Rose Marie Abrams
Aurora Press (2018)
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views (01/19)
There are not enough words to describe this hellacious journey of child abuse in Rose Marie Abrams, “Pieces of Me.” I think it is important that everyone read this book, while at the same time I will say it is very descriptive and may not be for everyone.
I have read many personal accounts about child abuse and each time I read another my heart continues to tear. Even though I am a Psychologist by trade, nothing ever prepares one for what some adults will do to their family members or in this case, children who are in foster care. This is not to say all foster care children experience sadistic child abuse; there are some who are the exception to the rule.
The impact of child abuse is deep and affects many, even those who turn a blind eye to the red flags. Many do not want to see or accept that abuse happens, so they ignore it. “Pieces of Me” is an incredible, heartbreaking story of a child born in a foster home who endures extreme forms of abuse from her foster mother. However, her biological mother also bears some responsibility.
The story begins in 1939 in New York when Viola and Bert Williams were placed in foster care due to the passing of Viola and Bert’s mother from cancer. The Williams had eight children, and with the depression impacting all families in the area, it was decided that it would be better for all to turn the girls over to the county.
The foster family only wanted to take in children for the money and made no bones about how they hate children; they were only good for one thing, to be slaves. When Viola became pregnant a conspiracy between her foster mother, sister, social services and the doctor hit grueling levels. Now in addition to Viola’s abuse from the foster mom, Rose Marie begins her journey into hell.
Rose Marie narrates her years of abuse to include sexual abuse during diaper changes, bathing; elective mutism and fragmenting into other personalities to deal with the abuse. Having different personalities is a way to cope as each person has a job to help the victim. As Rose Marie grows older, she discovers who her biological mother is, marries and has children.
The author draws you into her horrific journey, not to feel sorry for her but to educate as to what happens and what signs to look for, along with providing inspiration and a message of hope. The honesty and openness of her writing warms your heart. It is a very moving and a story you won’t be able to put down. I thank Rose Marie for sharing her story and for the opportunity to take the journey with her. It is incredibly brave and hopefully cathartic for her and all survivors of child abuse.
I highly recommend “Pieces of Me” by Rose Marie Abrams. It is an amazing read, and should be required reading for all those in the law enforcement, medical and humanities fields.