Book Review: Cry Silent Tears

posted in: Recommended Reading | 2

(ed. Our intrepid Brit book reviewer has been busy, sending me a couple of book reviews for the site this week. This is the first, I’ll post the second within the next few days. As always, if you’re interested in submitting a similar review, drop me a line.)

Andrew Crofts has helped another Brit male abuse survivor, Joe Peters, complete his first memoir, Cry Silent Tears. It’s taking nothing away from the power of Peters’ story that Crofts has turned Peters’ words into another book which can be speed-read in three hours, or taken section by section – I read its 300 hardback pages overnight and it’s as page-turning a read as Tears Before Bedtime.

Peters’ history starts with the background to his family which he believes points to much of his childhood thereafter. We read of the loss of his father as witnessed at five years old which would be a heavy trauma for any child, in fact he was struck dumb and eventually needed speech therapy to begin talking again. However, the bereavement marked the resumption of physical violence from his mother throughout his childhood and also the start of a catalogue of sexual abuse from his de facto stepfather, two siblings and a succession of other pedophiles, some known to the family and others, at the height of his abuse, in an organized child porn ring.

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When told about a child condemned to living in a cellar for being perceived as different (or the runt), modern people of all ages will have only read about that as the start of a Harry Potter book or classic fairytale. For Joe Peters it was the very bleak, unrelenting, nightmarish, real thing. His only elder sibling at the time who wasn’t abusive, still let Joe down in other ways when he needed him most. Further losses and abandonment of early relationships happen through the transfer of schools and the 1980s UK social care system. Childline helped him though only in a roundabout way, the care did not continue consistently or with any insight into the needs of a teenage male abuse victim.

What you read about Peters’ mother and her treatment of the abuse as a business stays in the mind for a long time, even despite the fact that Joe Peters survived and thrived to forge a happy adult life. The book ends abruptly in adolescence, pointing the way to the second book which he is currently writing. Since it’s important to know the steps taken to recover, I’ll definitely purchase the follow-up when it arrives.

The website for the book outlines the work by and for survivors which he is currently in the process of setting up and that can be found at http://www.crysilenttears.co.uk

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( OR http://www.freewebs.com/crysilenttears/ as a direct link if it doesn’t auto forward. The site links to a free sample of the introduction to the book on the publisher’s website.)

Technorati Tags: BookReviews, AndrewCrofts, JoePeters, CrySilentTears

2 Responses

  1. ClinicallyClueless

    The title caught my eye because that is what I say to my therapist that I only cry silent tears, but he tells me that isn’t crying. This book sounds so heartwrenching. I know I cannot handle it, but looking at how young the boy on the cover is along with the title triggered me. From what I’ve been able to piece together, I stopped crying as an infant because I would get smothered, hit or pinched. All of a sudden, I feel like I need to be heard. I hope it is okay to tell you a small portion of my life.

    Between the ages of 5/6- 8/9, my sadistic narcissistic step-father and his father at first forced me to have sex with them and other men in my step-father’s bedroom. It also included sodomy, oral sex and beatings with a belt or antenna and being tied or held down.

    Then, when it moved into the garage it was usually one or the other and just two other family members. But, included crawling things, objects, strangulation, beatings, sodomy, oral sex, genital beatings, popsicles and ice into both openings. All while being tied down for hours and with no clothing.

    At six years old I remember my step father putting a knife up to my neck and reminding me that he could kill me whenever he wanted to and no one would know or care. He continued the verbal abuse and humiliation until he moved out when I was 21. My borderline mother who wouldn’t get out of an abusive relationship used to constantly warn me to watch what I do and say because he could kill me.

    I’m not sure I’m glad I shared it, but I think it kinda feels good…if I wasn’t so numb and going away. Thanks for listening and I hope it didn’t trigger anyone.

  2. Mike McBride

    Thank you for sharing your story, I do hope that it does help you find some solace, and some comfort in knowing you’re not alone!

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