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Meaning from Madness
Understanding the Hidden Patterns that Motivate Abusers: Narcissists, Borderlines, and Sociopaths
by Richard Skerritt

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e-book and softcover

Why Do They Do What They Do?

When I consult with people trying to deal with abusive relationships, I spend a good portion of the time helping them understand which disorder(s) they're dealing with, what defense mechanisms their disordered partner is using that cause much of their behavior, and the impact of alcohol or drug abuse on top of the disorder. After a while the light went on: "I should write a book!"

This is that book. It lays out three essential phenomenon that everyone needs to understand. First, I give my own essential dynamic for each of borderline, narcissistic, and antisocial (sociopathic) personality disorder. This is the underlying psychological stress that drives each disorder. Unlike the lists of "criteria" that are norally used to define each of these disorders, I reduce each disorder to one key motivating dynamic that I believe can reliably help to identify and understand.

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Second, I describe the psychological defense mechanisms that are most often used by these people to try to stabilize their distorted reality and maintain their perception of safety. These distortions of reality, of which the disorderd person is unaware, are a major cause of confustion for us. Third, I describe the significant impact that alcohol and drug use have when added to an underlying personality disorder. This frequent "comorbid" problem can confound and confuse if you don't understand how it interplays with the disorder. 

book is designed specifically for people who are trying to understand and deal with an abusive relationship. It covers all three of the disorders that we see over and over in online support groups for people in abusive situations. It's not focused on a particular disorder and so it doesn't oversell one, as some single-disorder books do. It's a practical collection of real peoples' experience, and it reflects the reality that almost all abusers have a narcissistic dynamic - at least some of the time. And most abusers have some elements of other disorders as well. This is why I call these three personality disorders the abusive disorders, and in actuality most abusers have some elements of each.

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.

Light Bulb Pack
Start understanding
your abusive intimate Relationship

Sometimes people tell me "Oh, I've already read a lot about narcissism/borderline. I don't need another book." But Meaning from Madness is different. Other authors repeat the confusing diagnostic criteria, or they talk about narcissists with such a broad brush that it would seem that almost anyone you don't like could be narcissistic. In Meaning from Madness, I teach you fundamental driving forces that drive these disorders.

Once you understand what is going on at basic level in your disordered partner's mind, you can start to put everything else in perspective. In other words, I don't just assure you that you're dealing with someone who is sick, I help you understand how the person is sick, and give you a framework to understand why they do the things they do. This understanding empowers you to separate yourself from the disorder; to say no to the blame game that disordered people use. It empowers you to stand your ground on your reality.

If you've read my other books you know I don't waste words, and this small book will be a tremendous help to everyone trying to deal with the raging, control, distortion, demands, and despair of an abusive situation.

Richard Skerritt, author
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Reader Comments on Meaning from Madness

Reviewer: Chrissy
I found your writings to be forth right; offering clear explanations that somehow led me to accept that the relationship I was in was NOT ALL MY FAULT. I found the closure I needed through the clear, concise verbiage of the mindset of the damaged individual I was with. I found solice in Meaning in Madness- although not what I wanted to learn...I already knew so many aspects of the disordered personality from personal experience. I thank you.... For closure, for assisting in my moving forward, for helping me NOT TO RETURN, and for being honest!

Reviewer: Laura
I just wanted to take a moment to tell you how absolutely spectacular your book is! I have read it twice already and in all seriousness, I have lent it out approximately 12 times and every time people come back with a better understanding of a loved one and ask me where they can purchase their own copy! Thank you for this book! It isn't just DSM criteria and it isn't just opinions. It is so comprehensive on every level!!! More people should know about this book!!! Thank you

Reviewer: Luann
Richard, I wish I had read your book years before now. The night I sat and read your book, I was overwhelmed with relief, frustration and anger. I found what you talked about in your book to be true...that narcissistic people don't "love" themselves… and this was always very confusing to me when I tried to apply it to my husband. In some ways he acts like he does but, your analysis was dead on. I finally understand the person I am living with. The sad part about this sickness is that no one else sees what I see and feel living with him. I've tried to explain it to my family but, I never felt like they believed me. It is a disease that is "madness" as you say for the victims.
Thank you so much for writing this book and revealing the truth about these disorders.

Reviewer: Helen
Richard, I can't thank you enough for putting your Meaning from Madness findings into print. My 17 and 13 year old daughters and I have been helped tremendously by your book. My nearly ex-husband displays every narcissistic trait you describe. Now it makes so much sense, the person he showed me before we were committed was so different, then much worse when married. My parents are Narcissistic too, but cave in at times to pathetic Borderline characters - with Dad dependant on mum. Thank you, I've gained so much clarity on my ex-husband and parents, and stopped asking 'why' on so many things.

Reviewer: Mary Beth
I am the daughter of an NPD mother. I finished Meaning from Madness the same day I received it. It is absolutely excellent and so very, very helpful. The best user-friendly writing on the subject I have ever found, bar none.

Reviewer: Brenda
I was in an abusive marriage for over 30 years. I just want you to know how many times I have sent the name of this book (as well as your other books) to people who do not know what to do. The information is priceless. Thank you.

Reviewer: Janet
I want to thank you for the information that literally helped save me. On my darkest days your writing gave me the strength to hang on to what I knew was the right path. You helped me to understand that, even though I felt strong feelings of love for someone that led me to hope, he was unlikely to change.  Your words turned my feelings into thoughts, and those thoughts into actions. 

A year and a half later, I am living a truly authentic life.  As you told me in your writing, it took time along with the sustained positive input of the good people that surround me. Thank you, Richard, for doing what you do so well.  I am forever grateful.

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MfM Contents1MfM Contents2

Relationship Pack
4 Books to Understand and Deal with a Disordered Other
by Richard Skerritt

$90.00 -Softcover -
 by mail
$90.00 -E-book -
 by email, immediately
$108.00 -Quick-Pack -
e-book and softcover

Author's Comments 

Abuse is when someone else hurts us to serve their own needs and uses the situation to lock us in and maintain control. Abuse can be physical, emotional, verbal or sexual. My own experience was being verbally and emotionally abused. I consider my experience to be particularly brutal because my abuser sought not just control, but to emotionally destroy me.

But no matter the type or intensity of experience, I believe anyone currently in or having escaped from an abusive situation can benefit from my approaches. I worked hard to understand why I felt trapped and how I could escape. I read and studied many books on psychology and relationships. I pieced together the best ideas from these and added insight and models of my own. I've shared my experience and approaches as a mentor in online support communities since 2000. Hundreds of people in these groups have shared with me how unique and helpful my insights are. And thousands more have read and benefited from my online writings.

Getting yourself out of an abusive situation and healing the damage it has done are not small tasks. It takes time and energy. But you also need guidance in what to work on, because abusive partners deliberately distort our reality to serve their sick needs. My books, combined with continued dialog in support communities, can provide that critical compass to navigate the dark passages until the light breaks through.

I wish you good luck and Godspeed.

Richard Skerritt

 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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