Letters To You by Nia Renee
I released my very first self published book on April 20, 2023 titled, Letters To You. It a compilation of several journal entries, creative writing prompts, letters, and the very first Custom How to Love Me Journal. I wanted to create this book because I believe that it is very important for survivors to feel like they aren’t alone. That what they were thinking and feeling is what I was also thinking and feeling. I wanted my readers to be able to read the most vulnerable pieces of my journey and it doesn’t get any more vulnerable than reading what I wrote in my journal. Aside from the letters that I wrote this year, the letters/journal entries are written just as I wrote them in the journals. I did that because I wanted to display the exact feeling of what I was going through, including the errors and misspelling of words.
10 part book
- The incubator
- The Incubator is a letter that is written to my birth mother. When I first began writing this letter (instructed by my therapist) in 2020, it was a much different letter. It was coming from a place of grave anger and despair. I accidentally deleted all of my HTLABW files and my first manuscript of Letters To You. Rewritten in early 2023, it is a much different letter after needing to have a hysterectomy. Once I had the surgery it felt as if a lot of the anger I was holding in my body subsided. You will get to see many emails that she has sent me over the years and the way that she would speak to me. You will get a deep look into what my relationship with her was like.
- Mommy issues
- Mommy issues is a letter that was written to my step mother, whom I referred to as my mother until 2020. Just as the previous letter written to my mother, the letter written to my step mother was an angry letter as well. Our relationship is riddled with turmoil and a lot of anger. But the same sentiment as above was expressed once I had my hysterectomy. The letter is coming from a less angry place and simply addressing the facts of what our relationship looks like. You will get to see the very last text message exchange between her and I in 2021. We have since gone no contact.
- Love & Basketball
- The letter that you will read in this section was written almost two years post my physically abusive relationship with a college boyfriend. I remember when I sat down and wrote this letter, it was over the course of several days to express what I was feeling. It was incredibly difficult to write the things on paper that I endured during that relationship, and even then it wasn’t the entire story. But I needed to get out as much as I could. I was able to finish the letter this year (2023).
- Mr. Narcissist
- Mr. Narcissist is where you get to see where the infamous How To Love Me Journal was created. I created a journal to give to my ex boyfriend to help me put on paper what I was too afraid to say out loud. The relationship was incredibly difficult to navigate and I created the journal as a safe space to literally explain to my ex how to not abuse me. I googled ways to speak to him and wrote them down. I wrote a literal love road map to him. He still abused me. But in the aftermath, I created something so beautiful for others to use as way to explain their trauma in a safe space. This section will read journal entries and a letter I wrote after I broke up with him. You will read some of the most horrendous things he has ever said to me. It is probably the most vulnerable part of the book.
- Twin is a letter written to my half brother. We were essentially raised as twins. We looked just a like and we acted very similar. We were twins for majority of our childhood. He sexually abused me as a child and when I confronted him about it, he told me that I liked it. This letter was written to alleviate some of the lingering pain I had from the death of this relationship. We have been no contact since 2021.
- The Demon Seed
- This particular letter is written to my half sister. It is the shortest section in the book. She played a major part in my life but she also hasn’t existed in my mind for a very long time. She is merely a blimp. Hence, why the letter is so short. She sexually abused me for a long time. She was my first sexual abuser at the age of four years old. We have been no contact for 10+ years.
- Father Dearest
- This letter is written to my father. Just as the letters to The Incubator and Mommy Issues, my fathers first letter was accidentally deleted. I began writing that letter in 2020. That was an incredibly difficult time in our relationship and since then we have done the hard work to repair our relationship together. He is the only blood relative that I have left that I have not gone no contact with.
- Dear Nia Renee
- This letter is written to me. Of course 😜. My therapist challenged me with writing a letter to myself and during this time, I found an online journal that I used to write to myself back in 2017. It was a check in journal that I posed the question, Dear Nia Renee… how are you feeling today? You will see certain journal entries where I say that I will never be able to find someone who loves me and cherishes me. And I did. Things can and will get better. I wanted people to see that.
- High School Creative Writing
- At the last minute I decided to add this creative writing notebook I found from high school. I took a creative writing class my senior year that allowed me to express a lot of emotions that I was not able to say out loud. The toughest assignment I wrote was Doll House which depicts the sexual abuse I endured by my half sister (The Demon Seed). I didn’t realize that it was in the notebook until I began typing it in. These were hand written in a notebook and was almost faded. I held onto the notebook for a reason, and I am very glad that I did.
- Bonus Letter- Husbae
- This book was incredibly heavy and I am very glad that I was able to end it on a high note with a sweet letter to my husband.
I can’t wait for to hear the response from this book and I sincerely hope that I am able to help others. If you haven’t already, grab your copy of Letters To You from amazon! And feel free to leave a review once you finish.
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