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Tears and Healing - The Journey to the Light After an Abusive Relationship
by Richard Skerritt

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Edition: Paperback, 180 pages
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Publisher: Dalkeith Press (2005)
ISBN: Paperback:  1-933369-01-9
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What the experts say / readers say about it. More on detaching , healing , overcoming love , obligation .

Living with a Narcissist? Overcome the love locking you in. Deal with the Abuse
(this essay adapted from Tears and Healing Reflections
with selected pages from Tears and Healing)

Is your partner a narcissist? You may not know how to tell, but even worse, you may be thinking that you are the crazy one. Narcissists work hard to distort our reality to make their reality feel safer.

So what is a narcissist? Someone who preens in front of the mirror all day in admiration? NOT! Ask yourself this: is your partner intensely angered by anything that seems to suggest that he or she might have a flaw? Narcissists will do anything, including brutalizing their own family, to maintain their own feeling that others see them as without any flaws. And, narcissists have extreme and illogical sensitivities, sometimes connecting the most minute observations with their intense fears of being seen as flawed. Narcissists will strain every muscle to meet their own "flawless" image, and demean or destroy anyone or anything who casts any doubt on this image. If you see this dynamic in your partner, family member, coworker, or friend, you are very probably dealing with a narcissist.

Overcome the Love Locking You In

Many of us ended up in unhealthy relationships because, in the beginning, our partners held up a false front. Many of us felt or thought that we had met our soul mate; found the perfect partner; met that one special person in the universe. It's no surprise that we can fall in love with someone like this!

Later, usually after we've made a binding commitment like marriage, or sometimes after the relationship changes due to children being born, a job change, or other major life changes, our partner shows a completely different side. The person who was once perfect now can become angry, demeaning, demanding, and harshly critical. When alcohol or drugs are involved, the substance abuse usually takes a big step up, too.  I talk about this dynamic in my book on disordered behavior, Meaning from Madness. From someone we have deep feelings for, these actions are brutal. Yet we may still have strong feelings of love pulling us to that person. Talk about being torn!

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At some point, many of us realize this situation needs to change, but feelings are not chosen. How can you overcome the love that pulls you to someone who is abusing you?

While you can't turn those feelings off like a switch, you can learn to understand where those feelings come from, and how our minds create them, and then set the stage for new feelings to develop - hopefully toward someone who's better for us. At first this issue was a chapter in my book, Tears and Healing, but it was so important it eventually became its own short book, In Love and Loving It - Or Not!   The really sad part is that our minds create these feelings so that we'll be motivated to engage in a relationship that meets our emotional needs, yet those same feelings can end up locking us in, pulling back again into a broken relationship that just can't fill those needs! Its like a trap, one that we need new understanding to get out of.


Are you in love with someone hurtful?

In Love and Loving it - Or Not! - A User's Guide to Love and Being In-Love explains not just why we fall in love, but why we fall in love with the people we do, the difference between love and being in-love. You can't choose your feelings, but you can set the stage for them to develop with a healthier, happier person. This book explains how. More about this book.
Get it in the Triple Pack, the Relationship Pack, or the Big Storm Pack.

Books are available in packages  at a savings.


Deal with the Abuse

Disordered people aren't just hurtful. They also spin our reality to make theirs less painful. They project their problems onto us, and blame us for what they do. After a while it becomes hard to distinguish what is real from what is being projected and what is being distorted. We begin to doubt our reality and question whether we're the crazy ones. What's more, disordered people hide their problems very effectively, concealing their disease from most people, causing us further confusion.

The truth is, THEY'RE NOT RIGHT. But they feel better when they can get us to carry the burden of their illness and their behavior.

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Dealing with this situation is complex, and people need some idea of "What do I do now that I know this?" For most people, there are important values, beliefs and obligations that have to be carefully thought about. Abusive relationships are very hurtful situations, and significant decisions have to be faced, then resolved. Tears & Healing holds a light up in this dark place. Written from the inside perspective of someone who has been through the hell of being emotionally and verbally battered by a spouse, this book addresses the major issues that we all must wrestle with.

Tears & Healing begins with the most difficult issue: abusive partners constantly work to distort our perception of what is happening and what is right and wrong, until we doubt our own judgment so much we can't make decisions. It then addresses the process of detaching to find safe space and to regain a sense of right and wrong, and searching to understand what we, as people, need in our lives - needs that often must be simply put aside to survive in these brutal situations. It deals with love, and the conflict of being in love with someone hurtful to us. And it addresses the intense feelings of obligation that many of us have, which keep us locked in situations that are beyond what any person should endure. Tears & Healing is an intensely personal and validating guide through this maze of thoughts and emotions. The reader reviews below can give you some sense of how liberating Tears & Healing has been for many, many people.


How Do I Cope with this Abusive Relationship?

Tears and Healing - the Path to the Light after an Abusive Relationship explores the feelings, issues, and decisions that we face in an abusive relationship. Brings out the issues of reconnecting with your reality; detaching from the abusive treatment; understanding how the disorder affects you; dealing with love and attraction; obligation to marriage; and healing the hurt of the abuse. More about this book.

Tears and Healing comes in all our packages  at a savings.


Triple Pack
Start understanding
your abusive intimate Relationship

As I said already, dealing with feelings of love is a huge barrier for many. My book, In Love and Loving It - Or Not! , addresses these issues. It explains how and why we fall in love; what we can do to get out of love with someone hurtful to us; how we can make choices so we are more likely to fall in love with someone good for us; and how being in love relates to the different, chosen actions of loving. Many of the people I help to deal with their abusive situations need this kind of guidance.

After talking personally with many people in phone consultation, I found that people also need a way of making some sense of their abusive partner's actions. Though their actions make no sense from the perspective of a healthy person, there is something inside them that motivates them. After explaining this many times, I wrote a companion book, Meaning from Madness, which explains what makes abusive people act as they do, explains the psychological defense mechanisms they use which cause them to see a different reality than we see, and explains how alcohol and drug use - so painfully common among them - compounds these disordered patterns. I consider Meaning from Madness to be the second essential piece of this puzzle,


What is Narcissism?

Meaning from Madness - Understanding the Hidden Patterns that Motivate Abusers: Narcissists, Borderlines, and Sociopaths explains the simple psychological driving force that defines this disease, the irrational actions of narcissists, their treatment prospects, and the impact of alcohol abuse. It explains the overlap/relationship with borderline personality disorder and sociopathy. More about this book.

Books are available in packages  at a savings.


About the Author

Richard Skerritt is a writer, inventor, engineer, and athlete. A survivor of a marriage that turned abusive, he forged a path through confusion, love, obligation, and emotional damage to safety and truer life. His experience and insight, shared in Tears and Healing, originated in his contributions to online support groups for people in relationships with a partner who has borderline personality disorder. He actively contributed and mentored in these groups for the six years, and continues today. His writing and publishing work now includes six books (see them all here)and he continues to help people through books, daily email messages , and phone consultation. Not a mental health professional, his perspectives and guidance "from the inside out" have been especially relevant for people in abusive relationships.  More information is here.



Are you Divorcing a Narcissist? Or afraid you'll have to?

Surviving the Storm - Strategies and Realities for Divorcing a Narcissist
More about this book


Selected pages from Tears and Healing

Chapter 3; The Disease and You ;You are living with an experience that is painful and confusing. It might be tempting to think that all 
this is the result of your partner’s disease. But in reality you are experiencing the interplay of you and your partner. It is only by understanding how you and your partner function, 
and how you interact, that you can begin to really judge what is happening. With that understanding comes the ability to make informed choices that will improve your well being and happiness.
This chapter is written in the context of borderline personality disorder (BPD). You may see that many of the disordered behaviors described here apply to other problems as well. 
That’s because no one disorder has a monopoly on any unhealthy behavior, and also because many times people have more than one problem at the same time. Again, take what works for 
you and let the rest slide by.
Brainwashing -An unsent Letter  - As part of my struggle to know where reality starts and insanity stops, I wrote this 
letter to my then-wife.  No, I didn’t send it to her. It would only have triggered an angry response, and would never have been forgiven. But I needed to do this to really see the 
true extent of what was happening to me. Dear NECW, Today I am going to write to you about how you are destroying my self-esteem. I’m going to use a description of brainwashing. 
So let me show you how you are doing this to me: -Isolate the victim: This one is clear. -Expose them to consistent messages:  Over and over again, you tell me how I am sick, 
-Add some form of abuse: Your rages are abuse of the first order. And contrary to your assertions, these aren’t new. -Get the person to doubt what they know: This one is one 
you’re getting better at. Now that your therapists have had a look at me, you’re perfectly positioned to bombard with me "credible" assertions about how awful I am. -Keep them 
on their toes: This is your best. You are always unpredictable. Anything can change your mood from stable to threatened. When threatened, you become accusing, critical, and 
often attack me. I never know what is going to happen when I answer my phone, -Wear them down: see all of the above.
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Editorial Reviews of Tears and Healing

Reviewer: J. Paul Shirley, MSW - Co-Author: Stop Walking on Eggshells Workbook 

I highly recommend Richard's book, Tears and Healing. His writing is clear, and although his words are written with gentleness, he pulls absolutely no punches about dealing with the hard facts about BPD and its effects on everyone. Some people say there is a reason for the pain we go through having a partner with BPD, and in Richard's case I agree. He has a gift for lending a helping hand for others trying to walk that painful path. I don't generally get excited about new books on BPD, but Richard's left me feeling good & that's a rare gift for a writer to have.

Reviewer: Sam Vaknin - Author: Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited

There are bookshelves upon bookshelves of professional, scholarly, and utterly inaccessible literature about abusive relationships. Those who need it the most - the traumatized victims - are locked out by the jargon and the lack of practical advice. Recently, survivors and victims have taken matters into their own hands and have published their own books, replete with first hand experiences and tips. Tears and Healing is a fine specimen of such writing: sensitive, attuned to the emotional and pragmatic needs of the survivors, both deep and accessible, a helpful guide to the traumatic aftermath of abuse.

Reviewer: Randi Kreger - Coauthor: Stop Walking on Eggshells and the Stop Walking on Eggshells Workbook; Owner: http://BPDCentral.com .

In Tears and Healing, Richard21CP takes us along on his personal journey from his “lightbulb experience” to making painful decisions about his marriage to a woman with borderline personality disorder. It takes courage for non-BP partners to understand and take responsibility for their own role in the “borderline dance,” and even more courage to write about it. Richard has done both.

Reviewer: Darla Boughton, Manager of Narcissistic Abuse Recovery/Psychopath forum (4000+ members)

Tears and Healing is a must read for anyone involved in a devastating relationship with a personality disordered partner. It is a must-have, top-notch, first-aid kit to understanding the emotional devastation such a relationship causes. The author reveals his first-hand experience and knowledge. Let Richard's words reveal how to reclaim your sanity in an insane interaction with a disordered partner.


Still Struggling to Put the Pieces Together?

Tears and Healing Reflections - Insights on Abuse, the Diseases that Cause It, and the Relationships it Haunts delves deeper into the pain and paradox of an abusive relationship. It explains why we fail to understand even though we struggle; why holidays are so difficult; the relationship between borderline and narcissistic PD; defines abuse in a simple way. If you've been grappling with this difficult experience, this book can help you reach a better understanding.  More about this book.

Tears & Healing Reflections comes in the Relationship, Big Storm, or Richard Skerritt  package at a savings.


Reader Reviews of Tears and Healing

Reviewer: Pamela

I just started reading Richard's book, Tears and Healing. It is excellent. Over the years I have been in and out of the mental health offices of many professionals. I kept wanting to know how to get beyond the hurt, the heart over-ruling my head...how to say enough is enough. As I started reading the pages of this book...for the first time I felt a weight being lifted off of me. Those mental health people hadn't lived with someone with a personality disorder. They couldn't identify with me. So...here's to you Richard. Your book is excellent and I recommend it to anyone who wants to get off this merry-go-round and to start healing their wounds.

Reviewer: Lynn from Massachusetts

I wanted to let you know how much I have appreciated your book, Tears and Healing. It is written with such insight, reflection, and courage. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down- I just received it Thursday afternoon, and was finished with it by Friday morning. My close friend has been trying to "tough it out" with his BPD (borderline personality disorder) wife until the kids are grown. Your book has shed so much light on her condition, the way he has been treated, and the way he has been coping. It also shows that there can be light at the end of the tunnel, if he lets himself listen to his Soul's messages to him.

After reading your book, and seeing that you were able to start a new life away from the stress and abuse of your marriage, my heart feels lighter. My spirit knows what kind of positive intention to hold for my friend- that he listen to his Soul's messages. Again, thank you for the candor, wisdom, and openness of your beautiful and empowering book. I know that many lives have been and are going to be touched, healed, and inspired because of it.

Reviewer: Cobalt

I originally hesitated to buy your book, because I thought it was geared to those ready to leave their borderline (personality disorder) partner. I think I feared being influenced to leave when I wasn't ready, a sure sign of my shaky boundaries. But I bought it, read it and feel I have benefited tremendously. A wet noodle, such as I, needed to hear it laid out plain: you're being abused and this is what happens to your psyche while you're being abused!. As a result of reading your book, other boundaries books, and my support group, that little washed out me is starting to stand up. I am working toward becoming the person I want to be in OR out of this relationship. There has been no miracle here, just a firmer awareness that I can teach him how I want to be treated. If he can't accept the stronger me, then so be it. At least I will know I have done everything I could to stay healthy while staying with my borderline husband. Thank you for writing your book, Richard. It is empathic and inspiring.

Reviewer: Kathy

Richard, I received your book on Friday. I began reading and finished it Saturday. It was absolutely wonderful! My husband and I are both dedicated Christians. I have been abused for over 23 years of the marriage but I was "committed" and "obligated" due to religious reasons as you addressed. Finally, I heard on a Christian radio station that if sex between a couple was not mutual then it wasn't right. I thought I had been the "submissive" dutiful Christian wife, but I had not had anyone to talk to and so did not know. I began seeing a therapist who was great and validated my feelings. She was a Christian, too.  I found out that my husband had a personality disorder. After gallons of tears over the years - like you, I tear up over simple things, music, the National Anthem, tender things - I finally became strong enough to see an attorney. I filed for divorce in May of this year. I am now seeing another therapist (a Christian, too) who is supportive as well.

I know it will take a lot of time to heal. I have begun, but true healing will only begin when I can finally be totally away from him. Thank you so much for your book. I have highlighted so many of the pages. And I will be reading them over and over again.

Reviewer: Denise

Richard,   Gratefully, I found your book using a search for Al-Anon. I have done extensive forms of inner-work and am intimately familiar with 12-step recovery programs.  Yet, I have found myself experiencing feelings in my current, soon to be past, relationship that I have not been able to understand or reference.The excerpts from your book, unlike most, reached out and grabbed a part of my soul that is searching for answers and understanding.The depth, as well as the honesty, with which you address the issues and feelings of living in an abusive relationship spoke to me in a way I haven't heard in a while.What I appreciated the most is the level of responsibility you encourage your reader to take in the journey of healing.Thank you for that.Amidst the anger and the anxiety, I hear the calling to learn more and love myself on a much deeper level than I have in the 13 years I have been on the path to wholeness.Thank you for your resonating messages of truth and wisdom, support and care.


Are you Divorcing a Narcissist? Or afraid you'll have to?

Surviving the Storm - Strategies and Realities for Divorcing a Narcissist explains how to form a strategy that uses the frightening power of your spouse's illness to move you toward - not away from - settlement. It also gives you information you need, like the risks to children of narcissistic parents, help dealing with the moral issues of divorce, and healing the damage from the abuse you've suffered. More about this book.

Surviving the Storm is in the Small Storm , Big Storm , or Skerritt   packages at a savings.


Big Storm Pack
5 Books to Understand and Cope with Divorcing a Narcissist

 Books on Abusive Relationships by
Richard Skerritt 


Why They
do It

Meaning from
Madness - $20
Your Feelings
and Decisions

Tears and Healing - $20
Overcoming
Love

In Love and Loving
It - or Not! - $14
Seeing the
Big Picture

Tears & Healing
Reflections - $24
Surviving
Divorce

Surviving the
Storm - $24
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