‘Piece of Me’: Donna Lynn Talbert to release her memoir Dec. 9

Published 10:48 am Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Donna Lynn Talbert’s life is not a secret these days – it’s an open book.

Talbert, who grew up in Fenton, is set to release her first book, a memoir about her life experiences and the struggles of enduring mental and verbal abuse both as a child and a young mother of three. She hopes the book will be an inspiration to others to know if she can endure, they can, too.

“This book is totally about me,” said Talbert, who now lives in Lake Charles. “It’s about things I went through and how I overcame the hurt, the pain and bitterness that I had to endure and overcome.

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“Growing up I never felt wanted or loved,” she continued. “I never felt like I would be able to accomplish anything because of the verbal and mental abuse in my childhood, and later when I got married.”

“Pieces of Me” will be released on her 43rd birthday, Dec. 9 at the Lacassine Community Center from 6:45-8:30 p.m. It will also be available on Amazon.

“As a little kid I would always write things down,” Talbert recalls. “Whenever I would get angry or if something was done to me or I felt like somebody did something to me, I would write it down.

“My thing as a kid, I always had a creative mind,” she continued. “I was going to work on dead bodies or I was going to be a movie producer. That was my thing.”

However, like many, life changed those plans, she said.

“Being the life I had, a lot of things changed,” she said. “I grew up in Fenton. It was a small village and there weren’t a lot of opportunities and I was a bad kid. I think even from kindergarten my teachers never liked me and I didn’t like my teachers.”

Growing up in a home with a lack of love made her an angry, bitter kid, she said.

“I was a kid who never felt like I was wanted,” she said. “I always knew I had a creative mind and potential, but it is so bad when people that you really loved stayed down on you, disrespecting you and lying to you. It’s like telling you you can’t when you can and all those years I have been told I can’t but I have found myself.”

Talbert said she always planned to finish school and leave Fenton.

“Although Fenton was a small town, there were a lot of things there that traumatized me, as well as other kids,” she said. “There were just too many secrets held there and I wanted to get as far away as I could and never, ever come back because of what I faced and things that happened in my household.”

Those plans changed when she became pregnant at 19. She spent the next 20 years of her life in a bad marriage struggling with mental and verbal abuse, until she decided to walk away with her three children.

“I decided to leave and finally find Donna,” she said. “I had been holding this little girl trapped inside for so long and I always depended on other people and I was always there for other people. I never got a chance to be Donna Lynn. I was always trapped and never got a chance to be her.”

In 2018, Talbert sat in her bathroom with a razor in hand, contemplating suicide.

“But I could hear God saying write your vision down,” she said. “I began writing and it was like a burden was lifted off me. I realized then that everything I had been through from a little girl up to this woman had to be told.”

Talbert turned those writings and her personal struggles into her memoir.

“Every time I read the book, I cry and it’s not because of what happened,” she said. “It’s because I finally let go. I know my worth now and nothing can stop me.”

She hopes the book will help others who are struggling.

“A lot of people out there have been through so much in their lives and they don’t want to talk about it,” she said. “They hold things in and holding things in will destroy you. It destroyed me for years. I knew I could be this better person but I was never given an opportunity.”

Talbert said her life began to change when she met another man. They have been together for the last five years.

“Meeting this person gave me a very different look at life,” she said. “He encouraged me. He never judged me. It didn’t matter that I didn’t have a big time degree. It didn’t matter that I had past failures. He encouraged me and every year he would build me up.”

He encouraged her to continue writing and to write her memoir. She finished the journal earlier this year just months after her father passed away, but delayed the release until her 43rd birthday.

“This book is strictly about Donna Lynn,” she said. “It’s about the little girl who was trapped. The little girl who never felt wanted and the little girl that became a woman to finally be the person she is today. It’s not about anybody else. It’s all about me….how I survived and how I overcame.”

She hopes to motivate others by sharing her story of overcoming her struggles and her personal relationship with God.

“A lot of people may say, ‘Hey, I was once that little girl and if she can do it, if she can tell her story and overcome it, so can I,” she said. “I pray that anything that they are holding in or holding them can be released. Whatever is going on in their life, I hope they can either talk about it or write those feelings down. They don’t have to be held in bondage anymore.

“A lot of things I went through, I shouldn’t have gone through, but I did and at the end of the day I opened up about it,” she said. “I finally came out and now I am free.”

She has already started on her next book and is in discussions with a producer to turn her memoir into a movie.