From the Author
Ugly is not an easy book to read. The subject matter is not easy to deal with. Ugly deals with physical and emotional abuse.
Many people do not understand the dynamics of domestic abuse. Why, they wonder, would a woman stay with a partner who was abusive? The answers are simple. Lack of self-esteem, a feeling of powerlessness, no positive role models, lack of resources...take your pick. Singly, or in combination, all can factor into a woman feeling as if she has no choice but to submit to an abusive partner.
Fear becomes your constant companion. Your life is governed by artificial rules set by your partner, which may change at a moment's notice. The rules are reinforced by brutal beatings and other physical abuse. You cling to the small kindnesses your partner may allow you. They tell you that whatever you suffer, it's your fault; you've brought it upon yourself.
Put yourself in the shoes of an abuse victim. Forget your bank accounts, your credit cards, your home and car. All you have are the clothes on your back. Where do you go for help? And what do you tell people when you ask for it? How will they react? You will be humiliated, there is no question of that. You will still live by someone else's rules. And if you're lucky, your partner won't find you before you get back on your feet.
You will need to work, and chances are you haven't been allowed enough education to qualify for more than clerking at a retail outlet. You cringe every time the door opens, afraid your partner will be the next person through the door, afraid they've finally found you and that this time, they may beat you to death.
The scenario is even worse if there are children involved. Think about how you would react in this situation. Can you understand how a family history of abuse can lead to future generations of abusive cycles? I'm not asking you to feel sympathy, although it would be difficult not to. I'm asking you to remember, abuse survivors have spent their time in hell. If you judge a survivor for living, then you're judgement is misplaced.
When you read Ugly, think about your loving family, and the support you have from them. And remember, Lily is not like you.