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review 2019-10-13 02:49
Helping Her Get Free: A Guide for Family and Friends of Abused Women
Helping Her Get Free: A Guide for Families and Friends of Abused Women - Susan Brewster

This was helpful for me in teaching me to let go of any expectations or judgments I have about my loved one leaving her abuser, and instead learn to be a better friend to her--so that she can leave him if she chooses to leave, or she can have me as a source of support and safety if she chose to stay.

 

I had an "aha moment" when this book talked about how my insisting that my loved one leave the relationship, and badgering her about it, was precisely what the abuser does to her--tries to exert power over her and control her actions, and implies that she cannot be independent and is not capable of making her own choices.

 

The book helps you to let go of your old goals for your loved one and form new, healthier ones that you have control over.

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review 2019-10-13 01:51
It's My Life Now: Starting Over After an Abusive Relationship
It's My Life Now: Starting Over After An Abusive Relationship or Domestic Violence - Meg Kennedy Dugan,Roger R. Hock
Don't be dissuaded because the title implies that this book is geared toward life after leaving someone. In some ways I feel like it's especially helpful in the case of a person who is trying to choose between staying and leaving. I love the list-making and written self-exploration sections. Their detailed specificity makes it impossible for the survivor of abuse to let their brain sort of "look away" or to follow its usual, well-grooved paths.
 
The goal here is to guide survivors toward reclaiming themselves--to recognize your value and regain your self-worth and self-esteem--to be strong and independent (and maybe creative and fulfilled again), either while being in a challenging relationship, or after having left.
 
 
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review 2019-10-13 01:40
Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men
Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men - Lundy Bancroft

This is a must-read for everyone--for people who are being abused, people who are not being abused, family members and friends of people being abused, people who have escaped abusive relationships, people who want to understand angry and controlling men... EVERYONE. It demystifies partner abuse in a way that our society NEEDS to understand.

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text 2019-10-10 15:33
10 Rules How to Find Your Love on Dating Sites

Nowadays, there are more opportunities to get acquainted with your future beloved person due to the Internet, in particular,  sites. And even despite the ambiguous reputation of such sites, there are people lucky enough to find their partner via the Internet, Next Feed informs

 

There are several rules, which you should follow in order to meet the right person and avoid disappointment.

 

 

 

1. Keep a cool head

 

Select those users whose profiles contain detailed information about the person; their appearance should be pleasant to you; your hobbies should combine.

You have to take this into account if you don’t want your first date to become the last because you have nothing to talk about.

 

2. Make a decision in favor of a serious dating site

 

When registering on a dating site, take care of the protection of your personal data. It is better to create a new email address that does not contain your first and last name. When communicating with a new person, do not rush to tell your last name, address, phone number.

 

If you want to be sure of the complete security of your personal data, then register on serious dating sites. Such sites, for the most part, are concerned about protecting the personal information of users.

 

3. Take the right photo

 

When you choose a photo for your profile, keep these rules:

Take clear photos in vibrant colors;

Smile, because everyone appreciates openness and kindness.

Do not take too candid pictures if you are looking for something more serious than a one-night event.

 

4. Fill out the profile with interesting information

 

The more information you share about yourself and your hobbies, the more likely you are to meet someone who is interested in the same things. You will immediately have common topics for conversation.

 

Also, mention in the text questions that will become the clue for starting the first conversation. Do not start acquaintance with a lie, write only the truth about yourself.

 

5. Take up the running

 

Write immediately without waiting for the first message from the user, you like. You have a goal – to meet an interesting person. So don’t waste time, otherwise, someone else will ask her or him on a date.

 

6. Make a date in real life as soon as possible

 

If you discuss everything online, then on the first date you may find yourself in a situation where there is nothing to talk about. And the real date is the best way to find out, whether your expectations get in line with reality.

 

7. Build on the risks

 

Do not run headlong into the airport, because the person says you to come. Otherwise, you could have problems. First of all, browse person’s profiles in social networks before a date. You have the right to know who you are going to meet.

 

8. Do not hesitate to ask questions

 

 

Find out everything that interests you so then there will be no surprises like five sons from three past marriages or refusal to accept the fact that your own children desperately need a second parent. Make a rough list of the most important questions and try to ask them on your first date.

 

9. Be careful

 

Remember, not all users of dating sites are good people, among them could be swindlers. Never transfer money to little-known people, and before the first date, tell someone from your relatives where you go and with whom.

 

Try to arrange a date in a crowded place, leave the path to retreat (for example, ask your friends for a “control” call), do not drink too much alcohol and never leave personal belongings unsupervised.

 

10. Don’t give up

 

Do not treat each contestant as a potential future partner: no one likes this. Remember that frequent disappointments can adversely affect self-esteem and emotional comfort.

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review 2019-07-13 12:28
A highly recommended tough and inspiring read
winter flower - Charles Sheehan-Miles

I write this review as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team (authors, if you are looking for reviews, check here), and I freely chose to review an ARC copy of this novel.

This is the first novel I read by Charles Sheehan-Miles, who is a brand new author to me, although he has published a large number of books, and from the comments I guess he has a legion of fans that were surprised by this book, as it is not a romance. I cannot compare it to his previous work, but I agree with the warning. If readers from his previous books approach this novel as a romance, they will be shocked, because it is far from it.

This is a long book (over 600 pages long), divided up into four parts, with a prologue set two years before the main action of the book, although there are flashbacks (memories) narrated in the first-person by the four main characters —all members of the same family— that offer readers a good understanding of the background to the current situation and help them get to grips with their circumstances, their pasts, and who they are. This is the story of a family, a married couple and their two children, on the brink of collapse due to a terrible tragedy that took place two years before the action we follow chronologically. Or so it seems. (The truth is a bit more complicated than that). Sam and Brenna, the children (adolescents by the time we met them) are close, and Brenna has always willingly played the role of big sister to Sam, there to protect and guide. Until she disappears. Carrying on without her puts a big strain on a family we soon learn was going through difficulties already (some more out in the open than others), and whose communication had ground almost to a halt. The parents, Cole and Erin, are living example of the “opposites attract” edict, at least from a political perspective (Cole, the father, who as a young man decided formal education wasn’t for him and moved up the corporate ladder at lightning speed, is conservative as can be, while Erin, the mother, a college  graduate, is a convinced liberal who sacrificed her career to look after her children), and although the story opens up with Sam’s narration, we soon get to read their own perspective on the matter, and the kind of traps they find themselves in.

This is a story that deals in many important subjects, and it could have been told in a variety of ways, but I am impressed not only by the subjects (adultery and its toll on family relationships, sex trafficking, rape, prostitution, bullying, harassment and violence against the LGBT community, missing youths, the isolation of the trans-gender experience for young people, prejudice and harassment at work…) and the sensitive and enlightening way they are handled, but also by the way the story is told. The author allows each character to tell his/her own story, and that makes us walk a mile in their shoes, no matter how uncomfortable they might feel. I am sure many readers will think, as they read, that they would have never reacted in a certain way, or allowed their circumstances to deteriorate to such an extent, but, do we truly know? Although, as the author reminds us in the final note, the events in the book are far from unique (yes, it is a work of fiction, but many individuals and families unfortunately will go through similar experiences to those depicted in the book), many of us will never have been in close contact with somebody in such dire circumstances, much less be directly affected by it, so, how do we know what we would do? The characters are not necessarily the most likeable when we meet them (drinking heavily, harassed, afraid for their lives, paralysed and frozen, unable to make decisions and move on), and they are all closed off from each other, trapped, physically or mentally, sometimes by others and their preconceptions, sometimes by their own fears and inability to grief and forgive. The author also makes a conscious decision to introduce the rest of the family —the parents and Sam— first, so we get to see the effect her loss has had on the family, before we meet Brenna, the missing girl. Her situation is heart-wrenching, and the most extreme and difficult to read about, although none of the characters have an easy ride.

Thankfully, the author manages to achieve a difficult balance between telling the story, not pulling any punches, making sure people can understand and empathise with what the characters are going through, while avoiding extremely graphic scenes (both of sex and violence), and gratuitous iterations and repetitions of the abuse, which would risk further exploitation rather than facilitating understanding and empathy. Don’t get me wrong; this is a hard read, and readers with triggers arounds topics such as child abuse, rape, bullying, violence against women and the LGTB community, and racism need to be aware of it. Even people who don’t have such triggers will find it a tough read, but, on the other hand, this is a book with a big heart, and the individual journey of each character, and of the family as a whole, make for an inspiring and hopeful read.

I have already talked about how impressed I am by the story and the way it is told. I grew fond of all the members of the family by the end of the book (it’s impossible for our hearts not to go out to Sam and Brenna, but we get to appreciate their parents as well), and I particularly enjoyed the journey of enlightenment Cole’s father goes through. The author includes most of the reactions we can imagine to these subjects, from the sublime to the ridiculous, (not everybody changes and accepts either. Bigotry remains alive and well, as we all know), and they all felt true. I was particularly fond of Jeremiah and his wife — almost too good to be true— who are an ideal we should all aspire to. I also liked the fact that the story does not stop when most readers would expect it to, and even Sam makes comments on that. There is no magical happy ending here that just makes everything right again. All the members of the family will have to keep working at their relationship and supporting each other, but that is as it should be.

There were no negative reviews of the book at the time I wrote this, and the only objections (apart from the warning that it is not a romance) some people had referred to were Sam’s virtual game  playing (that a reader didn’t feel added anything to the novel. Personally, I think it helps readers understand what life is like for the character and experience the kind of coping strategies adolescents in similar circumstances might use), and some others felt the book could have been shorter and still managed to tell the same story. That might be true, but I suspect some of the nuances would have been lost.

This is an excellent book that manages to combine complex and credible characters with a plot that deals with several difficult subjects, without becoming preachy or too graphic. It is horrifying, touching, and insightful all at the same time, and it makes readers witness the highs and lows of the human condition. I recommended it to readers interested in the subjects, but I advise those who might worry about possible triggers to proceed with caution. The author adds some resources (links to websites) for people who need more information about some of the issues raised in the book, and I thought the final conversation of the book, between Brenna and her grandfather in the garden —when the grandfather talks about the snapdragon, and how it grows back after getting rid of the dead stuff, stronger and more beautiful— stands as a great metaphor for the story. Highly recommended.

 

 

 

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