Publication Date: September 1, 2015
Amazon has over 1,000 reviews and rates it at 4 and 1/2 stars.
Driven by his own experience, Jackson MacKenzie, co-founded PscyhopathFree.com as a way to spread awareness and to give a platform for survivors to validate their own experiences while seeking support to overcome their own nightmare.
In my research into understanding more about narcissistic abuse, I picked this book up after reading some great reviews on Amazon. This book, by far, is my favorite on the subject and should be the first book one might want to read if you are just starting to learn about narcissist abuse.
"The fact that you're reading this book is not some sort of accident -
you're a truth seeker,
determined to find out what just happened to you."
This book contains a ton of information and is laid out in an easy to follow format. The introduction starts off with a letter from the author and lists 30 "Red Flags" to look for in an emotional abuse relationship. You may find yourself reading each one and making a mental check one by one. Check, check, well crap~really, check. There were even some that took me by surprise. MacKenzie gives you a excerpt on the Amazon page.
The second section breaks down the subject of the manufactured soul mate. This subject covers personalized grooming, identity erosion and the horrible grand finale. This covers the three stages of the narcissists play book from the love bombing to questioning how things went wrong so fast.
"After the inevitable abandonment,
most survivors end up feeling a kind of emptiness that cannot even be described as depression.
It's like your spirit has completely gone away.
You feel numb to everything and everyone around you."
The third section is all about the path to recovery and helps one understand why it took so long to figure out the narcissist. MacKenzie also leads the way in the various stages of grief that comes after the grand finale and how to overcome the feels you are left facing.
"But with time and No Contact,
you begin to see that you don't display any of those characteristics when you're not around them.
In fact, you seem to become more gentle, empathetic, and compassionate -
closer to your most genuine self.
That is the real you."
The forth section is your freedom and one that everyone may want to read first. It helps you see there is a brighter future and it only takes time to rebuild what the narcissist took immense joy in breaking down. It talks about the leftover feelings of insecurities and how to gain your self-respect back. I love the section regarding thirty signs of strength.
There is one part of the book that MacKenzie gives an example of a letter you should write to the narcissists next target. This letter is not to be sent to the target because it wouldn't serve to accomplish anything. He suggests that this letter be part of your healing and I found as I wrote mine that there was no negative thoughts anymore. I truly do feel stronger with each day.
MacKenzie is working on another book so look for it to be coming out soon.
I do not want to know who you are because it would only serve to suck me back into a place I no longer wish to revisit. But I can hope that one day you may find this letter and learn a different side of the story you most likely have already been told.
At one point, I did hate the others that I felt had a hand in breaking up my marriage. I watched as he parade one after another through our lives without a care. It took me years to realize my pain just gave him joy. And now it will take years to recover from the insecurity that comes from being triangulated with so many other people.
I am not bitter or hold any ill will against you or any of the others. I hurt FOR you. Although we are different people, when it comes to this relationship, we are no different.
There was a time when I once rode the high that you're currently riding. I was special. The most beautiful, perfect, flawless partner in the world. I helped him recover from the pain of his past ex. I sympathized with his struggles and was elated to be the one to finally end his suffering. He was in love with me and spent every waking moment showering me with attention as a way to prove it.
At some point, he flipped a switch and all the things he loved about me before was now a huge issue for him. From all the work I did to how I looked, it was just never good enough. For so long, I punished myself. I truly believed that I deserved my pain. Something must be wrong with me in order for him to run off with so many other girls.
Then I realized, I was once that person. I was you.
And because of that, I know there is no way for me to save you from the nightmare to come. Once you have been groomed, you are already sucked into the first stage. For the rest of the relationship, you will deny reality and invent reasons for everything he does. You will lie to yourself, desperately trying to bring back the soul mate you believed you had found. Slowly your identity will begin to fall apart. You will wake one day and not know who you are anymore.
Another person will come along. It is inevitable. You will be strung along for as long as possible, as I once was. Your reactions to this new person will be used against you to evoke sympathy from the new target.
And eventually, you will be me.
This is why I hurt for you. I would not wish all the pain and suffering that I've experienced on anyone. I know that you are being spoon-fed the exact same lies I believed so very long ago. You will not believe that today, tomorrow or next month, but someday this letter will make sense. Brutal, heartbreaking sense.
I only hope that you are smart enough to learn the signs and how to recovery in the aftermath of your abuse. I hope this is used as one small piece of a much bigger puzzle you will build in your journey.
I do not hate any of you for that is what he wants. I have cut ties, so I will no longer be taking part in his triangles anymore, injecting jealousy and hatred to fill the void within. I am much stronger now.
I'm happy to have made it through to the other side, and I know you can as well. Please have the same empathy for the person who replaces you. Compassion for each other is the only way to stop the cycle of abuse. Always remember, everyone deserves to be treated with respect, kindness, and honesty.
Other books on the subject that may be helpful:
Power: Surviving and thriving after Narcissistic Abuse by Shahida Arabi
No Contact: How to beat the narcissist by HG Tudor