Women to Watch AZ – Mary A. Havens

“Men like this, and it is mostly men, learn how to keep secrets early and young and are good at it, experts at deception.” – Jilly Jesson Smyth


Author Mary A. Havens by Jilly Jesson Smyth

Rising from the Ashes

This photo of Mary Havens says it all, she is building an ice cream sundae with toppings galore, enjoying her life, traveling and meeting amazing people across the land and making a difference.  It is hard to believe when we met a couple of years ago, we were both recovering from trauma beyond belief. I saw her across a crowd of friends getting ready to walk at a beautiful space called La Encantada as the sun was going down under the magnificent Catalina Mountains in Tucson, Arizona. I sensed she had been through something very serious, something heartbreaking and shocking, the kind of stuff that no one believes can really happen so close to home.

Since we met and began speaking to the unspeakable, she has been on a mission to bring light to a very dark subject with her new memoir The Shadows In My Heart. 

Life is a process of forgetting and remembering.

“Still the hardest thing for me is self-forgiveness, even though I know I did my very best under all circumstances,” Mary says. 

Remembering takes courage, reflecting back on a horrific time in order to write about one’s life honestly brings up buried secrets and horrors.

In order to expose what happened, the images flowing through Mary’s mind and heart had to be looked at again.

Tucson Festival of Books
Dr. Allan Hamilton. Mary Havens and I at the Tucson Festival of Books.


Because it is still happening. 

During this journey Mary met an incredible support team including Paul Krupin and Lynn Wiese Sneyd, Publicists for Mary A. Havens, and Allan J. Hamilton (pictured) an American physician and medical consultant to ABC’s medical drama Grey’s Anatomy based in Tucson, Arizona. As her sisters believed and knew, so did her expanding circle of helpers and she left to start a new life. Mary Havens is now speaking out in intimate and larger gatherings to help guide others to rise and love again. The first thing a friend can do is listen and believe.

There are no more secrets.

I read Mary’s story and it resonated with a deep knowing of how Coercive Control happens like a slow drip of a “pattern of behaviour which seeks to take away the victim’s liberty or freedom, to strip away their sense of self. It is not just women’s bodily integrity which is violated but also their human rights.” (more)

Every woman of every age needs to read this book.

“Secrets like these are so damaging.” – Mary Havens

Being miserable can be buried deep in order to protect the kids and parents, but it doesn’t. When Mary told her In-Laws about her ex-husband’s pedophilia, they did not believe her, when she told her own parents, they did not hear her. They all effectively set up Mary’s children, their grandchildren, to be abused. It is the tip of the iceberg. An abuser of any kind knows how to hide around corners and turn into a monster at the flip of a dime. Men like this, and it is mostly men, learn how to keep secrets early and young and are good at it, experts at deception.


The Shadows in My Heart
Mary Havens shares her compelling story in, The Shadows in My Heart, where she unmasks the truth and tragic consequences of family secrets and mysteries. This groundbreaking autobiography, her lifelong quest, is about real people who inhabited a sleepy, peaceful Midwestern dairy farm in the Wisconsin Ocooch Mountains.

Contact Mary A. Havens
Author of The Shadows in My Heart

I believe you will be awakened to the strength of Mary Haven’s story of freedom.

You can reach me at JillyJessonSmyth.co

@JillyWisdom  @JillJessonSmyth





Author: Jilly Jesson Smyth

Social Documentary Artist and Community Media Maven 🎬 Jilly Jesson Smyth, Author and Designer at the Art of Biz and Well-being at Tiny Notes From Athena: http://bit.ly/JillyMoksha 💋

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