Most helpful positive review
253 of 258 people found the following review helpful
A gentle start on the road to recovery
on March 29, 2001
Excellent book for those who don't know why their lives are a mess, why they keep getting into abusive relationships, why they don't laugh & have fun like other people, people who tear themselves apart for every imagined or real mistake, those who feel inferior and worthless, those like me who have always guessed (often incorrectly) at what normal is. Finally here are the answers millions of people need to let go of their crippling past and rediscover their future--one they want to be part of instead of dreading more of the same misery. The authors have been where we are, they know what they are talking about, they are US too. They have experience, compassion & empathy. They lovingly & gently open the doors to the truth for us, and this book could cause you to feel sad, angry, bitter, depressed but the next page will fill you with realistic hope (not the irrational hopes we're used to), belief in a happy future for yourself, motivation to start the journey of recovery from childhood abuse, neglect, trauma, denial, pain, etc. There is a thorough section on recovery groups and what to expect, how it works and so on, so that strangers to recovery will know what to expect, and maybe feel better about taking that 1st step--going to a meeting, finding a therapist, joining a group, reading books & workbooks, reaching out to safe others for support & more. I highly recommend this book to any one from a substance-abuse type family background, but also to people from dysfunctional families as well since all of the same principles apply. I also recommend Adult Children: The Secrets of Dysfunctional Families to those who can't relate to an alcoholic background at all, but who maybe grew up with an over-eating parent, an absent father, a mentally ill caretaker, etc. This is a gentle start for even the most recovery-resistant person. For myself, this book helped me see myself as that little terrified, abused child who was helpless, needy, neglected & denied, and begin to want to love, hug & heal MY inner self instead of running to rescue everyone else, for a change. It's my turn, and thanks to that book I finally believe in my journey and my future. I hope you will take the step and see for yourself what truths lay waiting to bring you relief & understanding.