Today we’d like to introduce you to Anna J Walner.
Hi Anna J, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
At six months pregnant, I was forced to make a decision no mother should ever have to make. Fight back, or die. The verbal abuse was something I had dealt with for years, but the physical abuse was only when he drank. And that night he was drinking heavily. He had been all day. The escalation was something I had tried to prevent, as I always did, but this time was different. They tell you in self-defense class to Run, Hide, or Fight. I couldn’t run because he wouldn’t let me, and so I couldn’t hide. With a knife to my stomach and then feeling his hands tighten around my neck to the point of painful gasping, I fought back.
I fought not only for my life but for the little girl’s life inside me. A few days later, my attacker broke into the house, kicking in the front door. With all of this, the events that transpired over the most frightening week of my life, I was granted a restraining order. And then I was charged with Assault.
Assault. For defending myself, and the unborn life inside me. Was I dreaming? Were they kidding? The policemen who took me from my home couldn’t look me in the eyes as they delivered the news. Even they knew it was wrong.
I am not on probation for a crime I did not commit. Did I fight back after years of Domestic Abuse? Yes. But wouldn’t any mother?
I work from home now. An International Bestseller of The Uluru Legacy Series, and the Executive Director of The Author Library Network on YouTube. No company will hire me with my record. My resume is immediately pushed into the ‘no’ pile, despite my long list of qualifications and experience.
It amazes me how women come to me, telling me stories so similar to mine yet so very different. Still wearing the scars of their abusers, wishing they had fought back. I’m saddened me to see news of women who didn’t make it out alive. And I can’t help but think, that was almost me.
I’m not sorry I fought back. I have a beautiful two-year-old girl who laughs and dances in the living room. I can never be sorry for saving our lives that night. I am sorry that the justice system continues to punish survivors of Domestic Abuse far longer than their abusers have. I’m saddened for other women who’ve had the same thing done to them.
We are not criminals. We are survivors. And yet, we are being punished for doing whatever it took to make sure we were survivors instead of statistics.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
I have been in counseling now for years. PTSD runs deeply and keeps me awake at night. Although I have cameras in the house, bars on the doors, and I’m no longer living alone. I still have trouble falling asleep. Each small noise wakes me from drifting off into sleep. Regrets still gnaw at me. I should have left the moment I felt that something wasn’t right. I should have never stayed so long. I should have gotten out earlier. I should have . . .
It’s still a long road ahead for me. I startle at the slightest things. I am hyper-vigilant to my surroundings, and I’m constantly in fear of seeing him in public.
I know that it’s a process, that healing will happen. Being an Author helps. Being able to escape into the worlds I create or talking with other Authors who share the same creative passion brings be back to a kind of center. But these are distractions, and I have so many triggers that the slightest thing can set them off.
I am, however, hopeful that given enough time and distance from that day. The end of my probation, perhaps, will bring some closure to this chapter of my life. Until then, I take each day at a time. Each smile, each hug, each kiss from my daughter, and wrap it around me like a suit of mental armor. I focus on the good moments and the success I’ve been lucky enough to find. And each night, I tell myself, ‘Tomorrow will be better.’ One morning I hope it will be.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am the International Bestselling Author of The Uluru Legacy Series. A Young Adult Paranormal Romance that features a strong female lead. The first book in the series, “Garkain” is a multi-award winner as well. The second book in the series will release on November 2nd of this year, with the last two volumes following the year after.
As the Executive Director of The Author Library Network, I’ve grown a following of over 1.4 thousand readers and Authors. I’ve been fortunate enough to host NYT Bestsellers, USA Today Bestsellers, and Independent Authors as well. We’ve recently begun to expand, adding new shows and branching out into podcasting.
With a business degree and a passion for what I do, I have no plans to slow down, only grow.
How can people work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
Spreading the word about Domestic Abuse. That there is hope. That you can get out. That you don’t have to stay. I’ve given proceeds from the sales of The Uluru Legacy Series to The Montgomery County Women’s Center, who helped me when I needed them.
- Website: https://AnnaJWalner.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/annajwalner/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnnaJWalner
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnnaJWalner
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT_7Vow4jdGQ9ueaFsg0dJw