Local author no longer ‘screaming in silence’

Published 10:46 pm Friday, October 4, 2019

Shamay Edmonds hopes her new book can help others the way writing it, and revisiting painful chapters of her life, has helped her.

“Dear S.I.S.: Screaming in Silence?” is the first of what will be a three-book series for Edmonds, a Suffolk resident who wants other people who have experienced painful events in their lives to open up and stop, as she says, “screaming in silence.”

“I found a way to relate all of my feelings and what I witnessed through words,” Edmonds said.

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In the book, Edmonds relates a pair of traumatic incidents that happened to her — one when she was 5 years old and the other when she was in the second grade. She talks about how she repressed those events, how it ultimately shaped her actions and feelings, and how she stopped her own internal screaming.

She said she had been counseling someone else, who had gone through something in her own family.

That evening, while cooking dinner, she got overwhelmed and put her children to bed.

“I sat down on the bed and I thought about the story that the woman was telling me about her daughter, and I went to me as a 5-year-old,” Edmonds said.

That took her to a painful place and back to a memory she had tried to push aside for 28 years.

She recalled another moment, alone in her home and sitting in front of a mirror, in which she began crying and asking herself why she was so unhappy. Edmonds ended up sitting there for an hour.

“God threw something in my spirit,” Edmonds said. “I visualized the door in front of me, but I wouldn’t open it.”

Though she leads off the book talking about herself, Edmonds wrote that part of the book last, focusing first on others she has helped though her ministry as an elder in her church. She had not planned on sharing her own story, instead planning to focus on the stories of others to whom she had ministered.

“As I got to the part when I started talking about me, I was just typing,” Edmonds said. “I did not realize until I wrote the book everything that I wrote. It was like I was typing memories. When I went back to read it, to put it in my order, I just became a bucket of tears, because it was like, first, I was just getting the stuff out of my brain. But now I’m actually reliving it, like, I’m remembering it, exactly how it happened, what transpired, and how I actually buried it.”

While acknowledging the vulnerability of sharing her story publicly, she said she did not want anybody else to continue to bury painful memories on the inside.

Her goal is to empower people to embrace their pain and break away from that. To that end, she ministers to people through counseling them, and through speaking engagements. She hopes her book will help others open up about their own trauma as a way to help and heal themselves.

“It’s really to just stop the silence,” Edmonds said.