Sunday, 7 July 2013

Patterns of abuse

How often do we hear that girls who were abused in their homes go on to partner with men who abuse them? And boys who sees their fathers abusing their mothers go on to abuse their own wives and families. 

It is a cycle, and it takes a real act of will to break the cycle. The women have to see themselves as worth more than they've been taught.  The men have to realise that those who abuse their wives and their children are simply cowardly bullies. They have to make the decision not to be like that. It is not destiny. Men and women do have control over their future. They can choose not to be the abused, and most certainly, they can choose not to be the abuser.

Author Tricia Drammeh

This is what author, Tricia Drammeh, has to say.

The Legacy of Abuse

 The subject of domestic abuse is often discussed in the media. Unfortunately, much of this coverage is sensationalized, often focusing on shock-value rather than the causes and solutions of this widespread problem.

You might have heard (or possibly uttered) statements such as, “Any woman who stays with a man who beats her deserves what she gets.” Many people say such things out of ignorance. Though intellectually, they might understand some women stay out of fear or financial necessity, they believe leaving an abuser is as simple as packing up and moving to a shelter.

It’s easy to oversimplify abuse when you look at the issue as a problem that only affects the abuser and the victim. But, in most cases of abuse, there’s a community of people involved, either directly or indirectly. There are the enablers, from the mother who refuses to hear her husband molesting a child in the very next room, to the neighbor who notices bruising, but decides it’s none of her business. And we must not forget about the children who grow up in an abusive household, many of whom are destined to repeat the same patterns of abuse, secrets, and shame.  

Abuse is a multifaceted problem, and oftentimes a legacy that is passed down from generation to generation. For a victim who grew up in an abusive environment, leaving an abusive relationship as an adult involves more than a change in their physical situation—it also requires a change in perception. They have to redefine normal. They have to create new patterns, not only for themselves, but for their children.


Tricia has written a book that conveys a real understanding not just of abuse, but what goes on in the head of the abused, and also, to a lesser extent, of the abuser.  It is a very good book.

"Fifth Circle' by Tricia Drammeh.

'Sean is no stranger to darkness. He's overcome a dangerous addiction, struggled with mental illness, and faced relentless bullying by his peers. His best friend, Alex, has always been there for him, but when he falls in love with her, he replaces his online gaming obsession with a possessive interest in her.

Alex's survival depends upon her ability to lock memories of her troubled childhood deep inside her mind, but an unhealthy relationship with Sean causes dark visions of her past to rise to the surface. Sean's obsession and Alex's complacency collide, resulting in tragedy.

Together, Sean and Alex live in a hell of their own making. One will escape at the expense of the other. Both will discover why Dante chose to condemn the Wrathful and the Sullen in the Fifth Circle of Hell.'

A review:


5.0 out of 5 stars Distinctive,  compelling, heart wrenching April 8, 2013

I have to say this is not an easy read. It is a read that delves deep. Sometimes its even difficult to read and accept the reactions of both MC's and the circumstances they face in their lives. But there are so many layers here to explore in both these characters, and the author is not holding back on pulling punches. I love these kind of reads. The ones that stay with you for a very long time. And the fifth circle is exactly one of those reads.
I can't say that I fell in love with the characters, but they sure as heck captured me and wouldn't let me go till I'd finished reading and then even afterwards.
Alex is introverted and a victim in so many ways, at times I wanted to counsel her myself, but that shows powerful writing, when you are so invested in a character, you want to leap into the pages and help them.
Sean, is so complex. There are so many layers to him. Some violent, some generous, some annoying. I could go on, but his narrative is so gripping, you have no idea which way he'll go next or what he'll do, definitely compelling reading.
I loved all the references to Dante's poem, so apt, so in tune to the story and a nice over arching theme to incorporate, particularly with Mr Chalmers, the teacher who cared to inspire and encourage.
This is an excellent read, one to be savoured and one to ponder. Not many authors could pull this off, but Ms. Drammeh has.

My review of 'Fifth Circle.'

This is a story of the relationship between Alex and Sean. Each side is told with conviction. It tells of the sad and the bad, and of the abused and the abuser. It speaks of patterns repeated. I was pleased with the ending, happy that Alex managed to move on to make a life outside of that of a victim. It is something that many victims never manage.  Sean was shown as moving on as well, right at the very last.

or look for it on Amazon.

I heartily recommend Tricia's book.

Some of my own books refer to the victims of abuse, but these are a great deal different. These are boys who live in a home, and while many have come from poor homes,
some are victims of circumstance, and just a few are orphans.

But they are survivors - like the animal that lived in this shell. The shell is scarred. It shows signs of creatures that bored through the hard material, and other creatures, limpets or barnacles, have attached themselves to it. But the creature that lived in that shell survived to become bigger than all the other shells washed up on the beach. 

The Penwinnard stories speak of the boys' mischief, their aspirations, and their difficulties. They speak of their spirit, the spirit of survivors.

 An excerpt from the 4th Penwinnard Story, a work in progress.  The beginning stages of an abusive relationship. But this time, foolish Mandy will not end up as a beaten down woman. Isaac is not only on the way to prison, (he doesn't know it yet) but he will have constant pain from his bullet-scarred  legs. And so should end all abusers.
'Isaac Lands had a very masculine look about his face, a little harsh even. He was often unshaven, and projected a feeling of power along with the slight body odour that always seem to cling to him. His looks made him attractive to a certain type of woman. Blonde Mandy believed his unabashed professions of love, and didn’t object when he moved in with her. Now he had meals cooked for him, sex whenever he chose, and if Mandy showed herself too independent, she’d soon learn. It was a mistake to beat up a woman too early, better to convince the stupid sod that she was pathetic and worthless first. He’d already started, just a few hints that she was putting on weight, sneers when she expressed an opinion, and furious indignation when she criticised him in any way. She thought that he should get a proper job, but he was perfectly happy with the dole supplemented by whatever ‘deals’  came his way.'

All colours and all the same.

Mutty said to the new boy,  Max, who was as black as he was, "We're all colours. You and me and Gary are black as black and some are a bit brown, and others look sort of Chinese - we're all colours and all the same so it don't matter." 

“All the same?”

“We’ve all had something bad happen to us or we wouldn’t be here. But now we’re winnards – from Penwinnard, you see. We’re falcons.”

*excerpt from the third Penwinnard Story, 'Trevanian's Leap.'
This book is to be released September, 2013.

Look for my books on Smashwords, Amazon and other online booksellers.



  1. It's a tremendous honor to be featured on your blog. I'm glad you made the point that it doesn't have to be destiny for victims to repeat the patterns of abuse. It isn't easy to overcome, but it can be done. I know people who were severely abused in childhood who went on to be excellent parents. There is always hope.

    Excellent excerpt from your book. I intend to catch up with the series in time for the new book's release.

  2. I agree very much with what you have both said about destiny. There's no such thing. There can be predisposition, there can be a pathology, but not destiny. That is just an abdication of responsibility. I have been on the receiving end of anti-social behaviour from a group of 'boys' from a hostel where they are taken in hand, housed in individual rooms,fed, have their laundry and cleaning done, and their social security paperwork taken care of. Some of them spend their time looking for work or doing voluntary work. Others hang round drinking, smoking and making a godawful mess in the street. The hostel asks nothing of them, and even cleans up the smashed bottle and fast food packing for them. If the neighbours tackle them about it, they get abuse, and the excuse that nothing is their fault because they had a bad time at home. This, seems to me, is no way to teach them anything, except how to sponge.
    Tricia points out that although you can't change your past, you can shape your future.

  3. Very thought provoking article. I really rated The Fifth Circle as a book.

  4. Thank you for your comments, Tricia, Jane and Juliet. Changing your future - it is what Tricia's book speaks of. It may not be easy, and as Tricia says, sometimes it's hard to understand from the outside - especially the wife who tolerates too much from her blustering, abusive husband.
    But whatever, I will never understand a mother who turns a blind eye to the abuse of her children. Whether or not she 'loves' her husband, it is not a choice between the child and the husband. The child's needs must come first. The grown man can look after himself.

  5. In many cases, it's often the birth of a child that propels a woman to make the choice to stop the cycle. Some women might be willing to put up with abuse if it's only directed toward herself, but when her child is at risk, she suddenly has an incentive to change. Unfortunately, some women put fear of change ahead of their children, in which case, family, neighbors, or even Family Services must get involved. As a society, we can't turn a blind eye. Children aren't in a position to escape an abusive situation and need help.

    Jane, I've met some amazing people who have overcome abusive situations, becoming the polar opposite of the parents they grew up with. It's very inspiring. I know what you mean about people who use a bad upbringing as an excuse to behave badly. There's a thin line between understanding and excusing bad decisions.

  6. Downloaded this to the Kindle to read whilst travelling