Before I embarked on the journey to write ‘My Sister’s Pain’ I had to overcome many questions in my head. The first being “I am a man. What qualifies me to write a book from a woman’s perspective?” The second, “what is sisterhood and how much do I really know about it?” Note, when I say sisterhood I am not only talking about the relationship between blood sisters, it stretches deeper than that. I am also talking about those friends that have done enough to qualify for the position of being consider a sister as well. Let me just say, guys aren’t disqualified. We just fall under a different term. Brothers! Anyways, those that know me know I love finding solutions to problems and so…Once the desire to write the book took over my every thought, I was adamant that I was going to do what I needed to do and get the information I needed to get to write “My Sister’s Pain”.
I needed an action plan. It ended up looking something like this:
Talk to as many women as possible (every man’s dream LOL).
Find out what sisterhood means to them.
Understand how their friendships have evolved over time, ageing and growing together.
Once my “interviews” were done, I felt I was in a more comfortable position to build well-rounded female characters for my novel.
There were four key elements to sisterhood identified.
The connection phase is important. All the women I interviewed said that having a connection with another person that came naturally was crucial. Not putting on a show, being yourself and still being able to have that connection was something they identified sisterhood with. I understood it when they said it. It was about being able to truly understand how the other person feels and being able to share in each joyful or sad moment as if it was their own. Friendships with this type of connection tend to last the test of time.
Self-disclosure is pretty much what takes the friendship to the next level. That willingness to open yourself up to your sister or friend and trusting them with sensitive information. Doing this without being judged and knowing that the recipient has your best intentions at heart is a big part of sisterhood. Many of the women I spoke to said as you get older self-disclosure becomes harder as more often than not you’ve experienced a betrayal of trust.
Contribution levels / Giving and getting
No one wants a one-sided relationship. Many women have at some point felt like they’ve invested so much time in a friend (or friends) that just take and take. If you don’t know, this is fast track way of dissolving a friendship. Having a well-balanced relationship where both parties are invested is important. There’s nothing wrong with taking, but it’s all about being able to give as well.
Individualism / Group dynamics
The old quote ‘show me your friends and I will tell you what type of person you are’ is what plays in my head every time I think about this element. We now live in a time of individualism; many people are obsessed with themselves and couldn’t care less about the people around them. From a sisterhood perspective, it’s all about ‘us’ not I. The best thing about the group dynamic is the support received from their sisters. It is the vehicle that keeps them from moving from a dark place to the light.
Enough of the deepness. Thanks to all the women I spoke to, I was able to finish my book “My Sister’s Pain”. Here’s the blurb for your reading pleasure:
Nkechi and Adaora are accomplished, driven sisters, wrestling with identity, danger, relationships and the expectations of their Nigerian family. Cheeky young brother Chidi must find his place in the world, too.
Teacher Nkechi embarks on a trip to Nigeria with her father, eager to understand cultural traditions and prepare for her wedding. But the trip ends in tragedy, requiring far deeper self-exploration than expected. Her fiancé, Patrick, must search his soul, too.
Psychotherapist Adaora is a high-achiever, unable to sustain relationships despite her intelligence and beauty. She faces the consequences of her life-choice to remain childless – the wrath of her deeply religious mother, Mrs Edozie, and the loss of every man she cares for.
The sisters weave a tapestry of cultural and personal clashes – of happiness and broken relationships. Can their sisterhood survive?
We don’t get to celebrate the people in our lives that have been there for us through life’s ups and downs. This book will be launched at the Hackney Empire on 10th February 2017. With a view to giving back the motto for the night is “Celebrating Sisterhood”. Get involved, join the movement. There will be talented performers taking to the stage to share their talents. Poets, singers, dancers, saxophonist and special guest speakers. Tell your friends to tell their friends
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