York Region, Ontario, Canada - Saturday, June 21st 2008 - David Fleischer
Published on Jun 21, 2008
I Married a Pedophile is more than just a provocative title for a book. It is a situation through which Sharelynne Phillips persevered.
With a little time and a lot of help, the York Region resident found the courage and stamina to put her life story down on paper and hopes others can learn from her experiences.
“The title of the book is such because I basically hit bottom in my very, very bad choices in partners and where could I go from there, but up?” she says.
Sharelynne is not her real name, but rather a persona she has adopted for the book and talking about her past. Naturally, the names of everyone in the book have similarly been changed.
Ms Phillips began writing the book even before leaving her husband.
In 2005, they were living in York Region and she knew things were bad, but not how bad.
“He was always a jerk. It was not a happy relationship. There were moments, as there always are in dysfunctional relationships, but it was not a positive, healthy relationship by any stretch of the imagination,” she says.
It was in 1999, when she already had two children from a prior relationship, that she married “Larry”.
When they met, a naive and trusting Ms Phillips bought his side of what lead to accusations of wrongdoing. Her children, she believed, needed a father figure and she hoped Larry would fit the bill.
“My wanting to do what was best for my babies, my children, turned out to be the exact opposite,” she says.
By the time her daughter told her, in 2005, that he had abused her, Ms Phillips had already been free of him for nearly two years.
Ms Phillips always had pen, paper and a tape recorder around to capture inspiration when it hit and writing the book was an important part of the healing process for her.
That process received a major boost from the Women’s Centre of York Region and its various programs and workshops.
“They’re basically one of the main reasons I am where I am,” she says.
“There’s no way I’d allow anyone to treat me any way but the way I deserve to be treated. There were a few really huge things that I learned.”
She is estranged from her 15-year-old daughter, understanding she needs her own time to heal. Her son has moved forward, she says.
Ms Phillips admits there are some parts of the book she’d rather her children not read, but makes it clear this is her version.
She is finding that people bring their own psychology to her story, and even people in healthy relationships end up with a new way of looking at empowerment and what they deserve.
“What I liked about the book is I knew it would affect different people differently,” she says.
“I wrote it like I talk, I was told,” she says.
What that means is, despite its oppressive subject matter, the tone is as energetic and confident as she is. She does not blanch or demure in talking about her situation and the book reflects that, with an abundance of exclamation marks and doses of humour.
I Married a Pedophile was released in March and Ms Phillips is looking at public speaking and other efforts to give back to those in need.
“Hopefully, I’m helping others to get to where I am now. Like, do you want to come along on the ride to being happy and healthy?’” she says.
You can purchase the book at Amazon.ca and learn more at www.sharelynne.byregion.net
York Region, Ontario