A reader feels a little less alone

  • July 21, 2021

Dear Ms. Chapman,

My two daughters have been estranged since summer 2018, three years now.  One went into the Navy, soon to be stationed in Hawaii,  the other lives with her boyfriend about 45 minutes  away.  The Navy daughter and I are very close, the other older daughter also has not spoken to me in three years. When I turned 60 last September she texted me. It had been 2 years at that point.  As of this date, I still have not seen, nor spoken to my daughter since 2018, only texting and even that is limited.  My younger one wants nothing to do with her until she makes it right with me, but I know there’s more to it.  She has told me periods of downright meanness inflicted upon her during their teenage years, times when it was hidden from me.

I divorced their father because he was an abusive alcoholic. The older daughter blames me for staying in the marriage so long, then we lost the house. It was a horrible time for all of us, but I tried to keep the three of us together, and I did succeed!   In the end, the older daughter believed the lies her father told her and sided with him therefore cutting me and her sister off.

Your book actually picked me out, if you can believe that?!  I was looking for something else, but when I saw the title I walked over to the new book section, read the inside, and proceeded to read it every chance I had thereby finishing in a few days.  I loved this book.   The way you write is so readable, it flows and I was learning something which for me is the highlight of reading anything!  Now I must return it by Friday to the library, but I will buy the book, for me and for my two daughters.

I am to blame for staying in a marriage that was so debilitating , but when you grow up in an abusive house, and you don’t know anything else, it’s hard to believe you can get out of it.  Still, my younger daughter does not hold it over my head because she understands, although we agree, I still hurt her.  This is a fact.

I hope and look forward to any response Ms. Chapman!  Thank you, thank you for writing this loving, compassionate and courageous book.  I do not feel so alone anymore.


3 thoughts on “A reader feels a little less alone”

  1. Fern Schumer Chapman


    I’m glad you found comfort in my book. I agree with your comment that when you come from an abusive home, you don’t know anything else. We replicate what we know…unless we get therapy to gain awareness. I hope you can have an honest, direct conversation with both of your daughters to explain your life story and how it defined you, your marriage, and your parenting. (During that conversation, it’s important that you do not blame or speak against their father in any way.) It might be ideal to have this conversation after your daughters read the book. Many readers have told me that they used Brothers, Sisters, Strangers to spark these important conversations. Thanks so much for posting on my blog. Wishing you all the best.

  2. Thank you for your speedy response! Today I purchased three copies on Amazon, one for me and one for each of my daughters. Since I read your book I feel more positive. Whatever happens, I AM proactive, not as overwhelmed by the previous events that created this situation.

    Again, thank you for reaching out. I’ll keep you posted!


    1. Fern Schumer Chapman

      It’s gratifying to hear that you feel more positive after reading the book, Eleanor. Thanks again for writing. Please let my readers and me know how things go after your daughters read the book and you have your conversation. We are pulling for you!

Leave a Comment