TROY — One local man is looking to change the face of domestic violence — one book at a time.
Troy resident Michael Dayne Cotterman has written and self-published a book of poetry, “Frail Glass,” with all proceeds from the book to be donated to the Family Abuse Shelter of Miami County.
“I decided on the book of poetry because it’s an art of raw and true emotion,” Cotterman said of the book, which costs $12 on Amazon. “The poetry you’ll find in this book is of love and heartbreak that a lot of people will be able to relate to.”
The poems were born from some of the dark experiences in his own life — the tribulations of addiction and a toxic past relationship, the 2012 Troy High School graduate said. Cotterman said he picked poems for the book that he has written over the last three years since being in a domestic violence relationship.
“One that a very strong woman finally left and did the best thing she could do that would change both of our lives for the better,” he said. “The relationship had its flaws on both sides, but one occasion was the final straw. Since that day, we have both grown into better people.”
He said he is determined to meet his goal of selling 1,000 books, which will in turn be a $5,000 donation to the shelter, where staff acknowledge the ongoing fundraiser.
Cotterman said he can’t thank his former girlfriend enough for having the will to know she deserved better, and seek help, which in turn changed him.
“If it wasn’t for that decision she made, then I would have never left the street life and the dark things that come with it,” Cotterman said. “It’s rare that the opposing side gets the help they need also, but in this situation I did. It took a long time to get where I am today.”
Since overcoming a cocaine addiction and changing for the better, Cotterman said he has even inspired others.
“Since then, my life has took a complete 180 and I’ve inspired many people with many situations,” said Cotterman, who plans to attend Wright State University to study psychology.
Cotterman said he hopes to be an example to others and bring positive change to the community.
“(N)o matter where you’ve been or where you’ve come from … there is light at the end of the tunnel … (T)here is a better life upon the horizon if you just reach out and grab it,” he said.
Cotterman, the father of a daughter, said he wants to relay to both males and females to leave toxic situations. He said since he had changed his life, he has attended rallies such as Hope over Dope, Standing Rock in North Dakota and experienced other positive influences. He said he now speaks to youth and older individuals who have many of the same struggles he has overcome.
“So I feel that this will help those that are ready,” said Cotterman, who said his book already has more than 200 “Likes” on Facebook. “I’ve been around the block and know the struggle of feeling like there is no escape. I’m living proof there is.”
Today, Cotterman is appreciative of the life he has made for himself, and thankful for family and friends who never gave up on him coming out on the other side.
“I’m proud of who I am, who I’ve become, and what I’m still becoming. A person that no one ever expected to rise from the ashes,” he said. “I am living proof to those that are lost in the darkest of dark, that there is still light no matter what their situation or chaos may be.
“Healing is out there. You just have to reach out and finally decide to grab it.”
Reach Melody Vallieu at (937) 552-2131 or firstname.lastname@example.org