Family Ties

Dear Priscilla Bennett Friends,

It’s Monday, and I’m back. I hope all of you are well. I missed you. Our trip was an emotional rollercoaster ride, as they say, but mission accomplished. I apologize for not having access to the website. I missed posting, tweeting and blogging and felt that I’d temporarily lost a piece of myself—but we   spent most of our time in the hospital with Harry’s sister or with family in a small town on the West coast of Ireland where they still dig peat to burn in their fireplaces and have road signs in Gaelic.

The strong family and community ties impressed me—old values of everyone supporting and trusting each other—living closely together with parents, grandparents, siblings, extended family and neighbors. I always viewed our family as close-knit, and it is—something our parents passed on to us that we in turn give to our children, and in the large city of Boston, we are the exception rather than the rule.

In the emergency room of the Boston hospital where I worked before retirement, I saw over and over again how lack of family support for a domestic violence victim, often their own grown child, could impact whether she was able to leave or forced to stay in the abusive relationship. In the small town where we were, they viewed domestic violence as something that happened to the fringe element—violent men some of whom had drug and alcohol problems and a history of being in jail—and wives who would always take them back, even if they had tried to kill them or their children—no way out.

In my novel, I wanted to show that abuse has no boundaries, and Katie is an example of it. She grew up in the upper echelons of medical society, surrounded by wealth and power and then marries it. She lives in a world filled with wealth but none of it belongs to her. She is controlled.

Take good care of yourselves,