Alexis Faere Body Wrapper

Life Gifts

Invisible Wounds: An Inside Story

Invisible Wounds: An Inside Story is a memoir about my kidnap and rape experience as a teenager. I wrote this book as a beacon of hope for those who have experienced similar traumas in their lives; to put language around the wild emotions that go along with such an experience. There is life after trauma, but it comes with a profound investment in yourself and your will to integrate the experience into the whole of who you are. No matter what your experience, I’m glad you are here and alive to read this story.

Although this book is about kidnap and rape trauma, the healing process I’ve written about can benefit anyone on a journey of recovery and resilience. If you have never experienced such a thing, this book will help you understand what happens to a person when violent trauma occurs. It gives you a language to understand what’s going on with your friends and loved ones who have experienced violent trauma.

One other audience for this book is the growing population of offenders who choose to hurt people. It is important for that audience to understand the impact of their choices on the humans they mindlessly choose to hurt. In my 40+ years of working with this population of people, I’ve learned a serious lack of care and respect is one symptom that allows someone to cause so much damage. Trauma, no matter what the trauma, is something that alters the whole scope of anyone’s life.

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“Let me begin by saying how truly honored I am to be writing this—not as a writer per se, but as someone privileged to have come to know Alexis Faere and her story personally. Few people will ever let you see so deeply inside themselves without reserve. This book is an unadulterated act of public intimacy—more than a rarity, a truly singular treasure, a sacrifice freely offered, a sacred gift of self.

Trauma disorients. The greater the trauma, the greater the disorientation. The unspoken picture of life as we had it secretly framed in our inward parts is suddenly shattered beyond recognition. What we thought we knew as reality loses the landmarks we once used to navigate that reality. Uncertainty prevails. The process of assembling a new reality comes with no user manual. Questions roll in on endless waves:

Will I ever be the same again?

Will life ever be the same?

Who am I now?

Am I still me?

Who or what can I ever trust again?

How do I stop the endless memory loop from replaying the trauma over and over and over in my head?

As a young man, in an act of foolishness, my left foot tangled unsuccessfully with the blades of a power mower. Fifty years later, I cannot see or hear a mower start up without that moment rushing back in. The inward need to put something violent into a safe context is hard-wired into us—even something as simply accidental as the relatively minor injuries I sustained. Years later, when my uncle suffered something similar in an encounter with a snowblower, we talked about how what we experienced remained with us and replayed inwardly so often. In that exchange, we both grew to accept our scars as part of our new reality without bitterness and resentment. We were forever changed. And yet we were still us. In reading Invisible Wounds, I realized that all trauma includes certain shared aspects, even though my and my uncle’s traumas were nothing compared to what Alexis Faere faced. That is part of why this book is so important, whether your trauma is great or small.

What you have in your hands right now is the closest thing to a roadmap through this unwanted maze as you are ever likely to read, thanks to the unsparing and heroic journey Alexis fearlessly and freely offers to everyone who is crying for the help that eludes so many sufferers.

Invisible Wounds is not an easy read. But astonishingly, it is as hopeful as it is harrowing. Every page drips with a bravery that allows a trauma survivor to safely look into the abyss of their pain with less fear and more hope. It is truly remarkable. It surely is a priceless gift.

What Alexis faced both in her abduction and the unspeakable violations that followed is unimaginable to me. How I wish it were unimaginable to everyone. But I know full well that crimes like she endured are tragically shared by many others as well. And while there are some resources to help, very few (if any) are as personal, comprehensive, practical, and transparent as this book.

If you are a survivor yourself, let Alexis take you by the hand as she retraces the dark and frightening steps of her own story. Join her as she traverses those paths with new light and hope, and without fear. As you join her, you’ll find true hope that you can do the same—in time. She is a faithful friend.

Or perhaps you know someone who has suffered the life-shattering, disorienting aftermath of severe trauma. Read this yourself and learn how to understand what your loved one is going through and where you can be a healing party and a place of safety.

As I read (and re-read) Invisible Wounds, there were times I audibly groaned and wept. I then reflected on the remarkable woman who so unsparingly cast her eyes over all these events, over and over again, and then thought to place this treasure in the hands of others. Here is more than just hope and help. Here is light—light that dispels the shadows of darkness and fear.

Thank you, Alexis. Thank you.”

            —Rev. Reid A. Ferguson—Pastor, Author, Speaker Purchase on Amazon

“Writing this book was an act of courage. It is an emotional high-wire act, allowing readers to have insight into the thoughts and fears of a young girl as she is forced to endure the nightmare of every woman and parent. It is not an easy read.

For survivors who are ready, this story is a relatable and honest rendering of horrific events and the personal struggles Alexis dealt with in the aftermath of those events. For those fortunate enough to have not been abused, it is a window into the experience, providing a means of understanding the ongoing consequences endured by the survivors of abuse. If you have a friend or family member who has been sexually assaulted (and whether you know it or not, you all do), reading this book will certainly help you understand their thoughts, feelings, and fears. And if you’re a survivor still in the throes of abuse recovery, be forewarned. Alexis Faere’s personal account could trigger frightening memories.

The ultimate message in Ms. Faere’s book is one of healing and hope. She brings the reader into her world, describing not just the trauma but also her heartbreaking desire for a return to normalcy after the assault, her inevitable anger, intense anxiety and fear, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Alexis shares her grief, self-hatred, loneliness, and fears of stigmatization. Her willingness to be vulnerable while navigating her life’s journey and her path toward learning to cope and to trust again is shockingly real and raw.

I have known Alexis for almost 30 years. I am a clinical psychologist whose practice (through a series of decisions and their unintended consequences) has become devoted to the treatment of sexual abusers. The goal of this treatment is to minimize re-offense risk. As she describes in this book, Alexis and several other survivors have courageously agreed to meet with small groups of the offenders I treat once those offenders have overcome their denial and reached the point where they are open to developing some insight and empathy for those they have hurt. As an observer of these special group sessions (which are facilitated largely by Ms. Faere and the other survivors), I have witnessed her recounting her story on countless occasions. Purchase on Amazon

In addition to the vulnerability she displays during these sessions, I have seen her attempt to emotionally connect to the offenders as a means of helping them understand the lifelong consequences of their selfish actions. Her efforts and those of the other survivors with whom she leads these groups have had a significant impact on many of the sexual abusers I have treated over the years. Not all, of course; unfortunately, a percentage of sexual abusers are simply too antisocial or narcissistic to ever expend energy toward understanding others’ feelings. Alexis is well aware of this, yet she continues to be vulnerable with groups of men similar to the man who raped her in an attempt to try to reach them. That, too, is an act of bravery.

In the end, it is her will to survive and thrive that dominates Ms. Faere’s memoir. This is not just a personal story of trauma, fear, and loss; it is a story of survival and personal growth. She offers invaluable insight and advice to others who are navigating their own personal journey through abuse recovery. For those of you who have endured abuse of any type, you are about to be reminded of the resilience of the human spirit. You, too, are resilient in the same way.”

   —Pete Henschel, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist, Licensed Sex Offender Treatment Provider

Reviewed by Emma Megan for Readers’ Favorite (5 Star Review)

Invisible Wounds: An Inside Story is a challenging yet hopeful book detailing Alexis Faere’s experience of being kidnapped and raped and her road to recovery. It’s a personal story of sexual abuse, trauma, fear, endurance, survival, and personal growth. Alexis’s life forever changed when she accepted to go on a blind date, not knowing that it would end in her being kidnapped. For 23 horrible hours, Alexis tried to do anything to stay alive and learn as much as possible about her kidnapper, who held her at knifepoint, so she could report him if she ever got away. The author also tells readers about her journey back home and what happened next. She wanted her life to get back to normal, but the impact of this horrible experience marked her for life. Alexis carefully warns the reader when there are details to come in the narrative that may be triggering to some.

Invisible Wounds is a testament to a woman’s courage, strength, and determination to take back her life, integrate a traumatic experience into her identity, and emerge with dignity and resilience. Alexis Faere shows how devastating the physical, emotional, and psychological consequences of sexual abuse are and how they can last a lifetime. This unforgettable true story helps us learn how to understand what anyone who has endured abuse of any type is going through, including their thoughts, feelings, and fears. It reminds us that we have to accept the ugly experiences as a part of our lives, but these don’t have to define us, and that recovery isn’t always linear or easy, and it can take a lifetime. This memoir a must-read, even though it’s raw, often uncomfortable, and painful.

Reviewed by Alicia DeBerry for Readers’ Favorite (5 Star Review)

Is it possible to be whole again after experiencing a traumatic event? Alexis Faere considers this question in her memoir documenting her journey to recovery after being kidnapped and sexually assaulted in Invisible Wounds: An Inside Story. Having faced this immense challenge, she wants to help individuals experiencing various life traumas find a way to express, accept, and cope with their trauma, transforming from victim to survivor and beyond. Allowing herself to be vulnerable and brave, Alexis explains the steps she took to regain her empowerment and how she successfully integrated this event into her identity. Through acknowledging and understanding the need for validation, she outlines a map of the turmoil she suffered to provide a beacon of hope during the lifetime journey of the recovery process. 

Alexis Faere has written a personal masterpiece that helps those who have experienced the trauma of sexual assault in Invisible Wounds. As I was reading, I experienced the feeling of the creation of a safe place to confront the thoughts going through my mind concerning past traumas. I appreciated the author’s vulnerability, strength, and guidance provided in each chapter. The idea that your trauma is a historical event that happened in your life and does not define you resonated deeply with me. I was moved by how she learned to trust her intuition again and forgive. I recommend that readers who need motivation and are looking for a way to provide a step toward self-help and begin healing due to hardship or grief get this book.

Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers’ Favorite (5 Star Review)

Haunting and illuminating, Invisible Wounds: An Inside Story by Alexis Faere is a raw memoir that chronicles the author’s journey from victim to survivor after experiencing a harrowing kidnapping and rape. Kidnapped at knifepoint and viciously raped, the author went through the worst period of her life. Her memoir captures her internal struggles with uncommon clarity and honesty, from denial through harrowing psychological turmoil to acceptance and the healing journey. Through her poignant narrative, Faere provides readers with an intimate look into the challenging process of trauma recovery and healing.

Alexis Faere’s unwavering honesty and vulnerability shine as she recounts her ordeal and its aftermath. From the chilling descriptions of her abduction and assault to her struggles with denial and self-image issues, she lays bare the full extent of her trauma with unflinching honesty. Readers are invited into her innermost thoughts and emotions, experiencing firsthand the profound impact of the trauma on her psyche and identity. Despite the dark subject, Invisible Wounds is a story of hope and healing, surprisingly filled with luminous light to guide readers struggling with any traumatic experience. The author underlines the importance of getting help and finding support in her relationships with family, friends, and fellow survivors. Her evolution from victim to survivor is inspiring and empowering, brilliantly written in a book filled with wisdom and hope. While Faere’s story is deeply personal, her insights and reflections will resonate with anyone who has experienced trauma or knows someone who has. By sharing her story, the author offers survivors validation and understanding and fosters empathy and awareness among readers.