A Story That Had To Be Written

Suma Nour didn’t want to write a book about her life.


She had to.


“I’m not a writer, so it never really occurred to me that I could sit down and tell my story in a book for others to read,” Nour, the author of A Pissed Off Saint, said in an interview with Color Magazine. “The more I thought about it, though, the idea kept growing inside me until it had to come out, not just for me but for the women who I imagined would read it and find hope and courage in learning about what I went through and how I survived.”


What Nour went through — a journey that took her through years of poverty, physical and mental abuse, abuse of her children, homelessness, and battered woman syndrome – is shocking to read, but the experience is one that Nour believes is ultimately empowering to her audience.


“When I would talk about my life with people, they always asked how I got through it all. It was a question I kept asking myself as I relived it as I was writing it,” she explained. “That’s why I start the book with a scene from my life today, in my garden meditating and at peace. I want the reader to know that no matter how dark things became in my life, I survived. It helps them. It gives them a sense of hope as they read, which I believe helps them find comfort.”


Comfort is something the author said she found, too, during the writing process. “I had to step outside myself and look at what happened through a new set of eyes. I think the hardest part for me was to try and understand why people treated me the way they did. I couldn’t just tell how my husband abused me without trying to give the reasons behind it. That doesn’t mean there is an excuse for the abuse he put us through, and it doesn’t mean I forgive him, but there are reasons, be they cultural or religious, which allow such behavior to happen in the first place. The story needed that balance because I didn’t want anyone to read the book and think it just happened to me because I was trapped in a bad marriage. The details of other abusive relationships may differ, but the problem is universal.”


Although she eventually graduated from Northeastern University with an associate degree in science and from Forsyth Dental Center as a Dental Hygienist these days, Nour eventually followed her heart, and her need to help others, by becoming a Life Coach at The Swat Institute, encouraging clients to make changes in their lives using the same techniques that helped her, like meditation, prayer, Qigong, Ho’oponopono, healthy eating and exercise. “I want to share my story to let everyone know there are ways to work through your fears so you can move forward to experience freedom and peace,” Nour said.


As for writing another book, Nour admits that there is an idea for one growing inside her that she believes will find its way to the written page in the near future. “The experience of writing the first book made me realize you can’t force these things,” she said. “It will come out when it’s ready.”