ABOUT Sara Niles

I write to make a difference, therefore my writing is mission oriented and imbued with a deeper purpose because of my traumatic life experiences. I write primarily nonfiction that exemplifies mans inhumanity to man, focusing of the triumphant human spirit within us all.

In Torn From the Inside Out, I call this "The power of the human spirit under fire".

Everyone wants to be happy, and everyone wants to be free; yet, suffering abounds worldwide. The injustice of man against man, is no where more unjust than in the home, where brutality abounds through domestic violence. Domestic Violence must be stopped, and if not stopped, at least, slowed. In any case, it must be fought. We were all born free with the right to happiness.

"Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains" Jean Jacques Rousseau

My memoir, Torn From the Inside Out, is a testament to the power of the human spirit under fire.

The Effects of Dysfunction and Domestic Violence are both primary, and secondary in nature, and for many, last a lifetime.

The internal pain caused by childhood abuse, becomes externalized through the triple threats of mental illness, trauma issues, and damaging addictions. I call this triple effect the 'Three Headed Monster'.

Hardback edition of Torn From the Inside Out:

Barnes and Noble


Other editions available via Amazon, Createspace, Smashwords , Kobo, and many others. Simply search Sara Niles.

The Face of Dysfunction

Dysfunction Within Families Breeds Dysfunction

Stopping dysfunction in its original form will prevent generational impact that affects individuals, families and society as a whole.

I spent thousands of hours examining people's lives under the microscope of counseling and I continue to see repetitions of the same underlying themes in almost every family. Healthy families beget healthy families and sick families beget families with many of the same sick dysfunctions that they experienced as children. Young boys and girls whose family role models were womanizers or man-users usually womanize or abuse and dispose of men, those whose models drank, usually have a substance abuse problem and those who grew up with hurt, pain, and abuse, usually inflict it upon their families in the same measure, over fifty percent of the time, or they may invariably find a partner who inflicts pain upon them. There are a rare few who escape this repetitive cycle, even though they were raised in it, but they are the exception. Many will marry the negative image of their parent or their opposite in an attempt to recreate what 'love' felt like and looked like to them as a child.

No matter how the child interprets it, when the family model is corrupted then the copy is corrupted. A very wise man that I greatly admired and who was a teacher and trainer once said there was a grandmother who baked a turkey with the edges cut off and both her daughters and granddaughters also baked their turkeys with the edges cut off. When someone asked the granddaughter why she baked her turkey with the edges cut off, she replied because her mother did it that way. When the mother was asked, she replied 'because my mother did it that way' and when the grandmother was asked, she said that she always had a pan that was too small for the turkey so she started trimming the edges so it would fit into the pan.

Dysfunction only needs to operate the first time, the rest will follow. We need to stop dysfunction where it starts in the first family, with the first children. If dysfunction by chance escapes detection, then stop it where you find it.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Lessons from Maya Angelou's last Memoir: Mom and Me

Maya Angelou, was born in 1928, in St. Louis Missouri, and raised in Stamps Arkansas by her grandmother, after her parents dissolved their relationship. The name, Maya Angelou, was a consolidation of her childhood nickname and a shortened form of her married name. Maya Angelou not only scripted her name, she scripted a successful life as a multi-talented, dancer, performer, director and world famous author.
During the course of Maya Angelou’s self-made life, she became a civil rights activist and close friend of Martin Luther King, and James Baldwin, all during the early 1960’s; later  becoming a friend-mentor to one of the greatest personages of our century, Oprah Winfrey.

The autobiographical memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird sings, was the first of many memoirs. Mom and Me was the last. The story of the relationship forged between the two powerhouse women, Maya Angelou and her mother Vivian Baxter, covers several decades, from the racially segregated and tumultuous years in The South, to the California years spent with her mother as a young teenager.
The power of Maya Angelou’s mother’s influence upon her life journey was not completely realized by the author until after her mother’s death. As is the case with most of us, it is only after the years of life experience that our personal introspection can match our external analysis of the world we inhabit; therefore, Mom and Me was written as the last autobiographical book of the great author.

It is through the pages of Mom and Me that we discover the subtleties of life created by the strain between the dominant white culture and black subculture that fueled the strong determination to not only merely survive , but thrive, by Vivian Baxter. In a short excerpt of Mom and Me, Maya Angelou’s mother encouraged her to persevere when faced with rejection based on race, and when Maya succeeded in becoming the first female and first black person to secure the job, Maya’s mother asked her what she had learned by her unrelenting determination:

Angelou gave the simple answer which was that she learned she was not afraid to work, and that was “about all”, at which her mother corrected her by pointing out the deeper lesson.

“No, you learned that you have power”. 

 The awareness of personal power was perhaps one of the greatest gifts bestowed upon Angelou by her mother. The acutely attuned sense of self-perception, and the strong inner drive that was forged by Angelou’s mother and grandmother, was transferred to Angelou during her formative years. The strength, resilience, fearlessness, and courage of Maya Angelou became the trademark character traits that defined her as a public figure, and served her for a lifetime. It was Angelou’s mother, Vivian who moved her to think ‘large thoughts’ and to dream big. Without Vivian, there would not have been a Maya.

In order to fully appreciate the journey of Maya Angelou, you must read Mom and Me, because it is more than the last memoir of Maya Angelou, it is a window into the development of a cultural phenomenon. The ultimate lesson is the positive force of parent upon child is never to be underestimated.