I really, truly wanted to like this book. The subject of narcissistic abuse from a Christian perspective is so important and there are very few resources to support women who are awakening to the understanding that they are being abused in this way. Sadly, there are even fewer resources to educate pastors & Christian counselors who should be supporting brave women who come forward as victims but often further traumatize out of ignorance. There were some helpful validations and it was beneficial to hear how common these narcissistic relationships are. I especially appreciated the final chapters which gave constructive guidance on steps toward healing, wholeness and freedom from the torture of narcissistic abuse.
The main problem I had with this book was that it couldn't make up its mind about who its audience was. It seemed from the title that it was written for hurting women, from an expert in abuse recovery, to encourage them to understand their situations and make choices that lead to their safety. In truth, the book fluctuates from being directed toward the victims to giving hard hitting, judgemental advice to the leaders that should be helping them and then throughout, seeming to focus far too much on glorifying the wit and wisdom in the dialogue of the doctor between his many patients. This books' description of the narcissist was also very narrow, describing him only as a successful, career-focused vain and selfish person when there are many other types of narcissists including those who become lazier and more selfish over time, racking up debt, siphoning household funds for affairs & other selfish pursuits while avoiding work or contributing to the family like the plague. While I commend the writer's goal of educating leaders, this book is not clearly written for them and likely would not ever end up in their hands. The whole section of the book challenging the patriarchal structures of today's church is valid but misplaced. The writer should consider writing a whole other book targeted at & marketed to the men & leaders who should be holding one another accountable and should be trained to recognize this kind of abuse, so they can support the emancipation of its victims and hold their sinful and abusive husbands accountable. As a victim, I felt triggered and upset by Dr. Dawson's chapters toward pastors, I really do hope in a later edition, this is removed but is put into another book.I stuck through this audiobook right to the end and the last few chapters were valuable, I must say though, listening to it was not easy. The obnoxiously detailed dialogue exchanges between the doctor and his many clients, including the "he said, I said, she said, I laughed, she sighed" descriptions honestly might be tolerable to read oneself in a book, but, with the excruciatingly over-dramatic and over-enunciated narration, this book was so difficult to listen to. Think twice about this book, I feel like this writer has a lot of wisdom and experience to share and his Christian perspective was valuable but the structure, editing and narration of this edition was confusing and frustrating. I hope he gets a new editor and tries again. I and many other victims of this kind of abuse really need the help his unique perspective could give. I am most frustrated that I can't recommend this book but I really wish I could.
This book is good for all audiences. We all know of a person or two who is struggling with a narcissist or has been in an emotionally controlling relationship. We can even have friends that are narcissistic. I would highly recommend this book for everyone.
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