Breaking the Cycle: Local man pens book to help self and others
By Kyra Jagodzinski
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – “Breaking the Cycle of Abuse” is a book written for the abused, by the abused.
The book’s author, Jeffrey Peters recounts the details of his childhood, where he was molested and beaten from the age of five, up until he was 17. Peters trauma went further than that when he served in the Navy.
The memories of the verbal, psychological, and emotional abuse that Peters experienced and the 20 years after that it took for him to overcome this trauma is the inspiration behind the book. A book that was 15 years in the making with three major rewrites.
The project wasn’t just about helping others to overcome their trauma; it also helped Peters move past his own trauma.
The first time Peters sat down to write, he said anger filled the pages. But eventually, that anger became more forgiving.
To work past his trauma, Peters saw a counselor who helped him develop the mindset to become a “cycle breaker.” In Breaking the Cycle of Abuse, Peters explains the three steps towards overcoming abuse. The “Walking Wounded” is the first stage of concurring their past.
“We’re all wounded in some way. We have scars that we’ve carried from the past, as children, teenagers or adults. Once we’re able to recognize that pain, we become a Wounded Warrior,” he said.
To become a Wounded Warrior, you must first accept that what happened to you wasn’t your fault, and that the trauma experienced was real. Wounded Warriors are those who are constantly battling their past and current trauma after accepting what happened, and working to become a person where that trauma holds little to no power over them anymore. Although the wounds from the trauma became scars, Wounded Warriors no longer have to live in fear or shame.
“Once we’re able to accomplish (accepting and forgiving the past,) then we’ve become the cycle breakers-we’re able to break the cycle of abuse in our own families, in our own lives,” Peters explained.
Although this cycle took 20 years for Peters, the timing differs from person to person. The last six years of his recovery were spent in practice of forgiveness and acceptance for his abusers.
He said that part of his recovery was sped up because of his wife. Inside of a 37 year marriage, Peters and his wife helped each other to overcome their wounds to become Wounded Warriors. As they started their family together, their continuous conscious decision to never give their children the chance to go through the same cycle that they had. The cycle of abuse ended with them.
“(If you’re) overcoming abuse, know that [you] are not alone. You know the work that (you’ve) don’t has been inspirational, not only for themselves but for the people around (you,)” he added.
Breaking the Cycle of Abuse is available in Lighthouse Books & Gifts in Wisconsin Rapids.