Invisible Scars: Debut author shares her trauma in new autobiography

A Bolton woman has become a debut author after writing about her childhood and early adulthood trauma in a touching autobiography.

Maggie Gallagher’s book Invisible Scars has not long been on sale and she said she can finally try to find closure.

The book took Maggie 17 years to write and follows the first 30 years of her life growing up in Johnson Fold.

She spent her days writing the book in her spare time while using her other time working at the Royal Bolton Hospital.

The synopsis gives a small insight into Maggie’s life.

It states: “What happened within our family should never have happened. It shattered our lives like glass.

“Protecting one another through those early traumas seemed impossible as those new nightmares continued within.

“I was unaware of the consequence and the bitter family feud that was developing before my very eyes.

“The traumas of my own childhood came flooding back many times.

“I was faced with the thought of my own children living through the same trauma.

“Protecting my children through those nightmares was unbearable.

“I desperately fought to keep hold of my own children for what seemed like a lifetime.

“My heart ached for them.

“I would have died without my children in my arms.

“With no one to talk to throughout the trauma, I became isolated.

“Segregated.

“My family became strangers unaware of the inner torment I was facing.

“My fight for survival and happiness began.

“The fight to be able to put the past behind me and find that inner peace and happiness I had strived for all those years?

“The happiness of my family, the rebuilding of our lives, and the hope that one day the bitter family feud will be over, once and for all.”

Maggie Gallagher with her debut novel Invisible Scars

Speaking about being a debut author, Maggie, 63, said: “The reason I wrote the book was because my childhood was quite traumatic and moving on from there to becoming an adult was even worse.

“I had counseling and they said to write everything down, so it was pen and paper at my dining room table when my children were small and I wrote when they were at school and it just carried on from there.

“Once I started writing I couldn’t stop.

“The book is about the first 30 years of my life which I wasn’t in control of at that time, there were outside obstacles that I had to try and overcome.

“I’ve now had closure because I’ve written it all down and I’ve got it all off my chest.

“Hopefully the book will put an end to it all and we can all sort of move on.

“All the details are in the book and I don’t want to give too much away but I wrote quite a lot about the Johnson Fold estate where we were growing up.

“When we were children it was a lovely place to grow up with Moss Bank Park, and although I didn’t want to be near that house, I have now moved back to Johnson Fold and live near the Doffcocker Lodge.

“I just hope I’ve given Johnson Fold the justice because it’s getting a bad reputation at the minute but it’s just absolutely lovely.

“The book was published two weeks ago and people are buying it I believe, I didn’t have much confidence because I know it was trauma to me but I didn’t think anybody else would be interested in it but it’s been well received.

“People used to say oh she’s writing a book but I could never call it a book until I was holding it in my hand.

“I never had the confidence to think it was going to be a book one day.

“But the confidence is coming back when I get really good reviews.”

In writing the book, Maggie took inspiration from a famous Bolton woman.

She said: “Sara Cox spurred me on to write my book because when I was having a break from writing I read her book that was all about growing up in Bolton and I thought well if she can do it, I can.

“And then I just expected my book, I wrote 250,000 words, and I expected part of those words to be thrown away and it doesn’t seem like they have thrown any of it away because the book is massive.

“I wish I wouldn’t have had to write this story, well the book wouldn’t have been published without it but I wish the past hadn’t happened.”

Maggie will also release a new book in the future, this time for children, showing them the history of growing up on the estate in Johnson Fold, like an Enid Blyton-style novel.

Invisible Scars is available now priced at £13.99.

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