New blog

My old blog is at  Please visit if you haven’t already.

I have decided to begin the new year with a new blog. This is it. I hope you like it.

Most of you will know the old blog. But if you are coming to this one new you won’t know that I began the original blog (  at a time in my life when I’d hit rock bottom. I actually ended up living in my car. I did it for not much short of a year in the end. Seems insane writing that….A dreadful, dreadful time, when everything fell apart and I didn’t know who to turn to or where to turn. In the end I froze and did nothing. That whole time probably came within the definition of a breakdown.

That first night I did it wasn’t planned, I simply fell asleep in the car. My belongings were already stacked in the boot and backseats ready for me to drive off and find somewhere to stay for the night, a hotel or a room until I figured out what I was going to do. I couldn’t even do that in the end. I was in Brighton at the time and I parked up at the seafront. I was more frightened and exhausted than I could remember (I can’t say ‘ever’, because many of you will know by now that I was frightened for a lot of the time in an early stage of my life).  But that night in Brighton I was extremely frightened: I had run out of money and luck and just about out of hope. I sat there watching filthy-white waves crashing on the empty shingle beach until everyone disappeared and there was nothing around me but stars and seagulls as the light quickly faded. Already exhausted and with a splitting headache, I took off the seat belt, bundled up a fleece and lay my head down on the passenger seat, closing my eyes for a few moments….

I had no intention of falling asleep there that night, but in the end I did. And I woke the next morning staring through the windscreen at seagulls flying above me in a bright blue sky (just like in the picture at the top of this header), confused and then shocked that I had slept there the whole night. I couldn’t believe it….But I didn’t die laying there, and I wasn’t attacked and I wasn’t raped…In fact nobody seemed to have noticed me there at all, which by that time was all I wanted — for no one to see how my life had been unravelling for months. For no one to judge me and no one to see what a failure I had made of my life, what stereotypes I had fallen into. Most importantly, I didn’t have to use the last of the credit on my credit card to pay for another room for the night. I could keep that for more petrol…I had slipped through the net.

If you have read my first book you will know what happens next. How I lived in my car like that for the best part of a year in the end; baking in the summer and almost dying, literally, several months later when parked up in the woods, it turned into one of the coldest winters we had had in years. To keep warm I would go to libraries during the day, to apply for jobs online in the hope that one day soon this nightmare would end. One day I heard about blogs. I was out of the loop so much that I hadn’t even heard of one before, or knew what they were. As I sat at the library computer that day, without thinking, I tapped the word into Google, and before I left that day I had started my own one up. (It was so simple to do…). Face-to-face I couldn’t tell anyone my life had fallen apart so thoroughly that I felt I had no one to go to and no where to go. But thawing out in the warmth of the public library, writing it in a blog, I could admit it anonymously. The relief doing that was enormous. Nobody knew who I was, so it didn’t matter what I revealed, how much of a failure I had made of my life…. It was like as a child kneeling in the confession box in church, that little purple velvet curtain pulled across, kneeling there in the dark talking to someone you couldn’t see and who couldn’t see you, the power of that anonymity allowing you to tell the truth about things you wouldn’t usually tell anyone. My blog was my confession box. I wrote what was happening to me, how my life had unravelled, and admitted that I was totally isolated, that I hadn’t spoken to anyone for weeks and then months on end as the nightmare stretched out. I wrote about the day-to-day survival, how I felt about it, and how, despite how desperately I was trying, I couldn’t find a way back in. Some days it was easier than others to do.

People kept coming across my blog, just randomly. People across the UK and USA and random people elsewhere ‘Sven from Sweden one day, Soldad from Chile another. My laneway was getting wider. Every time I went back to the library and checked my email or blog there was another message from a new stranger. Strangers who I would never meet and never speak to, but became the closest thing to friends I had at the time. Soon there were regulars….and somehow more and more people found me. I was on ‘Blogs of Note’ at one stage. Soon, my blog was ‘discovered’. It happened so swiftly. I had only been writing it for a few months. A journalist on the New York Times writing an article about homelessness and people living in their cars in the USA stumbled across it. He emailed and then arranged to call me at a telephone box. His article was on the front page of the New York Times one sunday and I was mentioned in it with a link to my blog.

Then the BBC in the UK did an article, then Readers Digest wrote an article about me living in my car at Christmas, which was syndicated to many of their magazines around the world. They all included my blog address in their articles, and after each was published I opened my email and literally hundreds of emails spilled out from people, not only all across the USA and UK but people across Asia (from Readers Digest Asia), from Sweden and Chile… I even got people from China coming across the articles or my blog and wishing me well. It was like stumbling into a dream during a nightmare. People said they would pray for me. I’d never heard of prayer circles on the Internet but apparently I was added to prayer circles and prayer groups all over the world. And very soon I came under absolutely amazing grace as things started to change; some things started to go right, as if the dice were rolling in my favour again. I could barely believe it at first, but soon I had to…

To cut a long story short (for this blog post), my blog was ‘discovered’; I got a literary agent and a publisher and my story was made into a book. All those prayers and my hope must have worked because not only did my book get published. ‘Abandoned: the true story of a little girl who didn’t belong’ – published by HarperCollins became a bestseller. ‘Abandoned‘ got to number 2 in The Sunday Times bestseller list. Something which still seems surreal.

The book that was published was ‘Abandoned: The true story of a little girl who didn’t belong.‘ (the only thing I didn’t write was the title – that was chosen by the publisher!)


It ended up being the story of my childhood — publishers were more interested in that story: the reason I had no family to go back to, and how something like that could happen to somebody like me. Because, despite the childhood I had, I had a law degree and a good education, and most people wouldn’t have guessed any of this about me. With a childhood like mine, some may say it was inevitable that I wasn’t going to be the greatest at fending for myself in the world, and ended up somewhere like this? I don’t know if I believe that…and besides my childhood was unusual in that I had many advantages too….and many people who at times made me feel special. What I am coming to believe though, after all the emails I have had about me living in my car is how many other people have felt close to that slippery slope, to the abyss of homelessness, or know somebody who has. People like me who were, or are, too proud or embarrassed to admit it until it is too late….

With the economy the way it is, and the curveballs life sometimes throws up, what happened to me could probably happen to any of us. We would all respond differently….and what I did was not want anyone to know until I had got back on my feet again. Only I never did get back on my feet. I spiralled down further and further.

I was lucky though, I found a way to tell people anonymously what was happening to me, by writing a blog, and in the end it became my way out. There were moments I didn’t think I would come out of it alive. Nights, huddled in my sleeping bag across the front seats, when I had almost resigned myself to the fact that one of these days I might not wake up; that I would die in my sleep out there in the woods. But then I found out about blogs…

I didn’t write for a particular person or reason, I just wrote. I had no idea what it might lead to, as I said I literally had not heard of blogs before, and certainly didn’t know any books had come from them! If I had I might have written it differently…I didn’t know if a single person would read mine. But there must have been a bit of hope in me all the time – this was a public journal online that anyone anywhere could read — it was like someone throwing me down a piece of rope, however frayed and short it was… Mostly, I didn’t know why I wrote though. As winter closed around me I wrote because I was cold and the libraries were warm, I wrote because I was ashamed of what had happened to me and writing on the blog was anonymous, I wrote because I had no money and blogs were free, I wrote because I didn’t understand what was happening to me and writing it down was a way of making sense of it. I wrote because I was falling apart and writing was keeping me sane. I wrote because that part of me, wherever it was, must have been saying you never know who might read this and what might happen…keep the faith. But mostly I wrote because I could. I was living in my car, so couldn’t do much else, and writing was something I could still do. The first thing I ever wrote on my blog was ‘I can’t sing, I can’t dance, all I can do is write…’ So I wrote, and I wrote and I wrote, and eventually it led to me getting out of my car. People always want the big miracles, the Proof, but small ones happen every day. This was mine…

I now have an eBook of my blog and that whole time of living in my car. It includes an introduction and new material in the form of the draft blogs that didn’t go up at the time, and an epilogue I’ve added to explain a few things (and a spell and grammar check of course!). I cut a few of the posts because they were overlong but otherwise it is the experience I was going through day-to-day, trying to stay alive and sane and safe out there, and find a way back in from the cold.

You can download my eBook: ‘The Year I lived in my Car’ from Amazon, through the image below.

Anya x

79 responses to “New blog

  1. Annonymous99

    Very inspirational 😊

  2. Les

    Hi Anya, currently reading Abandoned, about half way or so through. I had wondered if as a child, anyone ever held you, then I noticed at least twice so far in your book, you made the comment “I wish someone would hold me” . I found that to be one of the saddest things so far in your book. Every child loves to be held and should have that closeness with their parents. To be denied this, denies you of a huge chunk of your childhood. Its so sad that so many like you miss out on what should have been given to you, and instead you were subjected to what no child should ever be subjected to. Your writing style is very vivid, just so sad knowing its a true story. As I said, Im only about half way through, so hoping it takes an upward swing for you from here on, though of course, what you have been through is damaging for life. I hope your book helps many that have been through the same thing, to at least be able to express themselves and to talk about it. Secrets like that should be unburdened to someone they can trust. Kept a secret, it can destroy them if they are not strong enough to cope with the bad memories.

  3. Aurélie Martin


    I just finished your book “Abandoned”. It was so sad!! It was sometimes unbelievable how your family have reacted day to day. Even if your Mummy didn’t act right some time, she did love you (and still does i hope), for sure!!
    Keep in mind all sweet things she told you when you were little, like you’re much nicer than everyone around, because you are!!!!! and you always will
    You’re really strong!!!!!!

    I hope your life is alright now… and you found people around you , because this is really important.

    I wish you all the best,

    Aurélie, from France

  4. Joana

    Hello Anya. I’m Portuguese and I started today to read your book. I’m just thrilled with the first few pages I read. How do you get such a bad person. I’m sure your future will be bright and you’ll get to be truly happy. I’m rooting for you. Big kiss from Portugal.

  5. heloisa formosinho

    Boa tarde,
    terminei o seu livro esta semana “abandonada”, queria lhe dizer que lamento todo o seu percurso de vida mas que nada acontece por acaso …. enfim, não a muito que se possa dizer que já não lhe tenha sido dito, apenas que um dia gostava de poder a abraçar pessoalmente, quem sabe! … desejo que encontre a paz interior e que faça as pazes com o passado para poder continuar em frente.


    Heloisa Formosinho

  6. kayleigh

    Hi anya. I have just finished reading you book and I must say it nearly mad me cry. I can’t believe how much you went through at such a young age. You was strong enough to pull through some of the toughest things anyone could go through and some things most people take for granted. After reading your book the smallest things like a cup of tea of a bed to sleep in I will realise how gratefull I should be. I am glad you have finally turned your life around and told your story. People like you uncle don’t know how good they could have it to have such a strong person around like yourself. Also I read on your blog your dad has passed, may he rest in peace, I’m sure he was a lovely person and give you many of memories to keep stored away to turn back and smile at one day.
    You are an inspiration to many.

  7. Riley

    Hi Anya,
    My name is Riley and I’m from Australia.
    Today I finished reading your book “abandoned” I would just like to say that you are truly an amazing and inspiring person.
    After all you have been through you have kept fighting, and I admire you for that.
    Keep fighting xx

  8. Andrew Tan

    Anya, I just read a copy of your book which I found in an op shop where I work as a volunteer. Many of my female friends have suffered similar abuse, trauma and homelessness. As a result, they suffer mental illness. Your book helped me to understand the background to their illnesses. No matter how hard you try, the memories can never be erased, only dimmed with time. Certain events, situations and environments can bring them flooding back anytime. I too am recovering from mental illness. It is a lifetime achievement to be able to share your sad and traumatic story with others, having to relive it all just to write that book. Despite all that has happened to you, you never let that beat you. Well done! I hope that life takes you in a different, happier direction now. You have suffered enough and deserve a better life!

  9. Millie

    Reading your book about your life almost makes you feel like you were there .i have a poem for you Anya.Its called a life worthwhile. Each life has a purpose, each purpose a plan.Great minds find a reason to do what they can.A hope for tomorrow, A task for today, through troubles or sorrow, each trial on lifes way…A purpose for living, A test you must meet, Accepting each challenge, The bitter, the sweet… Cast aside every problem, Rise above endlessfears, Keep the dream you are dreaming, wipe away hurtful tears…Understanding — forgiveness, A soul that knows peace, The joy of believing, As heartaches then cease…The courage thats needed to travel each mile, A purpose unequaled- A life thats worthwhile.I hope my poem reaches you and inspires you, and i know from my experience in life how much it affects our lives forever.Thank you Anya for looking at my poem, it is dedicated to you and anyone else who needs inspiration to rise above the evil in this world.sincerly Millie.

  10. joyce

    Your book brings memories of my own back and it is such a shame that children have to go through life blaming themselves when it is others that do bad things to you and you go through life thinking that it’s your fault – you can come out the other end with a stronger personality and fight to let no other person put you back there -it’s a long road and I am thankful that I met the right man to share my thoughts with and who doesn’t judge me on my past good luck x

  11. clair

    I have just read you’re book abandoned and just wanted to say it’s so inspiring reading about you’re journey you are a true inspiration to people. The way the books written is so touching I found things I could relate to in it. Wishing you all the luck in the world xx

  12. Sandra Marshall

    Anya I’m almost done reading your book Abandoned and I have never cried so much 😦 I wish I could just hug you xoxoxo Your are such a strong person
    I hope one day I can meet you keep strong hun xoxo


  13. Lynn Stacey

    Anya ,your book brought tears to my eyes and how brave for you to but yourself out there and write about it 🙂 many child abuse victims just buried their grief which unfortunately came out in mental health issues.I also like to write, as I have so much to express.
    mmm maybe one day.Blessing sent your way Anja

  14. Olla

    I’m from Poland (little town called Żyrardów) and I have read your book. It was really touching for me. I would like to congratulate you that you managed to survive all of these things. Remember that you are stong enough to deal with everything. Best wishes , OLLA

  15. jess

    Hello.i m french, congratulation for your book. But where is kathy, your mum, caitlyl, marie, peter , (pour brother ans sister ). À tu connu la famille du côté de ton père?

  16. hi anya,
    my name is rachael and im from new zealand. but i just finished reading your book abandoned and my heart was broken. u are such an amazing women who fought her way through life. u are such a big inspiration to young women who are going through the same situation as u were. ur story is so many emotions but i was happy to read the epilogue. u r a true hero.
    thank you for sharing your story. sorry to hear about your dad. i hope u finally got in touch with Kathy and your Mummy.
    u r such a beautiful strong women. ur story has touched my heart and i hope u do find that special someone who will love u for u.

  17. Oh Anya! How I salute you! You’re such a great lady. Though I am 17 but you have imparted me to continue to study to fight for the rights of children and help them fit. I wish with all that I am that you can extend your story and encouragement to the African Continent and to my home country, Nigeria. With Pure Love from Iyanuoluwa. Loving you girl. Fondly thought of.

  18. ines

    Anya Peters adoreia a historia abandonada

  19. traci

    I just finished your book, Abandoned. I cried through a lot of it. All I can say is that you are a very strong and amazing woman to overcome all that you have went through in your life. I admire you. Don’t ever let anyone tear you down. They do that to make them feel better about themselves. Stay strong my sister in Christ!

  20. Stephanie

    Hi Anya,

    I just finished reading “Abandoned” and I have to tell you this is by far the best and most inspirational book I have ever read, which I am a readaholic!!!!!! As I read your book, there were many tears flowing down my face, thinking about the horrific abuse you endured and so very sad how cruel people have become, especially with children!! And on the other hand, as I was reading, it helped me realize how much, much more abuse others have and are still going through, have been so much more than what I went through during my childhood life, a father who abandoned me when I was two years old, a mother who lived a very dysfunctional life growing up passed her problems to her children, who suffered mental and physical abuse! I held on to the pain for many years, and numbed it by drinking for many years until I hit bottom on July 6, 2002!!!!! I am so grateful to God and Alcoholics Anonymous for giving me a “second chance”, as you said. Since then, I’ve been able to learn to accept my past, present and future and to “Let Go and Let God”! I sought help in order to accept my father for who he was, as he passed away four years ago; I saw him four times and the last time was at his funeral, which that little girl inside me cried, “Daddy why? Daddy why?”, out of control and hyperventilating!!!! But after the little girl in me was able to get all that hurt out, I told him that I forgave him and loved him.
    Thank you for writing your book with so much inspiration that has helped me tremendously with fears my whole life and for helping many others who have read it too. You endured much pain in your life but have proven with “A second chance”, to never give up!!!!

    Stephanie ❤️😇🙏

  21. Weidebach Marianne

    Chère Anya,

    Votre livre m’a beaucoup émue. Vous êtes douée d’une bravoure et d’un courage à tout épreuve.

    Je vous félicite pour votre force de vivre.

    Je vous souhaite un vie extrêmement douce et tendre a présent.

    Tout le meilleur pour vous.


    Marianne 🙂

  22. Nikki

    Hi Anya,
    I have just finished reading ‘Abandoned’ and feel so privileged to hear your story. I cannot put into words how moved I felt by reading your story…the whole story.
    You are not only an amazing writer but also an amazing person.
    Even though you are not angry with the adults that were around you, I feel so let down by them and angry towards them…I know it isn’t my place…but this is my reaction, raw emotional reaction, to just having finished reading your story.
    As a mum I wanted to reach out into the book and whisk you away to a place where you would be loved and nurtured, because you deserve that. Everyone does..but you really’re beautiful soul that sparkles even in the darkest hour..
    I am sure (and hope) you have found healing. I pray for your success and tranquility and that you will always be safe and happy.
    God bless you Anya,
    You’re amazing,
    Always know this!
    With much respect,
    Nikki x

  23. Cassandre

    Are you married ? Si you hâve children now ? Anya you are an exemple of courage and your personality is exeptional.. Now, hâve you got any relationship with you “mums” if i CAN say ? And your mum is even staying with your uncle ?
    Hope you have Nice life now , really ! Xx

  24. Danielle Lavender

    Hey Anya

    My name is Danielle. I have just read your book ‘Abandoned’ and it blew me away, there are parts that broke my heart to read and all the way through I was just willing for you to find that strength and courage to fight back. You are an inspiration to so many out there in bad situations people who feel alone and have no where to turn and no one to turn to. I was a foster child and lost both my parents through alcohol and drug abuse who then went on to carry on with their own lives an have another family leaving me behind. You never understand why anyone can do that to you or how you can ever forgive them but I liked what you wrote in your book about not blaming anyone as people make mistakes and sometimes things are out of their control. I hope you carry on to have an amazing life which I am sure you will and I love your blog, you deserve all the happiness and love in the world and remember you are never alone, none of us are x

  25. Anya, this kiwi wants to say thank you for sharing your story, mum loaned me your book “Abandoned”, I finished in the wee small hrs.’ of this am I was unable to put it down. The nightmare that is your story should never have occurred, what a monster to take your innocence, trust and destroy what was suppose to have been a time of great joy, Your strength and tenacity are inspirational.

    god bless may you be surrounded with peace love an happiness

  26. Lisa

    Hi Anya
    I have just finished reading your book ‘Abandoned’. Your strength and courage are an absolute inspiration. I wish you a long happy life after such a terrible start. Bless you.

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