If you were abused over and over again, would you become an abuser? Or would you learn to forgive? Dr. Jay Roberts had to go to prison to learn the answer.
About Break the Chains
In 1999 Dr. Roberts was in at-home hospice care preparing for his own death from a neurological disease. At the point where he finally gave up, he experienced a spontaneous, overnight healing. It was not the first time he had “cheated” death. He had survived a fifty-foot fall from a cliff, a plane crash, and attempts on his life by rebel insurgents in remote areas in the Philippines in 1970s. This near-death escape was different though, because it was the culmination of a turbulent lifelong dialogue with God which started when he was a child being bull-whipped by his alcoholic father. Yet even after his complete recovery from disease, it would take a maximum security prison environment to reveal to him the mysterious power of forgiveness.
In the telling of his fascinating story—of extreme abuse, of the compulsion to become a pain and wound care specialist, of medical school in a third world country against a dangerous political backdrop, and of his return home to deal with the demons he’d left behind—Dr. Roberts tackles the big questions illuminating physical, mental, and spiritual growth. Break the Chains affirms faith in both God and the human spirit. It is as revealing and inspirational as it is truthful and poignant.
Title: Break the Chains
Author: Jay D Roberts, MD
Publisher: Tate Publishing and Enterprises, LLC
The Story Behind Break the Chains
As a young child, I didn’t believe God existed. I had prayed and prayed for God to stop my torment, but He didn’t.
As I grew, I kept hearing, “Jesus loves the little children…”
So I figured that if God does love kids, he surely hates me.
And, He must hate me because I am bad, so I should be beaten more. I deserved to be tortured.
And I was.
So I figured I was right after all.
As a child and adult I knew to keep my mouth shut and never speak of what went on inside our home. I would never tell. Never.
Years and years past, then I got sick. After I almost died, I became obsessed with four things—writing my story, ministering in maximum security prisons, helping the wounded, and building an orphanage.
Writing my story has been the most difficult. I had to remove a wall of stones from around my heart that had protected me for years. It became too painful and I stopped writing. I tossed many a nights fighting a passion to write against the fear that it would kill my mother for telling the secret. Two years later, the battle was over. I could no longer squelch my thirst to write.
My mother read the promotional copy for my book. She is still alive.
Any day now she will start reading the book. I pray that she has strength and an open mind as my story unfolds in her hands. A story she already knows, but one never spoken and definitely not in print.
My wife, two sons, and sister have read the book and have praised me.
My brother refuses to talk about the book and to hear anything negative about his father.
A cousin is upset that I would “bad mouth my family… and anyway, no one would ever buy my book.”
Many have hurts and pains, and are bounded by their chains.
I am willing to take the hits from my family, if by telling my story I can help others to forgive, break their chains, and set them free.
My Writing Adventure
It started two decades ago in Palm Springs with my some of my friends – Harold Robbins knew some of my story and told me to write a book. I didn’t. A few years later, Sonny Bono told me I needed to tell my story. I didn’t. That same year, Sidney Sheldon echoed their sentiments. I still didn’t.
How could I? I can’t write. English was my least favorite subject in school.
Years later, for some strange reason I thought of my friends years ago encouraging me to write. I’d like to think they were screaming at me from heaven.
So I wrote, a memoir. It was awful. Read like an emotionless scientific paper.
So I stopped.
A couple of years later I thought about writing again. But this time a light bulb had gone off in my head- to become a doctor I had studied hard. To write I needed to do the same.
So I bought books on the craft of writing, lots of them, and read each one, several times.
I wrote and dug deep for the core of my story, as I had learned from my studying.
What I unburied was too painful. So I stopped writing for several months, maybe a year.
I prayed and began to attend writing conferences. At The Taos Summer Writing Conference, God sent me my first writing angel, Minrose. He knew I needed more help, so he blessed me with Julie. I listened to my mentors and applied myself. Wrote and re-wrote. I had entered the world of revisions.
I read a diverse collection of books to see how other authors had applied the art of writing in their stories.
I traveled, went back to the Philippines for forty days and nights (no intent to relate to Moses), to revitalize my senses and enrich my story.
More revisions followed- oh, the torture and necessity of revisions! But nothing compared to the rejections of my queries.
I became numb to being told- “Great story, but not a fit for us at this time.”
But I did not expect two cruel rejections.
One was from a senior editor at a major publishing house in NYC who had asked me to bring my manuscript. I can still remember her words, “I will not even touch your manuscript. Even if you could write, which you can’t because you are a doctor, nobody will buy your book because you are a nobody.”
The other was from an agent at a Christian Writing Conference who wanted to represent me. Her words ripped into my heart. “I’m sorry. I really love your story, but I can’t represent you. I didn’t realize that you were Catholic. The publishers I deal with will not work with Catholics.”
God wasn’t through yet. He sent me my third angel, Joan.
Prayers blanketed me from family and friends.
Then one miraculous day, Joan found my book a home with Tate Publishing.
God bless Dr. Richard Tate for believing in my story and all of the staff at Tate for their help in making my book a reality.
I am now learning the necessity of patience during the production process.
I look forward to the day this year that my book will be set out into the world. I pray that all can be set free.
So, here’s to all the “nobody writers.” Keep your dreams alive, write, rewrite, submit and resubmit. Let no one dowse your flame. Believe and you shall receive!
Jay D Roberts MD is a board-certified physiatrist, specializing in the treatment of physical disabilities with a focus of adding quality to life. He is currently in private practice in California. He is a member and lecturer at national and international conferences related to his specialty, a contributing author to Current Trends in Physiatry, and author of various scientific papers. In addition to his career, Dr. Roberts volunteers as part of a Christian ministry in maximum security prisons. He and his wife, parents of two grown sons, live in Indian Wells, California. Break the Chains is Dr. Roberts’ first book. Following in the long tradition of doctors who combine their passion for saving lives with their passion for writing, Dr. Roberts is currently at work on a novel, concerning children forced to work in mines.
Key words for post:memoir, Christian, inspirational, child abuse, forgiveness