A Jamaican-American actress from Brownsville is debuting a new book and celebrating its release with a Valentine’s Day themed launch party in Greenpoint on Feb. 9. First time author Jacinth Headlam’s book “Love After…” is a reflective memoir about her life coming out of a messy divorce, and surviving it. Several years ago, she was going through a troubling time and decided to write about it to help others going through a similar experience.
“This book came from a time in my life where I was at rock bottom and I was broken,” she said.
Headlam was a married mother of two when she learned about her husband’s infidelity and the child he was expecting as a result. She was devastated by the soul-crushing discovery, packed herself up — leaving the home she shared with her now ex-husband. Retreating to her mother’s attic with her two children, Headlam’s emotional state led her to isolation. But she also turned to her journal, which she poured into.
“My journal is a big part of this book because it helped me come to a place of healing and I had feelings I didn’t know I had,” said Headlam. “These were feelings that pretty much laid dormant for years, but were very necessary to my identity.”
Because journaling was beneficial to her self-reflection, she included journal entries at the end of each chapter for readers.
Her memoir chronicles most of her life after the heartbreak, and the uphill battle she took to reach her conclusive freedom. It took her a journey to come to terms that her current situation was only temporary and she needed to move on.
“There is love after death but I didn’t understand that then,” said Headlam. “It doesn’t matter how it happened, people have to come to a place and know that you are enough.”
A lot of the feelings she was experiencing at the time were related to her separation and the start of her divorce. But she came to an early realization that her past played a decent role in that. Growing up in an abusive home and the victim of sexual assault in her childhood — Headlam had to relive tough memories she worked hard to forget to fully reconcile with her present day self, she said.
“I had to revisit a place in my life that I didn’t want to, and I was struggling with the fact that I was molested as a young child because I blocked it out of my mind and was numb to it,” said Headlam.
Convincing herself to speak openly about the abuse was one of the biggest challenges she faced writing memoir — which she also said led to a lot of self-doubt and delays. But looking back, she said it was integral to her story.
“I think we all get to a place in life that in order to grow and walk in our purpose, we have to visit the broken places and come to place of healing or a place of wholeness,” said Headlam. “If we don’t, we’ll always be on a spinning wheel going nowhere.”
But a sign of light for Headlam was seeking professional services to move forward. She sought counseling to find some encouragement.
“I couldn’t make sense of my life and I needed someone to put things into context for me, and I think counseling helped me a lot,” she said.
The counseling sessions proved to be extremely helpful in Headlam’s recovery. She added that knowing how the subject was taboo in many black communities — she emphasized the impact of a non-clinical counselor for people looking for guidance.
Headlam said writing the book was an additional therapy session for her, detailing how looking back into her life gave her control on her story. She hopes others can experience that too.
“I want readers to always tell themselves, ‘You are enough,’ and as simple as it sounds — there is love after you get past and overcome these obstacles,” she said.
At the book launch, Headlam will read excerpts from her book and screen a short documentary film.
Purchase the book at www.thelo
“Love After….” Book Release at Stuart Cinema and Cafe [79 West St. between Milton Street and Greenpoint Avenue in Greenpoint, (347) 721-3777, www.stuar