Walking Over Eggshells: Surviving Mental Abuse Kindle Edition
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About the Author
- Publication date : July 29, 2013
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 239 pages
- File size : 2465 KB
- Publisher : Umhlanga Press; 1st edition (July 29, 2013)
- ASIN : B00E8HSNDW
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1491246960
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Language: : English
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #4,954 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Her memoir chronicles how her husband secures wonderful jobs abroad but ends up losing them, which leaves her to support the family. How? She teaches and takes on surprising opportunities thrown her way.
The author uses a strong narrative voice, includes some conversation and a smattering of letters to an unloving mother in the UK to paint the picture of her life, mostly abroad. the reader witnesses the shattering of her confidence repeatedly but also her strategic coping abilities, which lightens the tension.
At one point, she tells her mother she needs the sun to thrive and London is too cold. How telling is this truth! The sunshine becomes a metaphor for her life. The physical sun helps her to thrive in the many African countries where she settles. But her writing and teaching become the sunshine that sustains her both emotionally and financially.
I like the author’s descriptions of her life overseas. Also, her humor peeks through the dire circumstances she faces. The one-liners catch me by surprise and make me laugh.
This memoir focuses on family relationships, culture, opportunity, strength, weakness, adapting and ultimately, finding love for oneself. I highly recommend it
“Walking Over Eggshells is an autobiography that tells the story of a mentally abused child, who married a “Walter Mitty” clone. They moved from England to Kenya, from Libya to Botswana and on again to South Africa. It took all her courage to survive in situations that were at times dangerous, sometimes humorous, but always nerve wracking. She had a variety of jobs, different types of homes, and was both a millionairess and totally broke. She met royalty, hosted ambassadors, and won numerous awards for her writing and television programs. She also climbed over garbage dumps, fended off bailiffs, and coped being abandoned in the African bush with a seven-week-old baby with no money or resources. She admits to being the biggest coward in the world, but her survival instincts kicked in and she lived to tell her story. This book will make you laugh and cry and hopefully inspire others who did not have the best start in life either. All names have been changed to protect both the guilty and the innocent – and that includes the author as well!”
I have had this book for a while now and in order to decide which book I was going to read next, I spun my Kindle carousel and landed right here, on this book. With trepidation and a flow exhale of air, I started this book. I dreaded reading this book as I thought it would bring back my own PTSD and life of abuse, but I took the plunge! I felt a connection with Lucinda as both our mother’s had a narcissistic personality disorder. Despite Clarke’s home life, the life she led with her husband, who simply drifted from job to job, and the ongoing mental abuse from her mother – due to an ongoing adult relationship, Clarke arose victorious! Clarke’s career in writing and broadcasting is highly inspirational. Despite life situations, Clarke rose up to become extraordinary in her journey, and she is rich in her humanity! Within all the grief and sadness, Clarke wove uplifting pieces of her own motherhood, and adventures, which never satisfied her mother, sadly. Clarke maintains her self-esteem, something of which I struggle with to this very day, at age 56.
The pace is uneven in her story, and the descriptions in her narrative are well done. This well written narrative holds numerous messages that most everyone can take something away from this story, and apply it to their own lives, or the lives of others. I know writing this story had to have been cathartic for Clarke. Everyone wants love from their mother’s and some don’t ever receive it, sadly.
Top reviews from other countries
Lucinda not only has a sociopath for a mother, but a deceiver, conniver and an adulterer for a husband who, despite the fact that he’s never out of work for very long, has an inability to hold onto any job for longer than a few months and any money he earns for less time than that, which is why I entitle this review ‘Feast and Famine’
Lucinda moves from the echelons of ex-pat society to not being able to afford to feed her children and back again several times in the book but It’s her evil mother who holds centre stage. I recognised her immediately as a sociopathic narcissist. Having one in my own family they’re not hard to identify. Superficially charming, they take pride in the pain they cause and then try to blame others. Monsters are real, you see. They look like people. A narcissists drug of choice is attention, and they will happily deprive their children of it. My own sister, thankfully, has no children, but she is constantly thinking of what to say or do next to ensure she is in the spotlight. Taking attention away from her is like ripping a drug-filled needle away from a junkie. Unless the reader has come across a sociopathic narcissist – or as Lucinda Clarke describes it “someone suffering from narcisstic personality disorder” – they will fail to understand how Clarke’s mother can do so many horrible things yet still act like she’s a decent human being, how she can put on such an act of being virtuous in order to keep her strictly self-centred ambitions and callous disregard for her own daughter under the public radar. So this book is worth reading to gain a real perspective of the fact that evil lurks in places you would never imagine and tries to charm it’s way into your life. The sociopathic narcissist is the kind of crazy we can’t be warned about. It’s a level of crazy we don’t know exists – even in our own family - until we experience it.
I thoroughly recommend this book
It's easy enough to disregard the opinions of such people when they are not related to us. What, though, if the begrudger is a spouse? You must either endure the mental abuse or seek a divorce. And if the begrudger is a parent, what then? The emotional suffering that must accompany the child whose parent will never accept they could make a success of life is hard to imagine.
It turns out that there is a medical term for the condition – Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or NPD. Ms Clarke discovered the existence of that term only after her mother died. By then she had endured over 60 years of hurt as her repeated attempts to reconcile with her mother met with rejection and the constant belittling of her achievements.
Along the way she persevered with marriage to an inveterate con man whose numerous business ventures left behind debts which Ms. Clarke was obliged to settle. All the while she worked hard at her chosen profession and set up her own successful business as well as bringing up two daughters.
I have probably given away too much of the story already so I will say nothing about the way in which she achieved closure and forged yet another career through the writing of this memoir and two other volumes of autobiography (both of which I have reviewed previously), as well as a trilogy of novels based in her beloved Africa.
Thankfully not all parents suffer the condition that Ms Clarke describes but I suspect I am not alone in having experienced the pain that accompanies one's failure to meet the unrealistic expectations of a parent. As you will discover from reading Walking on Egg Shells, there is a gulf of difference between the natural desire of a parent to see his or her child succeed and the vicious put-downs that the children of NPD sufferers endure on a regular basis throughout their lives.
I could not decide how to rate the book as it was truly painful to read but congratulate the author on putting her experience together for us to read. It is certainly reassuring for those who have felt alone in the experience. I'm pleased that the author was, through it all, however, able to travel much and have a lot of 'rich' experiences.
I further direct you to the review of Karl Wiggins titled "Feast and Famine". I see no point in repeating what he has already put so eloquently. And yes, like Karl, I too have a great interest in mental health and mental abuse ie the why, the cure (if such a thing is possible) etc.
I look forward to the day we stop rewarding and enabling such types who seem to have multiplied exponentially with the current technologies. It is a tricky business and truly horrifying for those on the receiving end - I should know.
Collectively I have faith that we can find a way to mitigate the damages caused and eventually produce societies that are less likely to create and nurture such sociopathic creatures. Nature or nurture? It is both.
Clarke fled mental abuse at home by marrying charismatic husband Jeremy, who subjected her to new forms of abuse and uncertainty that further eroded her fragile confidence. From Benghazi to Africa, Clarke eked out a living for them and their two daughters, because Jeremy proved an alcoholic with a vile temper and the inability to keep a job or manage money. Clarke once resorted to living on a boat with her daughters – the only place she could afford – in Durban, South Africa, which had become a dangerous place to live, after Jeremy fled back to Scotland.
Clarke has 30 years of experience as a professional writer. She has written for radio, television, magazines, and published several books. She has won more than 20 awards for scripting, directing, concept and production. She worked on radio – once with a bayonet at her throat. She has owned her own video production company, lived in eight different countries, run the “worst riding school in the world,” and made legal history in South Africa by handling her own divorce.
Yet even after all these extremes and accomplishments, her mother never once loved her, never once said she loved her, never once said she was proud of her daughter.
The only thing Lucinda E Clarke ever wanted out of life…was a mother who loved her.