Most helpful critical review
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Be very careful!
on May 7, 2014
I bought this book to deal with some emotionally destructive relationships I have had my entire life. I was abused mentally, verbally, physically, and emotionally my entire life. I went from severe abuse as a child (I wanted to die at the age of 5), to an adult life of continued severe abuse with everyone surrounding me. I am 46. I feel I have zero self worth as it is. I want to warn you. If you have had severe, unimaginable abuse over your lifetime, this book could make you feel worse at times. Of course, that is not the author's intention at all. Read it with an understanding person or a counselor. At the very beginning of the book, I felt, "Wow, someone gets me!" I was so excited to know that someone actually knew how I felt. Then, comes the survey to see who the abusers are. I actually knew who they were, I just wanted confirmation. The survey is very vague and to me wasn't very helpful. It didn't show many forms of abuse. After doing the survey, I thought maybe there wasn't any abuse that was so bad after all. Then in the mid section I began to think "I" was the one with all of the problems. That could be just because I feel guilty about everything and was always told I was to blame. I began to feel very discouraged as if the abuse was because of me or my reactions. It began to make me more depressed. I wondered if I had done this or if I could change that, then maybe it would be better. The author states that our reactions such as anger, being codependent, outbursts, etc. will make a destructive relationship worse, which is true. She does state that it is never an excuse for someone to abuse us even if we have wrong reactions. I do agree that we need to change our reactions and our own thoughts so that we can see clearly to make changes. I could handle that. Yes, by being abused, I became negative, depressed, controlling, and angry, etc. and was willing to work on that. But, for some reason, I saw me as the total problem. I kept seeing myself as the abuser and began to wonder if it was all my fault. I am not exactly sure what it was, but I dreaded lifting that book up for fear it would just make me feel worse. I continued on with the book and toward the very end, it is helpful to a degree. She begins to tell you that you do have choices. As sad as it sounds, I never realized that! That chapter helped me a lot. In fact, the last 3 chapters were uplifting. The author uses bible verses to back everything up. I do believe her intentions are great and that her ideas are correct, but I am just warning you that you might begin to feel like it is all your fault, especially if you were told that your whole life. This book to me is for someone who is in a mild to medium types of abuse. I wouldn't recommend it to someone going through horrific and unimaginable abuse. I believe it will make you feel worse because you already feel hated, unwanted, ugly, suicidal, etc. I did. So, to see that you are doing something wrong again, even if it is true, it is hard to swallow. The one thing to remember throughout this book is that you CANNOT change the other person.