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Monday, November 29, 2010

Narcissistic Predicaments by Sister Renee Pittelli - BOOK REVIEW


Narcissistic Predicaments by Sister Renee PittelliTitle:  Narcissistic Predicaments

Author: Sister Renee Pittelli
Publisher:  Outskirts Press
Publish Date:  April, 2010
Paperback, 368 pages
ISBN 10: 1432750445
ISBN13:  9781432750442

Description:

Pleasing God While Protecting Yourself

Adult Children of narcissistic families often find themselves stuck in predicaments that people with normal families never have to face. Featuring The 21 Rules of No Contact and 102 Questions to Ask Yourself When Deciding Whether to End an Abusive Relationship, Narcissistic Predicaments has the answers you’ve been looking for.

When you try to set boundaries, do your abusive relatives accuse you of not being a “good Christian” because:

•You are not honoring your father and mother?

•You have to “forgive and forget,” even though your abusers have not apologized or agreed to stop their abuse?

•You must forgive unrepentant evildoers because Jesus said “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do”?

•You are taking revenge by enforcing consequences, and vengeance is supposed to be the Lord’s?

•The Bible says “Love your enemies”?

In this book, you will learn effective strategies for protecting yourself and find out what the Bible really says about dilemmas such as:

•Should you let your estranged relatives have contact with your children?

•Dealing with the family meddler who tries to intervene between you and your abusive relative

•Working in the family business with narcissists and sociopaths

•What to do about holidays, parties, and family celebrations, including Mother’s Day and Father’s Day

•Does your abuser’s apology automatically cover the other relatives who took his side?

•What to expect from estranged relatives who want to drag you back into their web

•Reconciling on your terms, not theirs

•If you don’t stick around, who will take care of your abusive parents in their old age?

•Visiting a dying abuser

•When your abuser or estranged relative dies- condolences, funerals, and obituaries

God does not want you to “live in peace” with evil people. A breath of fresh air for Adult Children of abusive families, this compelling book will help you find the peace our heavenly Father promised you, because you are His beloved child.


My Take: 

What it's about:  It's about how to deal with abusive families, whether they are parents, siblings, or even extended family like aunts, uncles, and cousins. 

It spells out the abusive methods that family members may use to control you, and provides you with coping strategies coupled with Biblical scripture to support those strategies,  It also provides counter-arguments against such sayings as "Forgive and forget", "patience is a virtue", "honor thy mother and father" when those are thrown at you in an effort to get you to "go along"  It is broken down into a number of chapters, each focusing on one aspect of abusive families and how to deal with them.  It provides the Biblical definition of "honoring one's parents", and lets you know that forgiveness does not necessarily equal reconciliation.  Step by step, it guides you through things that may be necessary in order for you to live your life free of the strive and stress caused by emotionally abusive families.

There are real-life examples, many taken from the author's own personal experience.

Pros:  Although this is about dealing with an abusive family or family member, many of the strategies provided could also be used in dealing with an abusive partner, including "No Contact".  All of the steps it spells out as well as the concrete examples of what constitutes emotional abuse are detailed and backed up by Scripture.

Cons:  I was sometimes taken aback at what I perceived as "bitterness" when the author provided her own examples of familial abuse.  At times, I personally just thought to myself, "Oh, my gosh; I understand that they were horrible to you, but that doesn't make it OK to wallow in it."  Having my own emotionally abusive family members, I understand how traumatizing and long-lasting the effects can be, but I don't dwell on it, and when providing examples, I just state the facts and don't go into a diatribe about how terrible this or that person was.  For me, the facts are enough that the person I'm talking to can get the picture without letting myself get upset all over again. .

Wrap-up: In spite of the few times when the author appears to be caught up in reliving the upsets of her own personal struggles, this book would be a valuable resource for anyone dealing with an abusive family or family member.  I know that I could have used something like this when I was struggling to figure out what to do, and I have acquaintances that could definitely benefit or could have benefited from this as well.

It would especially be helpful for Christians, who, in an effort to be "Christ-like", forget that it is not in God's plan for us to associate with evil doers.  We are to rebuke twice, then wipe the dust off.
                                                             
QUOTES:

People who do everything BUT take responsibility for the damage they have caused, admit that their victim was right to be hurt of offended, and do their best to make amends are NOT CHRISTIANS - even if they claim to be.
There is no time limit on how long it should take for you to feel comfortable trusting a former abuser.  If it takes ten years, then so be it.  Feel free to insist on as much time as you need.  Those who try to pressure or rush you have their own agendas, and you should take this as a red flag.

Even a junk-yard dog will eventually show love for you if you treat it with love.  But not an abuser.  Abusers use our feelings for them against us, take advantage of our kindness, and see our patience with their offensive behavior as a weakness to be exploited.  Our love for them makes us vulnerable, desperate and pathetic in their eyes.  It causes them to regard us with scorn and contempt.

Book Rating:   3.0 out of 5 stars

About the Author:  

Sister Renee Pittelli is an Adult Child Recovery Mentor, a victim's advocate, author of The Family Freeloader, and the Founder and Director of Luke 17:3 Ministries for Adult Daughters of Abusive, Controlling or Abandoning Birth-Families. She has written extensively about family abusers, narcissists, sociopaths, their Silent Partners, the Biblical perspective on abuse, setting and enforcing boundaries, Godly confrontation, the myth of forgiveness without repentance, cutting ties with reprobate relatives, maintaining no-contact, and living the life of freedom and peace that the Lord intended for you.

BUY IT:  Through Amazon and other on-and-off-line booksellers

Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of this title through Bostick Communications to facilitate my review. No other compensation was received, and I was not required to write positive review.
Julie

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