. It took me 3 months to write this book and I didn’t write every day or every weekend. The words just flowed once I gained momentum.
Vernon: In what ways did writing WWNHM give you a cathartic moment(s)?
Cherie: To be honest, I felt like I was writing about someone else since I have healed from those wounds. During some scenes, I did have to stop and take a moment because it became real to me again. Being able to help another person get out of a dangerous situation and sharing how I got out is very therapeutic for me.
Vernon: Do you believe that the intersection of race and gender made it more difficult to find a way out of an abusive relationship? What steps did you take that were able to help you escape your abuser?
Cherie: I can’t give the storyline away because my story is very similar to ending of the book but my abuser was forced to leave. I had been contemplating leaving but the circumstances I was put in gave me no choice. I really don’t think race or gender matters. Domestic violence does not discriminate. It will terrorize anyone. It doesn’t matter race, gender, economic status, or educational level.
Vernon: For other people experiencing domestic abuse, what advice would you share about changing their situation? What advice would you give regarding the healing process once they escape their abuser(s)?
Cherie: I did a YouTube video last year on the subtle signs of an abusive relationship. First, you have to recognize you are in one. Many people experience abuse every day and don’t even know it. Next, you have to reprogram your thinking about yourself. Victims are brainwashed to believe their abuser’s point of view about them. This is how they break your spirit and keep you under control.
So I would suggest a lot of alone time with yourself and get to know who you are again. I discovered who I was and I felt like a new person once I blossomed. Just like a butterfly. Free and transformed.
Vernon: In what ways outside of your writing have you become an advocate for people struggling with domestic abuse?
Cherie: I have done a few speaking engagements. Also, whenever I get the chance I love encouraging and motivating victims to be a better version of themselves. I often meet women who are in toxic relationships without even telling them I wrote a book. I guess it is fate I meet these women. And my Twitter account was the main focus for advocating against domestic abuse.
Vernon: What can we expect to see from you in the near future? How can we keep up with Cherie Jordan?
Cherie: I have started a new blog and YouTube channel. It’s not just for domestic abuse victims but for mothers who are having a challenging time raising their children as well. I will definitely find some mamas who are victims as well.
One thing about being a victim is you always think about your children contrary to what many people may think. But my new endeavor is to encourage and motivate women who don’t have a support system which leads to other horrific things happening.
During my healing process, I battled depression, anxiety, panic attacks, suicidal thoughts and financial issues. Being a mother didn’t stop any of that. I still had to keep going, so I want to encourage mamas to keep pushing through their pain. Their children need them!
Vernon—Thank you for your time and for sharing your story. To learn more about Cherie, please read below.
About the Featured Author:
Cherie Jordan is an Educator and Life Coach with degrees from Grambling State University and Texas A&M-Commerce and a native of Morgan City, Louisiana. Being a survivor of an abusive relationship, Cherie felt it was her calling to share her story with women in similar situations. Through her faith and prayer, she overcame her mental prison and provided a better life for her and her son. Cherie’s biggest dream is to show victims there is a greater life after abuse. Cherie lives in the Dallas area with her teenage son. Her new blog and YouTube Channel is called The Resilient Mama. Cherie can be reached at [email protected] or followed on on Instagram @resilientmamalove.