A woman sits at a table.
A man in black stands over her with a stick in his hand.
“If you don’t let me have complete control over you and everything in your life, I will hit you with this stick.”
“If you let me have complete control over you and everything in your life, I will hit you with this stick.”
The woman takes away the stick.
It is your job to remove the stick from the hands of all who would abuse you, have abused you, or ever might attempt to abuse you.
How to do that is the subject of this book.
The abuser does not abuse because the victim has done anything to deserve it. He abuses because he can. And because he needs to. And because it satisfies.
Some of you will find here all you need to guide you and encourage you to safety and freedom. Some of you will find much, discover more in other places, including within your own creative mind. All of you will find help here. I guarantee it. If this book does not help you, big time, in your journey to safety and freedom, send it back to me and I will refund your money.
I’m writing it for two reasons--for two people, for me and for you. I didn’t want to write it, because I’d rather do something far and away from the painful and humiliating experiences that make me know much too much about abuse. But I need to tell someone about it in a meaningful way. Like all of you, I need to tell and not tell. Some of what I tell here is really about me, disguised with other names and details to protect me and my loved ones. Most of the stories though are about other people, disguised as well, to protect their privacy and provide safety.
I've studied abuse, particularly emotional abuse, for many years. I'm also a change specialist, studying and acquiring skills in many fields relating to making change happen, and dealing with the results of change, personal and systematic.
This book is primarily about emotional abuse, particularly subtle emotional abuse. There are many books dealing with physical abuse, very few about the subject of emotional abuse (which is always present when physical abuse happens). So everything in this book will be of use to those who have been assaulted physically too.
The rest is for you. I don’t want anyone to EVER lie lonely beside the man or woman they once loved, who has just broken their heart again with the ever recurrent cycle of abuse. I don’t want anyone else to EVER have to watch their precious children struggle under the emotional abuse of a parent they want to love, but increasingly have conflict about, whose every trouble is increased by the added weight of a cruel predatory parent. No more, never, never, never. I know I can’t singlehandedly stop it. But, together, we can. You, and me, and everyone this book can reach. We can do our part to make sure no one abuses us or anyone else we can enlighten and empower.
This book is constructed in a way that allows you to dip in here and there to read about what you need now, and catch up on the rest another time. The main text is arranged by topic. Running sidebars contain personal accounts from people who have shared their experiences so that you will know you are not alone, that others have been down that road, and that many of them have gotten off that road, and are now richer for it--and free.
At the bottom of the pages you will find encouragement and bits of advice to remember and act on.
I know that sometimes it might be hard to concentrate, to follow a thought, or to act. This book is arranged so that you can read as much or as little at one time as you are able to deal with effectively. You can come back again and again to read what you need to until it sinks in, until you can act on it, until it is yours in your innermost being.
Thank you for allowing me into your life. Together we can have a better and better one through all our tomorrows.
Patricia Smith Gundry