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Family Is Not Everything: How to Minimize Their Mess, Maximize Your Happiness and Enjoy Emotional Baggage Breakthroughs Kindle Edition
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I found Anita Washington's message powerful and sad at the same time. By giving her story she shows it isn't easy to break from an abusive life and she admits the mistakes she made while trying to distance herself from folks. She also shows why sometimes people who grow one in a poor environment end up in the same kind of relationship they try to avoid. This is an excellent read and very intense.
Washington takes a very personal approach and gives very much detail, to the point of autobiography, as which this book could perhaps equally have been classified. This does indeed lend a much greater sense of credibility to where she’s coming from, having highlighted in great detail not only the struggles of coming from such a family, but also the ongoing process of progressing from that trauma and how it continues to haunt us way into adulthood—and in all likelihood, for the rest of our lives.
How, then, does Washington advocate approaching this problem? Honestly, I don’t feel like I got a lot of advice here. The seven-step method presented was to me a little simplistic and nothing that I haven’t seen presented hundreds of times in some form or another, and nor was it presented so much better here as to warrant extra attention in the manner of “here’s what Washington adds to that toolbox”.
So, what does Washington add? Certainly her personal story, presented not as a sob story but as a journey of progress—difficult and pock-marked with setbacks as it was—leaving the reader with a feeling of kinship, that one is not alone, and that there is hope, and specifically, that we must find and act on that hope in an organised fashion.
At a glance, the title may seem to put down the importance of family and to be honest, that made me feel a little uncomfortable. However, as I read the introduction, I was really intrigued and completely threw aside my preconceived notions about the author and the book.
The book has been written so sincerely, emotionally and heartfelt. One simply cannot help but be filled with an utmost respect for the author. We cannot choose our family and before we step into adulthood, we are practically helpless if we are stuck in a cycle of abuse and neglect by our parents or even siblings.
The author has not only found a way to get out of the darkness of her past, she has even come up with seven structured steps to also help other people with similar experiences. In addition, she is both qualified academically and professionally, making her absolutely credible as a counselor on this subject.
This book is incredibly empowering and inspiring, especially to those who have been hurt by family members.