Reviewed by Kurt Sass
Debra Faes-Dudden is a multi-faceted artist who has written a book titled “When Cries Are Silenced,” containing her poetry, artwork and a song.
Ms. Faes-Dudden was sexually abused at a very young age by her grandmother’s live-in boyfriend, who died when she was seven. She said she had repressed almost all the traumatic experiences and that it has taken her over 20 years to heal from these repressed memories. She credits her use of the creative arts as one of the major tools in her recovery.
Ms. Faes-Dudden's poetry is a mixture of a range of emotions from fear to despair to hope, joy and pride and the many subtleties in between. She is honest and lays bare he reality while remaining pragmatically optimistic.
Her poem, “A Struggle For Peace,” speaks of fear, with: “I feel so alone and out-of-control, I lay paralyzed, every breath pain-filled,” and, “The struggle to find this elusive peace continues.”
In the poem, “Locked Inside the Untold,” she communicates despair with: “But it’s so cold within this cell” and “I'm not truly not living, I only exist.”
An example of hope can be found in last two stanzas of her work, “So Many Children Cry in the Silence of the Night,” with such lines as: “A renewal of energy begins to grow” and “She's able to see that beyond the rain there lies a rainbow.”
“Proclamation,” evokes joy with such phrases, “I flourish in change and movement, in wind and in waves.” and “Change is my nourishment, movement, my dance of creation.”
Pride can be felt in her piece, “It's Good to be a Woman,” with the lines, “We, who can offer warmth, acceptance, and shelter, just with the opening of our arms” and “Oh, yes, it is good to be a woman.”
There are many more examples of the emotional spectrum contained within the 36 poems. This diversity of emotions is what kept me hooked. Many books about one's recovery from mental illness and/or personal trauma (whether poetry, biography or fiction) often lean dramatically to the horrors they have gone through or focus solely on the successful, happy, fulfilled life they are leading today. Ms. Faes-Dudden portrays the broad spectrum of her life and experiences.
“When Cries are Silenced: Writings During My Journey in Healing Repressed Childhood Trauma” is available in paperback for $11 at Amazon.com.
Note: You can write to Debra Faes-Dudden, P.O. Box 7223, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855.