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August 16 , 2010

Too Many Empty Rooms


The memoir opens on the night Christina’s brother dies in a car accident. It is the beginning of a cataclysm the breaks apart the Smits family. Christina slides towards death, abandonment, and depression.

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She spends her senior high school years watching her mother’s body atrophy with motor neurone disease. Fatherless from age nine, Christina becomes increasingly angry with God over her mother’s terminal illness. A few days before her final high school exam she drinks poison in a suicide attempt. She considers her survival from this a failure and sinks in to a deep depression. During the lowest point in her 17 years, Christina meets her nemesis – Col.

Col is running from a failed marriage, three young sons, gambling debts and a drinking problem. Encouraged by Christina’s dislike of alcohol Col goes cold turkey, but more importantly for him is Christina’s access to her brother’s car and the money ear-marked for her university studies. Later on Col also finds Christina’s fear of violence a useful tool to keep her subdued.

Christina thinks Col will honour his promises to give up drinking, stop his violence toward her, and quit smoking. She blindly believes in the underlying good in everyone. Regardless of the hurt she receives from Col, Christina keeps believing in Col’s web of lies.

Unemployed and on probation for Col-initiated fraud, Christina finds herself outside a church in Auckland. Obeying the prompting of her sprit, she walks inside and asks for God’s forgiveness.

This act of humbleness is the beginning of her journey back to a normal life free from Col’s manipulations and violence.

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