|Clarkson Graham, Author|
MARRIED TO CRAZY
Author Clarkson Graham offers us insight into a difficult period of his life in his book MARRIED TO CRAZY. In this very personal memoir, he chronicles his suffering caused by an abusive spouse. He shares his pain and recovery to help heal himself and in order to guide others--particularly men--who might have had similar experiences.
When he's not working or writing, Graham enjoys yoga, running, working-out, and reading.
Q: How would you characterize your book, MARRIED TO CRAZY? Did you write it to deliver a message, to instruct, and/or to entertain? Is it fiction or non-fiction?
Clarkson Graham: MARRIED TO CRAZY is a memoir of my battle dealing with the pain, confusion, and trauma associated with the emotional, physical and verbal abuse I suffered at the hands of my now ex-wife, who may have an undiagnosed personality disorder (Anti-Social Personality Disorder). It is a raw and emotional story of how I came to realize my desperate situation, how I managed to escape, how I suffered through the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and how I finally embarked on the process of rebuilding what I almost lost – myself.
I wrote this book to help me along my path to recovery, and also help others who find themselves in a similar situation as I was in. My objective was to help other people realize that they are not alone, and with the right resources, including counseling, supportive friends and family, and I steadfast resolve to heal, they can successfully deal with their situation and reclaim their life. I wanted people to know that anything is possible with hope, hard work and support.
Q: Your story is a very personal one. What inspired you to share it?
Clarkson Graham: I did a lot of research and found that there were very few books and resources available for men who have been in an abusive relationship with a female partner. This may be due to the fact that some men may not realize, or may even discount, that they are victims of emotional, verbal and/or physical abuse, and in other situations, men may be reluctant to share their stories because of a fear of being seen as “weak”. There is a need to dispel the myth that women are the only victims of domestic abuse, while at the same time, provide men with necessary resources to help them deal with their situations. I feel that my book will help to educate people – particularly men – about the fact that abuse does exist, and men can be definitely be victims. I hope that my book will provide victims with ideas to help them heal after leaving an unhealthy, abusive relationship.
Finally, I felt that it was beneficial to share my story about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) so that people can be informed about the potential health risks associated with abusive relationships.
Q: Who are your target readers? Who do you think will most benefit from reading your story?
Clarkson Graham: The target readers for my book are people – particularly men – who are either dealing with, or recovering from, an abusive relationship. My book is an effective resource for anyone who may be supporting a friend or family member who is suffering from the aftermath of a physically, mentally, and/or emotionally abusive partner or spouse.
Q: What tips would you offer to other men who might find themselves in a similar situation?
Clarkson Graham: I think the first tip I would offer is to accept the reality of your situation. In order for you to begin the recovery process, you need to realize that you are in a damaging situation, and acknowledge the fact that the situation will not improve. It is impossible to make someone change the way that they treat you and therefore, you have to garner the courage to save yourself and embark on the journey of healing.
Even though physical abuse is damaging, emotional abuse can be far more damaging. The reason being is because your self-confidence can be eroded by constant verbal barrages and continuous reminders that “everything is your fault.” Once your confidence is gone, you may not feel like you have courage or strength to leave, which can exacerbate an already difficult situation.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There is nothing wrong with counseling, talking to friends and family, and reading books to help you heal.
Lastly, but certainly not least, stay positive. The healing journey is not smooth; however, it gets easier over time. If you put in the work, you will see the results.
Q: How do you draw readers into your book?
Clarkson Graham: The one thing that will captivate readers is that my book is a real-life, authentic account of my relationship to Olga. Oftentimes, it is hard for me to imagine that I actually lived through these events, and many times I wish I hadn’t, however they are real nonetheless.
The book begins like a love story highlighting my seemingly perfect courtship and engagement to Olga and then, following our marriage vows, things change for the worse and my dream becomes a living nightmare.
My book follows an actual timeline of events and so the reader is compelled to continue on to see what happens next. I have been told that my book is a real “page-turner;” however, I guess that is up to the reader to determine.
Q: When did you first realize that you wanted to write your book? Have you always wanted to write?
Clarkson Graham: I never intended on being a writer; in fact, I still do not consider myself a writer. One of my counselors recommended that I start to journal my thoughts and feelings as a way to deal with all of the emotions stemming from my ordeal. One night I started to type out my thoughts, and I ended up writing about 250 words. When I woke up the next morning, I decided that I was going to turn my situation into a memoir, and twelve months later, my book was written, edited and published.
I wrote the book to help build my self-confidence. My confidence was completely shattered, and I figured that if I wrote a book (something I thought I would never do), it would help me on my healing journey.
Q: Who influenced your writing?
Clarkson Graham: I was fortunate to have many people influence my writing. I had a couple of counselors who, upon reading one of my therapeutic letters, mentioned that I wrote pretty well. I am also blessed to have great friends and a wonderful family who encouraged me to write this book.
Thankfully, I never had anyone tell me I couldn’t do it, and that definitely helps.
Q: What did you find the most challenging part of writing MARRIED TO CRAZY?
Clarkson Graham: The most challenging part of writing the book was going back in time to relive and document my courtship with Olga, my abusive ex-wife. It was hard to write about how much I loved her after having gone through such an immense amount of pain throughout my marriage. I truly loved her, and it was hard to imagine that someone who was supposedly so loving and caring turned out to be so destructive.
Hindsight is 20/20 and it was difficult to write about the many warning signs that I either ignored or discounted because I loved Olga so much. The good news is that experience is a best teacher, and I think I am more attuned to recognizing these signs now.
Q: What’s next? Will you write more books?
Clarkson Graham: That is a good question. I have to be honest when I say that I do not have any books in the works right now; however, you never know.
Q: Tell us about you. What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Do you have any hobbies? Favorite movies? Books? Etc.
Clarkson Graham: My journey on my healing path continues. I vowed to be stronger, healthier and wiser after my ordeal and this has led me to pursue many positive activities in my spare time, such as, yoga, running, working-out and reading. I am also in the process of learning mindfulness meditation techniques to help deal with the triggers associated with my PTSD symptoms more effectively.
My favorite books are: Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl, and Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. These books are inspirational because they helped me to understand the amazing strength of the human spirit given seemingly impossible odds.
About Clarkson Graham
“I am not a victim, nor will I be. I am a survivor. As a survivor, I was able to subjugate my feelings of weakness and powerlessness and eventually discover the desire, courage, and fortitude I needed to access the support and resources that were necessary to begin the recovery process. I can say that my continuing growth and development has been defined, in part, by my ability to triumph over a complicated life situation, and now, with this book, I am sharing my knowledge and insight as I continue on my healing journey.“
About MARRIED TO CRAZY
MARRIED TO CRAZY is how Clarkson Graham met and fell in love with Olga, the woman of his dreams. Their courtship, engagement, and eventual marriage followed. As their relationship progressed, Olga’s behavior became progressively more volatile and abusive. All along, Clarkson lived in the hope that he could “fix” her problems and live up to her perplexing expectations, until one appalling event drove him to his breaking point. Following therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder, Clarkson finally put his life back together again and was then determined to share his experience, and especially what he had learned, with other people—and particularly with other men—who might find themselves in a similar situation.
Where to Purchase:
Website (physical only)
Giveaway CLICK HERE
First Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card plus autographed copy of Married to Crazy
Second Prize: Autographed copy of Married to Crazy
Third Prize: Autographed copy of Married to Crazy
|Go to: http://marriedtocrazy.ca/|