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 Books on Abusive Relationships by Richard Skerritt 
Why They
do It

Meaning from
Madness - $20
Your Feelings
and Decisions

Tears and
Healing - $24

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

Tears & Healing
Reflections - $24

Surviving the
Storm - $24
Patterns of

The Hypervigilant
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Richard Skerritt - Author and Publisher

Who is that masked man?

Like you probably are, I was just a person making my way through life until the trauma of abuse shattered the small remaining pretense of a happy life. By training I'm an engineer, and have 25 years experience working with computers, controls, and chemical processes. I also hold a graduate certificate in sport psychology - an interest I've yet to build into a vocation. But more important to you, I'm an author, publisher, bookseller, and book promoter with a unique understanding of abuse, the relationships that it haunts, and the diseases that cause it. My work is entirely focused on helping those of us who are victims of abuse - mostly through marriage - and have suffered abusive treatment from someone suffering with what I call the abusive disorders: borderline, narcissistic, or antisocial personality disorder (aka sociopathy.)

Over the last 10 plus years, I've become expert in understanding the familial experience of these disorders. Since 2000, I've particpated in online support groups for those living with a disordered person. By 2002, I had a busy website where I collected my writings from my own experiences, and from helping others deal with theirs. For a time, I ran a group of my own, which grew so fast it became unmanageable for me. I published my first book, Tears and Healing, in 2004. Two more followed shortly, filling the obvious need people had for help with feelings of love (In Love and Loving It - or Not!) and with understanding the crazy behavior they faced (Meaning from Madness).

After many interactions with readers and consulting clients, my perspectives have deepened. You'll find these, which include my most insightful perspectives on these diseases and the experience of living with them, is in Tears and Healing Reflections. As clients continue to seek help with the challenging problem of divorcing a narcissist, I've developed approaches that can help turn the energy of the disease toward a settlement and away from contention and destruction. These are hardly foolproof, but offer at least a chance of survival, and I've now published these in Surviving the Storm. Still, I too often found myself explaining something, then saying, "I haven't written about that yet." From this came my comprehensive view of personality disorder and abuse: The Hypervigilant Personality.

I also began offering consulting by telephone. This, above other input, has most shaped my understanding not just of the experience of living with an abusive partner, but the disease process that drives abusive people. It is these highly interactive discussions that have forged my thinking about disease. My challenge in consulting is to make sense of peoples' experiences. I have to offer a mechanism to explain what is happening, and it has to work for the person I'm consulting with.

This has led me to a belief that most aggressive, abusive behavior comes from narcissism; not borderline PD or sociopathy (antisocial PD). In fact, I believe that borderline PD and narcissistic PD are actually caused by the same underlying psychological dynamic: a fear of others finding fault. I believe that poor coping leads to behavior we call borderline, while at other times this dynamic leads to building a more stable defensive structure - one the disordered person protects viciously using abuse - which we consider narcissistic. I believe that few victims of prolonged abuse are actually victimized by sociopaths.

Occasionally, a book order is flung back at me with a dismissive, "I thought this was written by a professional." Well, save the postage; I'm no professional. But my insight is a lot more clear and complete than most mental health professionals will ever achieve. Moreover, I make no pretense of treating anyone with a personality disorder. My work is focused on helping those who live with these people, and it's intensely practical and based in experience; not theories. There are lots of books by people with PhD or even MSW after their names. But mine are among the most helpful that many of my readers can find.

With that, I offer this list of education, experience, and qualifications:

I'm not a psychologist nor a licensed mental health care provider. I do not diagnose or treat mental illness. The personal consulting I offer is a consultation with someone with expertise, not treatment. I recommend everyone consulting with me should take advantage of counseling or therapy from a professional caregiver.

Richard Skerritt is a pen name, not my real name.

I see most of the email sent to me. I often can give short answers on subjects not covered in my books. If you haven't read my books, don't send me questions on subjects that are covered by them - I do not respond to these. I can be reached at this address: combine my first and last name without spaces, the @ sign, and dalkeithpress.com.

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