Guest Author with a New Book – Lynette Davis – Even Rain is Just Water – Memoir

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New book feature

 

Today I’m delighted to feature fellow memoir writer and friend, Lynette Davis here with her debut book, her memoir, Even Rain is Just Water – A Memoir of redemption, rejection and revelation.  I endorsed Lynette’s book and I can tell you that it is a heart-wrenching read. Lynette’s story about growing up with an emotionally abusive mother and her unfaltering will to survive will grip a reader from start to finish with her beautifully told story of emotional abuse. It will have the reader waiting, waiting to learn when the author has had enough, showing her strength and endurance and applauding her for remaining sane and using her pain to better herself in life instead of becoming just another statistic of abuse.

 

Lynette runs 2 blogs  –  The Broken Vessel where she shares stories and articles about people with experiences living with a narcissist and other emotionally traumatic stories and Memoir Notes  where you will find articles about writing, self publishing and more.

Lynette Davis

 

About Lynette:

 

Lynette Davis is an educator, author and survivor. Her memoir Even Rain Is Just Water draws attention to narcissism’s mounting prevalence, as she joins the growing number of people speaking out about the ill effects of such relationships. One of the hallmarks of narcissism is lack of empathy which occasions emotional abuse.

Davis received her B.A. in English from California Baptist University and has facilitated writing workshops in the Inland Empire, California. She also studied Rhetoric and Composition for two years at California State University San Bernardino. In addition, her short narrative, “The Fatal Blow,” is featured in the anthology I am Subject: Women Awakening: Discovering Our Personal Truths Fall 2014, a collection of stories featuring women  re-claiming their lives in life-altering moments.

Davis currently lives in Southern California with her family. Even Rain Is Just Water is her first book.

 

Even Rain is Just Water

Get this book on Amazon!

Blurb:

“Even at three, I knew Ne-Ne and I had different mamas. Ne-Ne’s mama loved and cherished her. My mama despised and rejected me. Ne-Ne left a sweet taste in her mama’s mouth. I left a bitter taste in my mama’s mouth–even though our mamas were the same person.”

 

Even Rain Is Just Water tells how a young girl comes to terms with her dysfunctional upbringing, first in Florida during the Civil Rights Era and later in Southern California. Lyn and her younger sister are initially raised among their wealthy paternal grandparents. But one day, their mother packs them into the car and moves to Southern California.

 

This is the beginning of a difficult nomadic childhood for Lyn who does not have her mother’s love and has been separated from her father’s loving extended family. She goes from living in a protective enclave to utter loneliness and boredom in physically and emotionally empty living spaces and begins to internalize her mother’s negative feelings of her. That is what Lyn fights to overcome, although it is clear she doesn’t fully accept her mother’s opinion of her, as fact.

 

Lyn’s main goal is to escape her oppressive and non-supportive home environment. When she runs away to live with a former neighbor, it sets the stage for her eventual liberation from her mother.

 

But many years later when Lyn finds herself homeless with three children in tow, she’s forced to deal with the demons of her childhood–being unwanted, unloved and rejected. As she embarks on a search for a place to call home, her sole desire is to give her children what she lacked growing up–a sense of belonging and security. But it takes a hospital scare and a lifetime of emotional pain to propel Lyn out of the shadows of guilt and shame and into the light of faith and forgiveness.

 

A poignant narrative of rejection, revelation and redemption, Even Rain Is Just Water doesn’t just show how childhood trauma transcends into adulthood, it offers hope to adult survivors.

 

 

I met Lynette when she searched me out as a memoir writer who also endured emotional abuse and neglect by my own mother. Lynette contacted me to ask if I’d beta read her memoir in its earlier stages. After learning what her book was about I didn’t hesitate to agree to offer my opinions. The subject matter was stunning and I read through it in 2 days because I couldn’t pry myself away from reading it. We’ve been friends ever since. Then a few months ago, Lynette contacted me asking if I was willing to write an editorial for her book. I was thrilled that she thought of me to do so and even more humbled to have my few words imprinted in her book. This was my editorial:

 

My Editorial for Lynette’s book:

 

“A remarkable and heart-wrenching accounting of Davis’ undeniable courage and tolerance for suffering a lifetime of conflict, adversity, and emotional abuse by her mother’s refusal to love her own daughter. Davis’ relentless efforts to forgive, and her unfaltering hope to form a bond with her undeserving mother are chronicled in this riveting and heartbreaking read. I commend Lynette Davis for not only her courage to endure an emotionally torturous life with a mother who didn’t deserve one ounce of Davis’ compassion, but to have the fortitude to write this book.”

D.G. Kaye, author of P.S. I Forgive You: A Broken Legacy            

 

Thank you for being here today Lynette, and for sharing your journey of survival with us. I know there are unfortunately, many of us who’ve lived through emotional abuse and I’m sure even those who were lucky enough not to, are interested in our stories because we can show them that there is always hope and a way to rise above. Your story is a testament to surviving and thriving despite where we may begin. I know your book will be a great success.

 

Lynette, I read your book and as a fellow memoir writer who also endured an emotionally absent mother, I can appreciate that although our issues of struggles are similar, no two people’s journeys are the same. Can you please share with us, despite your fragile and broken self-esteem, how you managed to put yourself back together after years of suffering horrendous emotional abuse by your mother?

 

Debby, once I realized that I could not change anyone but myself, that no matter what I did, I would always be a scapegoat to my mother, I made the difficult decision to go no-contact. Difficult because going no-contact generally involves the entire family. Even with everything that I had experienced with my mother, it was still difficult. But the process of no-contact is how I was able to put myself and begin the healing process which led to me writing the book.

 

I know you’ve worked on this book for a few years now. You also told me you were apprehensive about publishing this book because of family finding out about it. What was the turning point that made you decide to go forth and publish?

 

My turning point was after I’d written the first draft of my memoir and I ran across a blog post about narcissistic mothers and a book entitled Will I Ever Be Good Enough by Karol McBride. By that time, I knew a little about narcissism (having been married to a narcissist), but I was so deep into denial that I couldn’t put my hands around the idea that my mother was like one of my ex-husbands. But when I went back through my memoir, a few weeks later, I could see that their personalities were the same. What made me consider and ultimately decide to move forward with publishing my memoir for the general public is realizing that I was not alone, that there were other daughters like myself.

 

You carried such an enormous emotional load since childhood while growing up in the civil rights era. Do you think the prejudice of the times added to your woes?

 

In hindsight, I don’t believe it had much impact on my personal woes. Although I do believe there is a correlation between racism and narcissism, racism I believe, is narcissism on a much larger scale. I don’t believe the prejudices of the Civil Rights Era added to my woes because we lived separate (segregated) as blacks did during that era. Firstly, I did not see how whites lived, in that they were not visible to me, at least not on a daily basis. Secondly, emotionally, I was too occupied, trying to cope, with my mother.

 

You tolerated so much hurt and neglect, yet bit your tongue stoically throughout being lashed out at by your mother, especially as you grew up and had children to protect and nowhere else to turn to at times besides your mother. What gave you strength and kept you sane?

 

I’m not sure if it was strength or simply training. My mother had thoroughly convinced me that she had a right to treat me however she wanted, that I didn’t have any rights, whatsoever–about anything. On the other hand, I often removed myself by daydreaming. Now that I look back, I believe that God had his hand on me.

 

In your story, you demonstrate how your mother treated your sister better than she did you. Besides neglect you received from your mother, how did you feel about the difference in the way she treated your sister? And did you harbor anger or jealousy towards your sister?

 

The difference my mother made between my sister and I was daily. So it was always front and center. As a teenager, I definitely dealt with anger and jealousy issues. And I began to perceive my mother and sister as one unit. It was as though my sister began where my mother ended. At some point. And I always felt that she should have done more, as a sister. However, in writing my memoir, I could see that my sister was trying to cope with an emotionally absent mother as well.

 

Do you have a relationship at all now with your sister? If so, how do you open your heart to her after she never defended you growing up?

 

No I do not have a relationship with my sister. However, after writing my book, I did open my heart to her because I realized I wasn’t the only one affected by our dysfunctional household. But I realized we’re on totally different planes.

 

Is your mother still living? If so, does she know you published the book?

 

Yes, my mother is still living. She’s almost eighty years old. And I don’t know if she knows that I published a book.

 

Have you found forgiveness for your mother’s wrongdoings?

 

Yes. However, it took decades for me to arrive at forgiveness. Once I realized that I survived my experience for a reason. Being able to see my experience as a spiritual battle, I gained a different perspective on my mother.

 

Can you please tell us a little about what inspired you to write Even Rain is Just Water? And please share an excerpt here for my readers.

 

The idea to write my story came to me when my first grandchild was about a year old. I wanted him (and my children) to know my story, and why I’d made some of the choices I made in life.
On a personal level, I was inspired to tell my story to facilitate my healing. Then I felt compelled to develop and publish my story when I realized there were countless other daughters with stories similar to mine.

 

Excerpt

 

 

Prologue

 

Riverside, California, 1996

 

I imagine I look like mother goose walking with her baby ducklings as my three children trail me, one behind the other. The convenience store is a good ten blocks away. It seems more like twenty. Although it’s only a few minutes before seven o’clock, we’ve been up since day break. And the morning sun is beaming down on us like it’s the middle of August, instead of the first week of June. My children must understand the gravity of our situation because they’re as quiet as three mice as we trek to the convenience store. This is not our normal routine. Twenty-four hours ago, I couldn’t have imagined the events of last night, or that I would be walking down the main boulevard with my three children this morning. For the umpteenth time in the last fifteen minutes, I check my beeper. No pages.

 

Although I’m dressed for walking—a pair of just-above-the-knee gray biker shorts and a tee-shirt which is what I slept in last night, and a pair of tennis shoes with no socks, I feel weird like I’m half naked. I didn’t even bother to comb my hair this morning. Luckily, I’m sporting a short Halle Berry look, and the slightly disheveled look is in. I wonder what my children think about all the drama of last night as I marvel at their resilience. Despite everything our family has been through these last couple of months, they’ve never complained. My daughter, the youngest of the trio, is doing a good job keeping up with her brothers and me. I thank God, they’re such good troopers. We’re used to walking from time to time when my Jeep Cherokee acts up. Right now, it’s parked in front of mom’s house where it’s been all week. As we walk down the boulevard, I contemplate my situation. I’ve run out of options. What am I going to do?

 

We get to the convenience store. And I dial my grandmother’s telephone number from the phone booth, just outside. It’s almost seven thirty now, so it’s close to ten-thirty in Florida where she lives. I hear the phone ringing loudly through the phone lines and envision my grandmother, a pert seventy-nine-year-old who still drives herself wherever she wants to go, making her way to the phone. I let the phone ring awhile, to give Mother—that’s what her children and grandchildren call her, time to get to the phone—and me time to get my emotions in check. I’m still reeling from the events of last night. I need to tell someone what happened, to help me process it.

 

After six or seven rings, my grandmother picks up the telephone.

 

“Hello,” she says, in a sweet southern drawl.

 

“Hey, Mother. How you doing?”

 

“I’m doing fine. How you?” she asks, raising her voice higher when she says you.

 

“Mother, you’re not going to believe this.”

 

“What? What happened?”

 

Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us Lynette. I wish you much success with the book, and I know it will definitely be an eye-opener for many.

 

                

Name: D.G. Kaye job Title: Author Business: DGKayewriter.com Image: https://dgkayewriter.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Who-Has-a-new-book-e1475608977687.jpg Facebook Url: Facebook Twitter Url: Twitter Instagram Url: Instagram LinkedIn Url: LinkedIn Pinterest Url: Pinterest Google+ Url: Google+
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51 Comments

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  1. Terrific post and interview Debby and Lynette and sounds like a compelling read.. thanks ♥

    1. Thanks so much Sal. It is a compelling read. 🙂 <3

    2. You are most welcome Sally! I believe you will find it to be a compelling read!

  2. Wonderful interview, Debby and Lynette. The blurb was gripping – short, but wow did it get to me. Great luck with the book, Lynette. Well done!

    1. Thanks so much for visiting Diana. It is a gripping book. 🙂 xx

    2. Thank you Diana. But that was actually an excerpt from the book that I chose for the beginning of the Overview of my memoir.

  3. Hi Lynette & Dee,

    There are so many heartbreaking stories and it raises my spirits, each time I hear another. Mine is one of thousands and Lynette your’s is just as special as any. Any time we can share our human tragedies, others learn from our experiences. Those that still suffer realize they are not alone. Thank you for sharing yours with us. HUGS

    1. Thank you so much Chuck for chiming in, our fellow memoir writer. 🙂 <3

    2. Wow. Thank you Chuck! Our healing journeys have several phases. And one is to share our stories so that others will know that they are not alone to encourage them. If we made it out, so can they.

  4. Lynette’s book is quite powerful. I wrote a reader report on the manuscript and found myself totally engrossed while also giving feedback for improvement. She’s done a fabulous job, and her advocacy work can only continue to grow.

    1. Fabulous Jeri. I beta read it before it was finalized and was totally captivated too. 🙂

    2. Hi Jeri. Actually, your reader report (developmental read) was instrumental in helping me to fill in the plot holes and complete the final structuring of my memoir!

  5. What a great title–and cover. Good luck with this!

    1. Thank you Jacqui 🙂

    2. Thank you so much Jacqui!

  6. I got chills reading this, Deb. I suppose we never fully leave our ghosts behind. The excerpt is riveting, and the book, a must-read. All good wishes to Lynette for the success of her memoir and in her life ♥

    1. Thanks Tina. It is a fantastic, although sometimes chilling book. <3

    2. I think you’re right about us not fully leaving our ghosts behind. But we can put enough distance behind us so that we can live full and meaningful lives. Thank you for the well wishes!

      1. You’re welcome, Lynette ♥

  7. ‘Even Rain Is Just Water’ seems to be a gripping and tragic tale, that’s what the excerpt tells me…it ended too quickly! My heart goes out to Lynette who has suffered so much as a child and even her husbands seem to have inflicted more wounds. Emotional scars are too difficult to hide and I am glad Davis has poured out all the pain…once we do that, forgiveness follows slowly.
    Deb, you made this interview more intriguing with the most relevant questions. Thanks for this wonderful post and good luck to Davis for the success of this book.

    1. Thank you so much Balroop, for your in-depth feedback. It seems so many of us have come from difficult beginnings, but it’s powerful for those of us who rise above can share our stories to empower those who’ve been there and let others know they are not alone. 🙂 <3

      1. Rising above all the cruelty and indifference is the only choice Deb…blessed are those who get inspired to do so and find a way out of their darker world…there is much more beyond to see. Have a wonderful weekend my friend. 🙂

        1. So true Balroop. I feel blessed. Happy weekend to you my friend. <3

    2. Thank you Balroop. And you are so right. Once we pour out all our pain (that is find an outlet for our pain), we are able to forgive. It’s a lengthy process.

  8. Thank you so much Debbie for interviewing and featuring me on your blog. What an honor to be here! Still on vacation which is why it’s taken me a bit to respond.

    1. You are most welcome Lynette. Enjoy your vacation! 🙂

  9. Thank you again Debbie for helping me to raise awareness about emotional abuse, in particular emotional child abuse.

    1. My pleasure Lynette. 🙂

  10. I read Even Rain Is Just Water, and I related so much to Lynette’s story, that I made 122 notes and highlights in the Kindle version of her book. Then I wrote a 5 star review on Amazon.

    For anyone who grew up with a narcissistic mother, or if you just want to understand what it’s like to grow up as the scapegoat of a narcissist — this compelling memoir is a must read.

    1. Thank you Lynda for sharing your wonderful review of Lynette’s book. I wholeheartedly agree with you. 🙂

  11. Excellent interview and spotlight on Lynette here, Debby! Emotional abuse hits close to home for me, although mine was with a partner so it had some different dynamics. That must have been tough to see her sister and mom as a unit… Hugs to you both xx

    1. Thanks Christy, for sharing. I’m so sorry about your own experience with emotional abuse, as I know what it’s like, growing up with it and was in a relationship with it as well. I think so many of us will identify with Lynette’s book. <3 xx

  12. Thank you for sharing this. Congrats to Lynette. Such books can be hard to write, but are well-worth the effort.

    1. Thank you Cynthia. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for including this interview on your Blogger Daily Sal. <3 xo

  13. Lovely to meet Lynette and learn more about her book. Sounds like she has really risen about the challenges in her life, Debby.

    1. Thank you Robbie. Lynette is definitely a Warrior woman! 🙂

  14. Fascinating interview, Deb, with an excerpt that captured me quickly. What is truly amazing to me is when those who experience emotional abuse not only survive and recover, but swear that their children will not suffer as they did.

    My mother’s mother was sadistically abusive, while my mother was one of the kindest most supportive souls anybody knew – and I imagine that those who know Lynette would say the same about her. Thanks so much for sharing, both of you. WONDERFUL title, Lynette.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    1. Thanks for chiming in here M. So true, I write that in a few of my books – there are 2 roads we take as we get older, the one we’re familiar with and continue those patterns, and the one where we’ve learned how toxic that road was and go the other way. Lynette and I have that in common – going the other way. I say we’re blessed. <3 xx

      1. So well said, Deb – blessed with strength of character and determination to thrive. Inspirations, both.
        xx,
        mgh

  15. What a captivating excerpt, and the writing is clear, engaging. Even in this short introduction I could feel her strong sense of survival and the pull of her good heart. Thank you, Debby, for introducing us to a real heart and soul trooper.

    1. I’m so glad Lynette’s work resonated with you Ann. This book is a real eye-opener on emotional abuse and empowering to learn how Lynette survived it. 🙂 xx

    1. Thanks so much for reblogging this Christoph. <3

  16. Nice to meet you, Lynette. Wonderful post! Sounds like an emotional, hearwrenching journey. I wish you all the best with this book and may it be cathartic to your soul. Blessings & hugs to you both! ??

    1. Thank you so much Janice. 🙂 <3

  17. This is such an interesting and heart-felt post on many levels, Debby. Congratulations for being asked – and having contributed – an editorial in Lynette’s memoir. What a privilege and an action to be proud of.

    I love how you are so encouraging to and involved with fellow writers. You are doing many of us a service!

    I wish Lynette all the best with her book and am in awe about her achievement – emotionally and artistically. It sounds like a very compassionate and inspirational memoir that brought closure for her and will hopefully help others. The prologue is very enticing and well-written. I’m curious to read more!

    1. Hi Liesbet, thank you so much for both your comments to us. I’m truly humbled by your lovely comment because I surely hope that what I share is interesting and sometimes helpful to others. So thank you so much for that. <3

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