The Huffington Post Reviews My Book!
by Kate Van Raden
Dancing at the Shame Prom;
Sharing the Stories That Kept Us Small
“Yesterday, two of womanhood’s biggest supporters, Amy Ferris and Hollye Dexter, published an anthology that just may become a life preserver for those struggling to get past the events that have shamed them.
Dancing at the Shame Prom: Sharing the Stories That Kept Us Small is a collection of confessions from 27 amazing women who courageously exorcise their demons by making public the very personal embarrassments and humiliations they’ve spent years trying to hide. There are secrets involving body image, infidelity and posing nude, and admissions of abuse, abandonment and alcoholism…Amy and Hollye both blogged about their shame on the same day, and were overwhelmed with private messages and emails from women sharing their own stories. “We knew then,” says Hollye, “that everyone was suffering with a story they felt they could never tell. We thought, ‘What if we all held hands and did this together?’”
The two friends put out a call to the women in their lives, asking if they would be willing to share a story they kept hidden away — something they were ashamed of. “The response was extraordinary,” remembers Amy. “Each individual essay is unique — which is nothing short of miraculous — and each one sheds a light on both the pain, sorrow and cruelty within human beings as well as their absolute pure beauty, kindness and magic.”
“According to Amy, the goal was for the book to be ‘a collective victory for each and every one of us,’ it was important to have a title that reflected that feeling of empowerment. One day Amy said, off the cuff, ‘I feel like I’m at the shame prom,’ and contributor Monica Holloway jumped on that,” explains Hollye…
Releasing their secrets has been liberating for the contributors. According to Kristine van Raden, who, along with her daughter, Kate, wrote dual essays about Kate’s anorexia:
When we pushed ‘send’ and knew our collective pieces were released into the world for everyone to see, we danced! We danced, we hugged, we cried and remarked over and over that even one year ago, neither of us could have imagined such a thing. We are proud of ourselves and of each other, and hope that maybe, just maybe, we can provide some hope for others who are suffering.
Amy Wise agrees:
When I was asked to be part of this amazing book, I wasn’t sure if I was ready to share my ‘shame,’” she admits. “In fact, I didn’t think I would ever be ready. I finally chose to write my story because we have always raised our daughter to be open and honest about everything — the good and the bad — but I wasn’t being totally honest with anyone because I continued to keep something hidden. I was carrying the shame of an abortion from many, many years ago. When I finally shared my secret, the burden was lifted, the honesty was freeing and the shame was gone. I hope my story shows others that even though this is one of the most difficult and personal decisions a woman can ever make, they are not alone and they have NOTHING to be ashamed of. Ever.”
Both my mother and I (who wrote the only conjoined essays in the book) are full of hope and inspiration that this latest project of ours may be trickling into the hearts of those that need it most. All the essays in the book are heart-warming as well as heart-braking. It is an honor to be amongst a cast of accomplished writers who are all willing to expose their most crippling, humiliating shame; in the hopes that even one reader will read our stories and feel free. If you’re interested in the original article, it can be seen on Huffingtonpost.com
If you would like a copy of our book, they can be ordered HERE before hitting stores in October. If you would like to keep up with our roster of writers, Dancing at the Shame Prom has it’s own website HERE and Facebook HERE.