The Faith of Hannah
Fatima Y. Alexander
Genre: Non-Fiction, Personal development, Religion and Spirituality
Date of Publication: March, 12, 2016
Word Count: 29,342
There are times in life when darkness and shame threaten to overcome us, and it seems impossible that a chain of negative situations could ever be broken.
Fatima Alexander journeys through the horror of an abusive relationship, twenty years of depression, and a seemingly endless downward spiral. When it appears she’s in the bottom of her own personal abyss, she finds purpose in the task of sharing her story, realizing she can help others understand that they are not alone in their pain and there is a way out of even the worst predicament.
The Faith of Hannah is the honest testimony of the author’s descent into despair, as well as the inspiring tale of how she finds freedom from her guilt and low sense of self-worth. Filled with relevant scripture and practical exercises, this book is an interactive guide, that will help readers discover who they really are and start believing in a life that has meaning and value. An intentional quick read, The Faith of Hannah was specifically developed for those who are up to the challenge. This volume will be a life-changing tool that allows the reader to embrace both the transcendent and the devastating in the story.
Available at Amazon
Follow on Fatima Y. Alexander on her Website
First, I want to thank Fatima Alexander for interviewing with me. Find out more about her below. She is a very strong willed, and capable women who survived a terrible ordeal
- What is your writing process? I don’t just sit down and write. I actually wait until I have a feeling that moves me in either a good or bad way then write from that place. I have always found that when you write in the moment of emotion you get the best result.
- Who are your largest author influences? I read a lot of non-fiction and instructional books. I wouldn’t necessarily say that a specific author influences my writing. I believe that each person has a specific style that forms who they are, so I don’t necessarily get influenced from one particular author I would more so say maybe one particular style.
- What is your favorite book? I read an autobiography on Maya Angelou’s life. I would say that was my favorite. She was very honest with her story, and her experiences made me look at my life differently. The icing on the cake was having the opportunity to hear her speak. She brought tears to my eyes to see how incredible a woman she was. There was so much strength in her story and her words.
- What is your latest news? I recently started a magazine called I Am Not Ashamed. It is a spin-off from The Faith of Hannah. It is full of empowering stories, health tips, and motivational information for women. This initiative came to me after picking up a newspaper one day. I saw that it included more about celebrities’ stories, and less about the lives of everyday people. Not the ones looking for 15 minutes of fame, but the ones who really had incredible stories to tell. It became my mission to start a magazine that will tell those stories, and leave the other stuff to everyone else.
- What genre do you write? My focus is Inspiration and women’s issues.
- What is your most recent book The Faith of Hannah about? The Faith of Hannah chronicles a very dark part of my life, and the steps I took to bring myself out. It also helps women recognize some of the insecurities and unhealthy situations that we live in that bring us to that point. It includes relevant scripture and interactive exercises, all geared toward helping women dig deeper into their psyche and take a realistic look at their lives. The goal of these exercises is to help readers develop a lasting relationship with God and find their individual purpose. The book was written specifically for women, but in my test group I have found that many men learned from it too. Additionally, I interviewed several women who were not avid readers about the length, and they felt anything too long would not be as effective for them. So I made it a quick read, so that each woman who picks it up will actually read it and do the work to be made whole again.
- How did you survive domestic abuse? For me, I didn’t really realize that I was in a situation until we were months away from getting married. We get into situations because we are struggling with unresolved internal issues. That was the case with this relationship. He wooed me in the beginning. Was incredible, as well as incredible with my son. But there were flags that I ignored while we were dating. For one, he was incredibly jealous. He felt threatened even by men on my job, and I had to constantly reassure him that he was the one I wanted to be with. After time went by, I noticed a bit of bizarre behavior, and I attributed to stress, as he was going through something. But in reality he had a drug problem that he was hiding that didn’t come out until we moved in together. I would often come home to him high and drunk, with a house full of guys who I didn’t care to know. He would be doing this around my child and me. From there it escalated to grabbing, then trying to tear me down emotionally and mentally. From there came the real abuse. Choking me while I slept. He never came at me while I was awake, because he knew I would fight back, so he would wait until I fell asleep and attack me then. This went on for about a month, before I woke up. The night when I finally had enough is when I saw him start saying negative things about my son and to my son. He would give him dirty looks, and get mad whenever I would give him attention. I started to feel uneasy about what he might do. That very week I took my son to my mother and asked her to please keep him and don’t ask any questions. She did, and I proceeded to get him out of our house. I knew he liked to drink beer after work, so I locked all the bathrooms, and slid something against the doors in the house. The bedroom and hall bathrooms were connected, so I was able to set it up and slip out the house. Later when he wasn’t looking I slipped his key off his key ring in hopes that he would leave the house and use the bathroom someplace. He did. While he was physical with me, he wouldn’t destroy the house, as he was cheap and didn’t want to have to pay for it. I left and stayed gone for a while, and then contacted the rental office and got out of my lease and moved. Once I got out I never looked back. I was a very dark moment, and it took his interactions with my son to open my eyes. While I was too broken to see what he was doing to me, life woke me up quickly when I thought he would hurt my son. Something I would never let happen, ever.
- What does self-worth mean to you? Self-worth is the most important thing in any of our lives. If you don’t love yourself, or feel you are worthy of anything good, you will let anyone do anything to you. It is important that everyone, especially women, look at themselves as valuable. It doesn’t matter if no one else thinks so, you have to know it in your spirit that you are valuable, and deserve to be loved, and treated with respect by the world, and most importantly, yourself.
- What interactive exercises does your book offer to aid your readers? The interactive section starts out with a Q&A for the reader to be honest with themselves about their lives. About their decisions and about who they really are. This allows them to take an honest approach to healing themselves, and in turn be able to help others as well with their story. Not the ones we tell ourselves to make life bearable, but our authentic testimony that must be addressed, and worked through to be well again. The second part has scenarios. I use seven different scenarios and the reader must answer honestly how they would handle that situation or how reading it affected them. This will help them recognize some things in themselves that they may have missed in the previous section, and have an opportunity to work through that as well.
- What is your purpose in life, after surviving depression, and domestic abuse? Wow, that is an awesome question. It took me many years to finally recognize what my life’s purpose is. Life to me was predetermined before we ever took our first breath. As we maneuver through the various roads, each road takes us one step closer to our purpose. My purpose is to ensure that we as women understand that we are incredible beings and are worthy of a beautiful magnificent life. Without the drama and without the self-hatred. So many of us compare ourselves to every other woman we encounter. But my goal with The Faith of Hannah and I Am Not Ashamed is to help women recognize that they are originals, and they were created that way for a reason. I want them to understand that they are enough. I want them to learn to embrace their beauty as well as their flaws, and most importantly I want to be able to help women learn to encourage each other in sisterhood and in truth. Without sisterhood we will always tear each other down.
- When you were depressed, what was the darkest moment? My darkest moment was when I was lying in a bed after attempting my life. My life was in chaos. My oldest son who had leukemia was told he wouldn’t make it through the weekend, and my younger son was extremely depressed from watching his brother suffer. I was all alone. No family. No support at all dealing with this. I had a nervous breakdown and tried to end my life, as it became too much for me. By the grace of God, I was saved, and my faith in God helped me accept my journey and accept my situation. It was a long and hard process, and I documented it and from that situation came my book. I had to move through life with the faith of Hannah. Hannah was a woman in the bible who trusted God despite what was happening in her life. She called out to God and he heard her prayers. Not only did God answer her prayers, but He gave her peace and acceptance. That is what I had to learn. And that is what I felt other women needed to know in order to be able to not get to the point that I did. Happily, my life is completely different now. My son is in complete remission, and my other son is doing extremely well. I would have never seen the promise of God if He allowed me to indeed lose my life that day. I would have never seen that He had a bigger plan for me life, and all that I endured was part of the process. I just needed to stop focusing on the problems, and start working toward a solution.
- What is the most important takeaway from The Faith of Hannah? You are enough and deserve to life a good and healthy life. No the process of getting there may not always be easy, but it is indeed possible to achieve, and absolutely worth it.
- Is there a message behind The Faith of Hannah? The message is to never be ashamed of your journey. It is what formed you. And most importantly, don’t allow anyone to hold you hostage with your story. Yes, sometimes it may be dark and seedy, but if you own it and release that person from having that power over you, life will start to shape up differently. I was ashamed for so long of some of the things that I had been through, but once I released it and stopped making my past a non-issue in my life, I was finally able to heal, recognize my worth, and most importantly love who I was and what I had become.
- What is the hardest part in writing The Faith of Hannah? Telling my secrets. I have many secrets in the book. I had to get over it, and not allow the secrets to hold me. So, that hardest part was not giving it power over my life anymore and letting it go by way of story.
- What did you enjoy about writing The Faith of Hannah? The cleansing that I felt after finishing each chapter. Each one addressed a different pain, and after each one, I was cleansed. Free. And it could never hurt me again. That was the best part of this process. Knowing that I was no longer a prisoner of my past.
- How long did it take for you The Faith of Hannah? It took me about a month to write. It was quite long at first, and I axed about 100 pages, because I didn’t want the reader to get lost in words. I wanted them to find their purpose and be made whole. I felt giving them the meat was more important than all the flowery stuff that just takes up a lot of space, but isn’t effective.
- Do you have any children or pets? If so, do they distract you, or assist you with writing? I have two sons. Actually, they inspired me to push forward. The book covers many issues in my life that they are connected to, and it allowed me to really write from my experience after having conversations with them.
- What are your writing or publishing goals in the future? As of right now I don’t have any plans as far as writing another book, my goal is my magazine. I publish it bi-monthly, and I feel it allows me to express myself in ways the book can’t. I can change subjects with each issue, and in one month cover cancer awareness, and in the next the struggles of a single mother. The options are endless, and exhilarating at the same time.
- How can fans reach you? I can be reached via my website at fatimaalexander.com
Purchase Faith of Hannah on Amazon