Introduction and excerpt Preview of JIGSAW

JIGSAW is the second book by Dr. Debra A. Newell.  This creative non-fiction project is underway and will be available in later 2012.


Please enjoy this introduction and preview to the new project...

JIGSAW Introduction

After the traumas, life was very different than in the past.  For a considerable period of time, I remember walking around feeling like I was in a mosh pit, pushing through this jello-ey like substance having difficulty breathing and not being able to move with any speed at all.  Then I moved on to the parallel lives stage where I felt like there was a life I was living on the outside and a totally different life that was going on inside my head.

And there was always a struggle to be able to take action and not be paralyzed.  Then I would do dangerous things from everyone else’s perspective.  But to me the actions were not dangerous seeming….I had already faced death, there was no fear of it and “normal” things seemed rather mundane.  Plus, who knew if I played by the “rules” what would happen anyway.  I was playing by the rules when all of the bad stuff started happening.

Then, the day many years after my traumas, when a young man gave his life so mine would be spared, I knew I had to change how I functioned and lived once again.  In a poignant and bare to the soul way, I knew my life was not my own.  My selfish desires could no longer rule the direction of my plans.  My life had been bought with a price – twice.

I stepped into my destiny through an interesting series of events, the first of which occurred with the initial trauma.  Many years, joys and heartaches have come and passed to bring me to this point.  Life is not a straight line or an easy road.  The path to higher ground is steep and narrow.

What you are about to read is real; as real as life can ever be.

Reflections in the mirror

We had completed the Christmas 1999 festivities.  Dinners and socials with various friends, colleagues and neighbors were delightful.  The round of gift sharing completed the tour.

I stand in my kitchen, at the end of the eating bar and pronounce to Glenda and Angel:

“Everything I am and have is a gift from God.  Life is good.  Very, very good.”

“Life is good,”  they each chime in.

In retrospect, I realize that was a critical point in the shaping of events to come.  I did not know it at that moment, and would not make the connection until some years later.  The enemy was now bound and determined to make me regret voicing the sovereignty of and my allegiance to God.  I was now a major threat to the enemy.

The year 2000 seemingly starts out well.  I am asked to work on a special project by my employer; one I am pleased and honored to participate in doing.  The other professional projects I am in charge of are going well.  Graduate school is moving along nicely; Angel is completing her senior year of high school and college bound in the Fall.  Postcard perfect.

As the new year gears up and winds into full swing, a sense of foreboding starts to brew.  I am not even able to articulate the sense or feeling, nor attribute it to any one thing.  In the beginning I remember believing that I was experiencing the dis-ease due to not being able to bring the special project at work to closure.

The man I have kind of been seeing - Oh, Lord you could have put up a road block with this  -  he is married, soon to be getting a divorce, or so he says.  Things have remained platonic, with innuendos.

I enjoy Michael’s companionship and interest.  Michael calls one night very late and says that he is trying to work things out on his end, but that the car broke down and it will take $500 to repair it.  The Lord told me to send him money for the repair of car.  I was disobedient and  I did not send money.

I never heard from Michael again.  He disappeared.

As I look back in time, it seems that historically I have a pattern when it comes to men.  They come in quick and strong; often are not totally available for whatever reason – either emotionally unavailable or just playing one way or another.   In the past, I see that every time a man sashayed into my life, I believed that it must have some romantic connotation.  I would get drawn in due to faulty antennae or a chink in my armor, then become wounded when the situation does not work out.  Why it does not work out...Am I afraid of being vulnerable?  Am I afraid of loving deeply and unselfishly?  Or do I love too quickly and easily, with no thought or reason?  Or do I only ask God for His direction after I am in a predicament of my own creating?  I am not certain.  This is a question I have asked myself often.

As I move forward from here I know that I must gain a clearer understanding and take a different approach.

Chapter 1 excerpt:


As I sit in the living room of Paul and Susie’s home, I see the ammo box – caulked shut and sitting in front of the fireplace.  A straight line from it, to me, to the front picture window.  The dead bolt on the front door is broken and it won’t open; the alarm is set for the night and no one can go in or out.  Something is very wrong.  The blood is rushing in my ears; every nerve in my body is on high alert.  Vivid clips of the deceit and horror in a rerun of the past nine months race across my mind.

In one split second of time, a veil of confusion lifts from my mind, the truth of what had been going on and what is about to occur, if I do not act, all become crystal clear.  This is enough clarity to galvanize me into action in a super human way.  The whole glowing ember burst into flame and I know exactly what I have to do.

I know the only way to prevent the worst is to attract a great deal of attention.  This is our only way of escape.  I carry out a strange series of activities, the idea of which is not self-generated.  The whole scene totally originated from and is orchestrated by God at one split second in time.

I grab my purse and the fireproof lock box with legal papers stowed in it, go to the front window, open it, push out the screen and jump through to the ground.  I hit the ground running.

The sirens are screaming.  They are becoming louder and louder.  There is no place I can go to escape.  I hear my breath heaving in and out of my chest to the beat of my bare feet pounding on the pavement.

I run faster and harder than I have run in years.  I knock on doors, begging people to let me in and help me.  “We are in danger” I say.  “PLEASE HELP ME!”

“I would like to let you in, but I cannot” says one man with his wife standing behind him, as his look pleads me to forgive.

I run on down the street banging on doors, as the police cars round the corner, I freeze in the middle of the street – a deer caught in the headlights.  I no longer wear shoes which were kicked off mid-stride as I ran for my life, more concerned about adding distance between myself and the enemy and keeping hold of the two things I could grab and carry as I jumped out the window – the lock box and my purse.

I turn, and with a burst of adrenalin, I run again, this time toward my home.  As I cross the street, hoping to gain freedom by reaching home safely, three more police cars make the turn and block my way.  Officers are quickly out of their cars with weapons drawn.

One male officer starts talking to me and moves carefully toward me.  I do not remember what he speaks or asks other than him asking “do you have a weapon?”  I respond in the negative.  He comes closer and I am escorted to the back seat of one of the police cars.  House lights everywhere are ablaze.  It looks like straight up noon, it is so well lit outside right now.  People seem to be showing up from out of nowhere.  I am only allowed to sit; not to speak.  I am kept separate from everyone else.  Many people are talking to the officers; not a courtesy extended to me.  I see the neighbors John, Patsy, Dave, all trying to speak.  Some are on cell phones.  Finally, my daughter Angel arrives with Melissa and speaks to the officer who is apparently in charge.

I am told that I will be taken to a psychiatric hospital down the road for observation and where I can rest.   The ride is strangely “okay.”

How, you might ask, does one go from being a professor at a university one day, to being taken into custody and incarcerated the next?  A very intricate web of events, occurring almost imperceptibly, though very deftly orchestrated, provide the key.

“This is your wake up call to be aware of everything going on around you.”

These sage words are ones spoken by my counselor some nine months ago.   She was absolutely on target; almost prophetic.  Words that were given after the fact of incident one, were very much the saving grace in incident two.

Stay tuned…JIGSAW is slated to be published in late 2012...