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106 of 107 found the following review helpful:
An Invaluable Help in the Healing ProcessAug 28, 2008
It's My Life Now fills an important gap in the literature on domestic violence. There are several great books out there that help bring the abused to the point of recognizing that they are in an abusive relationship that they must escape. These books help clarify the patterns and cycles that are common to so many abusive relationships. When searching for help and healing myself, I largely encountered books that told me how to get out, get safe, and (had I any children) get custody. But at that point, I had already fought my way out of my abuser's grasp and was searching for something to help me untangle the webs of control, humiliation, and verbal abuse I had endured. I was also struggling with difficult feelings of guilt, loss, and anger that I needed some guidance to process. That is where this book came in: the practical guide to regaining yourself after enduring abuse and/or violence.
What is so valuable and remarkable about this book, compared to many others, is that it walks the abused through the complicated (and admittedly frightening) time AFTER she gets out of the relationship.
It begins with the typical identification of abuse and abusive behaviors, but as this book is written for those who have already left their abuser, this list serves a different purpose. In an incredibly reassuring and helpful chapter that addresses the feelings of love for the abuser that may still remain, we are asked to make a list of the qualities that were attractive in him in the first place. Then, we return to the initial chapter's list of abusive behaviors and make a list of what type of abuses were committed and with what frequency. The positive list serves to reassure the abused that she had compelling reasons for being attracted to the abuser, while the abuses list reminds her that the abuser (however charming) is not who he seemed. There are many more simple, journal-style exercises that I found important for gaining insight and perspective.
The book addresses key issues I encountered in the uncomfortable period that ensued within one week or two of leaving my abuser. The author also recommends that readers return to these topics and exercises one month later, for comparison. (Perspective is everything.) I have emphatically recommended this book to the women I have met in domestic violence support groups, who have returned nothing but praise for the usefulness, pertinence and clarity of It's My Life Now. I have found it invaluable in my own process and will continue to refer to it when I require strength or guidance.
27 of 28 found the following review helpful:
This book rescued meMar 11, 2009
By L. Shapiro
I came across this book when I was at the point of recognizing that I was in an abusive relationship. Upon recommendation, I read it. It gave me the courage to talk with friends and family to build my support network before leaving him, and it ultimately gave me the courage, tools, insight, and foresight to leave. It was my secret weapon against him, to be able to recognize the manipulative, controlling, abusive behaviors he exhibited, and to know the lines he was going to throw at me when I told him I was leaving.
After I left my abuser, I found the book just as helpful. It helped me to recognize and understand the whirlwind of feelings I was going through. The activities were integral in my healing process.
I have recommended this book to others (even strangers) who I have found to be in abusive relationships, and I will continue to recommend it.
34 of 38 found the following review helpful:
Not for someone stuck in the healing processJan 01, 2009
I was looking for a book that dealt with healing after you left the relationship. The main focus of this book was on issues relevant to someone who has decided to leave and the time immediately after. Loving again was addressed in the last chapter and while very good on warning signs of a potential abuser and how to determine if you are ready for a new relationship there was nothing on how to get from "I am safe now" to "I am ready to start looking for a new relationship." The author points out that you have to feel worthy and have good self-esteem but not how to get there. What it did include was very good but most people would have come across that material in a book on abusive relationships. Beverly Engel is my favorite author on abusive relationships.
14 of 14 found the following review helpful:
Excellent resource for abused womenJan 16, 2010
By Keep Healing
If you have recently left an abusive relationship and are struggling to move on with your life, please read this book. It helped me a lot. Between this and "Why Does He Do That, " Lundy Bancroft's book, you won't find better literature, understanding and support.
11 of 11 found the following review helpful:
Great Book For SurvivorsMar 19, 2010
By A. Crockett
I bought this book after initially buying Healing the Trauma of Domestic Violence: A workbook for women, and Why Does He Do That?: Inside the minds of angrey and controlling men. The later book I found very helpful and the author highly recommended THIS book. As the other workbook wasn't really meeting all my needs I decided to give this one a try.
This one is much better as it is quick and to the point, and speaks in a more simple lauguage. The other work book I bought was helpful but a little too clinical for me. If I were to recommend any books to a woman recovering from a violent relationship I would recommend this one, and Why Does He Do That?
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