Me: Hello, Camille.
CD: Hi. Thanks for including me in your book.
Me: Your story was one of the most interesting subplots. I'm so glad to hear that you are doing better.
CD: I appreciate all that you did to help me out, especially the penpal at the end.
Me: I put you through a lot, and I felt it was only right I did something nice for you at the end. So, I have a philosophical question for you. When you have to go through something awful, but good things come out of it, are you able to look back and able to get perspective on the bad thing?
CD: Good question. You're talking about Ted, obviously.
Me: Yes, our good friend Ted. And Jarrod. Suppose that there is another book, and you end up happily married, with several more children and the life that you always wanted, but it could not have come about if you hadn't experienced the bad things that you did that led you to be where you were in order for those good things to happen. Would it change how you felt about the bad things?
CD: I don't think any of us would choose to go through bad things, hard things, and even when we have positive things that follow that otherwise might not have happened, I think we still have a tendency to wish the bad things had not happened. Perhaps when enough time has gone by we are better able to put those things in perspective.
Me: I've found that to be true. Sometimes in the process of going through the tough stuff we discover strengths we didn't know we had.
CD: Yes, I suppose that is true. I never would have thought I would have the strength to stand up to Ted, but once I did, I found I had more courage and capability to face down other hard things.
Me: I was proud of you at that moment. You should thank my husband, Thom. He said I needed to write a chapter where the balance of power shifted, show, if even just for a few moments, that you had the upper hand.
CD: Please tell him I said "thanks."
Me: It was his idea, but you had the strength in you all the time. You just needed to realize it. I'm glad you decided to stay in Salt Lake after the divorce.
CD: Going back to Georgia wasn't really a good option for me, and especially not for Jordan.
Me: I surmised that you aren't particularly close to your family.
CD: Sometimes if you want to break a family pattern being close isn't the best thing. I don't understand all the reasons why, but when you have seen abuse in your family, it is a familiar thing and so sometimes you gravitate towards someone who will be abusive to you. I continued my mother's pattern when I married Jarrod.
Me: But you were also the one who broke the cycle. I think you should remind yourself of that. Jordan will now see your example of not putting up with abuse, from Jarrod or Ted, and I hope you will get the chance to someday show her a healthy marital relationship.
CD: I hope so.
Me: I'm the one who holds the pen, so I'll see what I can do.
CD: Thank you. And thank you for letting me be in your book.
Me: You added the intrigue. You provided the "page turner" part of the plot.
CD: Anything I can do to help.
Me: Thanks for talking to me.
CD: You're welcome. I've got to go now. It is time for me to pick up Jordan from the babysitter. We're going to make Snickerdoodles tonight.
Me: Sounds like fun. See you later.
CD: Goodbye. I look forward to being in the next book.