Intimate Conversation with Phyllis Kennedy Brown
She is the author of an inspiring book about her life released September 2008 - ‘His *Time of Refreshing, Behind the Seen!’ Also, released in September 2009, ‘Forgiveness: An Offensive Weapon’.
BPM: How much of what you write reflects on your outlook of life?
My very soul is naked. I am real. I share not only my experiences, but also what I felt; what I thought; where it took me; what I learned and the assurance that God never abandoned me. It is my biography.
BPM: Introduce us to your book and the real life characters. Who are your favorite characters?
The title of my book indicates that God sustained me through some horrible things that others in the outside world could not see. My life behind closed doors was more different than they could ever imagine. I did not intend to deceive anyone, yet somehow it just happened. It must be obvious by now that I am the main character. I am a little girl caught in a web of confusion and lies, trying to master coping skills to survive. I am a prissy little girl loving lace; bow ribbons; dresses; crinoline slips; dolls and tea parties. These things are still true to this day. However, I added truthfulness, love, faith, kindness, etc. Although my surroundings framed me and I retained a lot of it as I grew up, God pulled me thru.
My favorite characters are my grandfather –Mr. John York; Mrs. Jackson or Aunt Callie –my godmother; Mrs. Lewis –mother of my friend, Gwen; Mamma Pauline –mother of my friend, Brenda; and Ms. Fanny Mae –a neighbor. They loved me and mentored me simply because it is how they live, yet not knowing my dilemma. I am grateful!
BPM: Take us inside the book. What are two major events taking place?
Yes, of course without sharing all the details. The first major event is at sixteen when a doctor tells my mother that I am a virgin. I was amazed and completely confused considering the things that happened to me from age five – ten. The confusion caused me to give my virginity to a boy whom I loved more than life hoping that he would love me. Well, that didn’t happen and the explanation to the confusion came twenty seven years later.
The second major event happened at twenty-eight years old, a mother of a ten month old daughter and a son of two ½ years. My husband cracked my left jaw and split my mouth open requiring twenty-three stitches. One week later, I discover that I am pregnant again. Trapped.
BPM: Who do you want to reach with His *Time of Refreshing, Behind the Seen?
My desire is that girls and young women will understand that they are not alone and they are not to blame. Therefore, in spite of all the obstacles, God has not forgotten. I am proof. My real life is a ‘Behind the Seen’ story. There is more to see than that which meets the eye. Therefore, what is ‘seen’ often is not reality! It all began taking shape at my birth –my life seen and my life ‘behind the seen’. Although I was regarded as a sweet; cute; little girl, those looking from the outside could not see the mental and sexual abuse starting when I was nearly five years old from the man I called ‘Daddy’.
Neither, could one see the resentment toward me from my mother for being the result of her mistake. Oh, she did all the right things, but I feel the void. Many times the mental abuse he directed to me was in her control, she was right there, yet she did nothing to protect me. So, I developed a coping strategy that to this day, it is difficult to recognize stress or anxiety until it takes a toll on my body. My childhood environment subconsciously influenced my choices even though I wanted better.
I married a professional basketball player whose ego completely consumed his 6’8” frame. From him emerged the control; the evil; and the violence that I prayed to never, ever experience again. My life seen is fifteen years of marriage; three children; a house; a boat; cars, however, ‘behind the seen’ is domestic violence; forgiven infidelity; and cruelty to our son. Therefore, divorce is eminent. Thank God for bringing us through it and opening doors of opportunity for me!
BPM: How will reading His *Time of Refreshing, Behind the Seen shape the readers lives?
The readers will be inspired to hope again and will use my experiences; my pain that have shown the results and opt not to travel the same road. Do you not know that experience is not the best teacher? Reshaping their lives through freedom!
BPM: What do you think makes your book different from others on the same subject?
Because I acknowledge God’s working in my life story, and I was inspired to put text references of scriptures in my book to show the application of the Word in our lives today. The book covers the issues listed below that many women are not comfortable discussing, when it comes to showing their faults or weaknesses:
1) Sexual Abuse (of children). This is a very important topic that most will ignore and/or blame the victim. There are so many avenues of escape that help children cope somehow, yet it is devastating to their lives. I was nearly five years old when it began happening to me. I learned coping so well, it is difficult to identify stress because it has been the norm for most of my life. By this, I mean I went from one struggle to another. Never the less, I thank my God, my Father for hearing my cry and showing me mercy.
2) Domestic Violence. The environment of my youth subconsciously affected my choices although intellectually, it was not my desire. My marriage vows unto death were very important to me. It was eleven years of trying to shake of what I was taught and lived in by praying and searching the Word taking care not to offend my Father. After fifteen years, I got it.
3) Divorce. This is against the grain in my beliefs. I did not want to go there. My dream has always been to live in a happy family. You know the one I did not have as a little girl. I don’t know anyone that sets their heart on getting divorced. I didn’t, I was the good wife. The pain and grief is the same as experiencing a death.
4) Single Parenthood. My husband did not have parenting skills. He definitely did not have any God skills. Of course, I couldn’t tell him. I tried and it never worked. Once parenting alone, I learned that it is not the worse thing that can happen but it is 24/7 without any relief. Then there is the money/income issue such as child support which he did not want to pay. My God is good!
5) Breast Cancer. Faith works! I took a radical stand and made declaration. I am a nineteen year over-comer, a survivor! Could you believe that going through that experience, was a blessing? I believe my witness is for those who are not as radical.
BPM: How can our readers reach you for more information and to read excerpts from the book?
Readers can find everything at my author's website, Ella: http://www.behindtheseenministries.com/
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