I started working on my interview with Marcia Murdock –author of Beyond Shame: One Mother’s Journey to Healing In Front Of The Bars, well over a year ago. I started it, but I never got around to finishing it.
After doing some pre-spring cleaning a month ago, I found the incomplete interview buried in my desk and I wondered why it was never posted. I went online, found Marcia on Facebook and apologized profusely. I sheepishly asked if she were still interested in being featured on my blog. Lucky for me, she wasn’t angry and didn’t hold a grudge (I would’ve understood if she had), and answered yes to being featured.
I met Marcia at Discovering Diversity Publishing Author’s Meet up way back in November 2016. I met and schmoozed with a few authors that night, and was given a few books to review on my blog. Marcia’s was one of them.
In her book, Marcia spoke about being a single parent, losing her children, getting them back, and then having 2 out of 3 of her children repeatedly getting into trouble with the law.
As I flipped through the pages, I felt her pain and shame. I am not a mom, but I understood the guilt and devastation that she must’ve of felt, especially since she worked with adults and youth in conflict with the law, and now her children were one of them.
After I read my draft of the interview, I knew the article had to be shared.
To find out more about Marcia and what it was like writing the book and dealing with her children in the criminal system, please continue to read.
Birthplace: Manchester, England
Astrological Sign: Capricorn
Current Profession: Youth Justice worker
Why did you decide to write the book?
I actually did not intend to write a book. After my oldest son’s last set of criminal charges I began to look back into my life in order to answer the question: Where did I go wrong? What could I have done differently? I began to examine my own life and recording the emotional turmoil I was experiencing as a result of his conflict with the law.
This was a therapeutic exercise for me, which helped me to release some of the anger and anxiety I was feeling.
One evening I decided to read it to him in hopes that he would understand what it was that I was going through, and how his situation had impacted me right to my core.
As I read he said: “Mom you should publish this book. So many parents are going through this and feel like they are alone. It could help so many people if you were to tell your story. No one is talking about this and it needs to come out.”
I reminded him that this was ‘his story’ and that meant that it would also be out there. He insisted that I tell my story.
It was with his encouragement and support that I wrote: Beyond the Shame – One Mother’s Journey to Healing in Front of the Bars.
What was the process like writing the book?
The process of writing was surprisingly easy as I was writing from the heart. The words flowed onto the page as easily as the tears down my face as I rode the emotional roller coaster which was my life.
How did you feel once the book was released?
I was terrified!!! Not only was this the story of my life with my children, but also spoke of my struggle as a single mother and my battle with depression. It was my life for all to see/read and judge as people tend to do.
It was also a sort of ‘coming out’ for me as there were many in my family that had no idea of what was going on in my life. Out of extreme shame and feelings of guilt I hid my struggles from those closest to me.
How did your family react to the book?
Some were shocked, not only about my present situation but also to hear of some of my past struggles. They were however, very supportive.
How did you get over the shame and guilt of having your sons in trouble with the law?
It took time to get over the shame. You never really get over the guilt though. I continually ask myself what I could have done differently. Sharing my story with others really helped and continues to carry me through. It’s comforting to know that I am also helping others heal as we go through this together. The key is knowing that I am not alone and that I can help others along the way.
Marcia is the founder of TWRS– Together We Are Strong: a support group for parents with youth in trouble with the law
What advice would you give to others that have a story to tell?
I would say, tell it! It is through conversation that we gain strength and writing for some can be the best form of conversation. You never know who may benefit from hearing your story.
Do you have plans for another book?
I am working on another book, which is a series of interviews with 5 males who have been in conflict with the law. It will hopefully give a glimpse into their mindset and provide a perspective not many of us see.
Can’t tell you how grateful I was able to rediscover this interview and post it so others who might be going through the same thing could receive the information and support they need. Thanks for your truthful words, Marcia!