This book very thoroughly explains what constitues abuse, the effects and what to do about it once you are an adult. Beverly Engel has a way of presenting the truth without glossing it over but without leaving the reader feeling like he or she is powerless to change the future. This book explains how the cycle of abuse continues from generation to generation and gives concrete things that you can do to get off the victim/aggressor merry-go-round. Extremely insightful and thorough.
This is a good companion book after reading "Toxic Parents" and "Mothers Who Can't Love" both by Dr. Susan Forward first. The reason why I am recommending these books first is because Dr. Forward's books are more IMHO compassionate. They help you acknowledge the abuse, get out of denial, and teach you how to deal with the rightful anger, pain and grief that occurred due to childhood abuse etc. Once you've done these things, then you are ready for the next step which is this book. This is more advanced whereas "Toxic Parents" and "Mothers Who Can't Love"are for building the foundation desperately needed in the first place and to break the ice and to begin breaking the chains of abuse and to break the cycle of abuse.
Unfortunately, the abusers are so busy with denial they won't even consider reading this book.
It is a good book for our older children. They will most likely become either an abuser or a target of abuse. That's the way this insidious problem works. After reading this book which I thought was very good, I passed it along to my daughter. Hopefully when she's finished, my second daughter will read it... then (with a prayer) my son may read it also. They are all young adults.
If any one thing about abuse can devastate a woman beyond all others, it is the fact that her children are likely to follow the pattern of one or both parents, or vacillate between the two. Perhaps if they are aware of it, they may stop the denial long enough to see and understand the hell their abusive parent has brought upon the whole family -- and break the cycle of abuse. It's not a "daddy bashing" book and it is for adults. But maybe, just maybe it will help everyone be aware that they must set and enforce boundaries and respect other people's boundaries.
Even at age 60 I continue to learn about the impact of intergenerational abuse infecting my family. Engel, a survivor of abuse herself, describes the various abuses and abusers, the impact on the victim, and suggests methods to counter the negative. Abusers are all around us, even the US Missile Defense Department. My unfortunate newphew's father describes him as a "bum who did nothing and emotionally abused her (girlfriend)" and is mystified by the adult child's behavior. The book unveils the secrets that perpetuate this behavior and how it goes unchecked.
This book is an excellent resource for anyone who is struggling with a legacy of childhood abuse. It provides useful, step-by-step advice on identifying abuse and changing in-grained behaviors. It is also useful in conjunction with therpay to help focus sessions and provide a framework to follow in order to make progress between sessions.
This book was so amazing! It broke things out in a way I'd never thought of and really had you work through things with great exercises. I've recommended it to at least 3 people and bought it for one person. I'll read it again!
It is well-known that the majority of those who were abused go on to become abusers themselves. But does that mean there is no hope for those who were abused? Thankfully, no. Beverly Engel covers this difficult subject and even reveals some of her darker impulses. Everyone has this side to them and even more so for those who were abused. The good news is that the more aware you are of your dark side, the less likely it is that you will abuse another person.
The author goes into great detail about childhood experiences which may lead to one becoming an adult abuser/victim, helping you to heal from your own experiences of child abuse, preventing abusing others (i.e. partners, kids, etc.) and what to do if you have already abused others. She lets you know that you are not at fault for what happned to you as a child, but as an adult you need to do the hard work required to heal.
She also discusses at length denial, fear, anger, etc. which plays a role in abuse.
Overall, a great book for those who have either been abused and/or have hurt or afraid they may hurt others in the future.