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Holding My Hand Through Hell Paperback – October 4, 2012
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A harrowing true story of violence and survival. The specter of Susan Murphy Milano s abusive father followed her into adulthood, and the mental anguish she experienced would have destroyed most of us, but she persevered. This is an inspirational story that should be read by everyone. --Anthony Bruno, New York Times best-selling author
In 1989, Milano's father murdered her mother before killing himself. It was the gruesome end to a long history of abuse that Milano recounts in graphic and heartbreaking detail. Her father regularly raped her when she was a teenager, and beat her mother bloody. Though Milano tried to tell school authorities, no one believed that her father, a decorated police officer, was capable of such acts. To make matters worse, Milano learned after her father's death that he had also been molesting her brother, Bobby, who experienced a psychotic breakdown, as well as neighborhood boys. Milano found some meaning as an advocate for domestic violence victims, speaking for them in court, finding temporary living arrangements, and speaking to the media on their behalf. She posits that she lost custody of her son to his father, Milano's second husband, who abused cocaine, because she angered city authorities by filling a class-action lawsuit on behalf of abuse victims. She married a third time to a man who turned out to be a controlling alcoholic. While difficult to read, Milano's is an important story of the long suffering caused by domestic abuse, yet also inspiring in her belief that God is always with her. --Publishers Weekly, 10/2012
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
I am amazed every time I read it (I've read it 3 times now) that Susan was able to share her own experiences so brilliantly in order to spread her message. It's heart wrenching from beginning to end, and you cheer her on through one harrowing experience to the next.
This book will definitely help to put an end to the question "Why doesn't she just leave?" "Holding My Hand Through Hell" very adeptly illustrates that it's never as simple as "just" leaving.
Over the past two years, she wrote about the journey in her autobiography Holding My Hand Through Hell: A Real Life Journey of Hope, Survival, Murder, and Abuse. The book was released by Ice Cube Press on October 3.
It would be Murphy Milano's swan song. She passed away on Sunday, October 28, after a lengthy illness.
Hers is a remarkable, inspirational story that begins as the daughter of a respected Chicago Police Department veteran detective who investigated violent crimes. The family's shocking secret, however, was that her father regularly physically abused her mother and their children. She grew up listening to her father tell her mother, "if you leave me, I'll kill you."
The threat became a reality on a January day in 1989. Murphy Milano, when her mother didn't answer the phone, entered the house to find her mother, Roberta Murphy, dead on the kitchen floor and her father dead in a bedroom of her childhood home. Phillip Murphy, a decorated police investigator, had fatally shot her mother six months after Roberta divorced him. He then turned the gun on himself.
While growing up, as Murphy Milano relates in her memoir, a disturbing pattern had developed in the Murphy household: "My first memory is that of my father Phillip Murphy beating my mother's head against an iron bedrail ... and I, running to a chair, barely able to dial the O for the operator as I placed a call on the rotary telephone in the kitchen for help," she writes.Read more ›
The Institute for Relational Harm Reduction & Public Pathology Education
Holding My Hand Through Hell--What does an early childhood of alcoholism, sexual abuse, and the witnessing of violence in the home produce? For decades psychology has been studying the effects on victims of these impactful early beginnings. What psychology discovered was for some victims they would succumb to addiction, repeated patterns of victim/abuser relationships, or crippling mental illness. These early impressionable years in children's lives often marred their adult futures with the scars of abuse.
And while childhood is the fragile soil from which traumatic imprints can sink deeply into the emotional roots of a victim, what about trauma in adulthood? What happens to adults when unthinkable traumas invade? Or worse--when both a victim's childhood AND adulthood are contaminated with overwhelming pain? What does the trauma tonics of childhood abuse and the added experiences of a murdered mother and a suicided father do to a victim?
From the surface, psychology would 'predict' the victim of these combined traumas would likely develop the emotional catatonia produced from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Early childhood coping mechanisms that were not fully developed because of trauma, gets a double dose as an adult forcing an adult to call on coping mechanisms that were never produced in childhood. This is often the kiss of dysfunction for a victim.
But for the resilient, these trauma tonics produce pioneers.
In the unusual cases of hyper-resiliency, too many traumas often create a metamorphic response turning terror into a piercing intensity of determination.Read more ›
For me, reading it was painful and chilling. It left me wondering who was really holding her hand through hell. I hope the train to justice continues for all victims of abuse with Ms. Milano as the conductor.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This woman who truly went to hell and back spent her life and finances helping others.
Losing Susan is a great loss for the world.. Read more
I found myself wanting more of her story -- really insightful. Susan's story is tragedy that is told over and over in the headlines -- we need to do something about it!Published on January 18, 2013 by tracey daniel
I really liked this book and this person was a friend.This gave an indepth story of her life and what she went through.Published on January 9, 2013 by Marian F.DeRossett
HMHTH reads like a novel and will keep the constant interest of anyone who reads crime or mystery fiction. Read morePublished on November 8, 2012 by Anita Sullivan
Had this book been a movie, I would have closed my eyes several times afraid of what was about to happen. Read morePublished on October 27, 2012 by NanaBillie
This book came to me at very difficult time and the author let us into her life and shared her heart wrenching story.The feelings I felt while reading cannot be captured by words. Read morePublished on October 11, 2012 by Amanda
This book was equally difficult to read and impossible to put down. I read it in two sittings and literally could not put it down. Read morePublished on October 9, 2012 by Kitch Cashman Gorzynski
As the writer of the Foreward to this book, I was one of the first to read it. I was overwhelmed by the story and it deepened by appreciation and respect for domestic violence... Read morePublished on October 9, 2012 by Diane Fanning
The book opens with a gruesome crime scene, a decorated veteran Chicago police detective and his estranged wife. Read morePublished on October 9, 2012 by Nicki