Sunday, 26 August 2018

#BlogTour Signs in the Rearview Mirror: Leaving A Toxic Relationship Behind by Kelly Smith

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour Signs in the Rearview Mirror by Kelly Smith. It's an autobiographical account of her struggle to recognise and extract herself from an abusive relationship.

About the Author
Boston born and raised, Kelly now makes her home in Austin with her three sons and one amazing Giant Schnauzer Bullseye. Kelly has written for Huffington Post, blogs at Thoughts Becoming Words, and hosts a podcast, Lets Get Wicked Deep.

Follow @kellys_author @sunnydaypub on Twitter
Connect with Kelly Marie Smith, Author on Facebook
Buy Signs in the Rearview Mirror

About the book
What kind of person ends up in a toxic relationship? And why does she stay? This searingly honest novel answers both those questions head-on. Coming out of a failing marriage, Kelly turns to Gabe out of fear of being alone. Her gradual slide into danger is at once terrifying and inevitable, and the steps she takes to get out of it will both inspire and offer hope.

This is the story of Kelly Smith. It's an autobiographical account of her experiences in an abusive relationship, but it is also in a way an attempt to apologise for her own failings in her relationships.

It is incredibly hard to admit to your own mistakes or wrong paths taken in your life. Smith does so to a certain extent, but there is either an attempt to shield or a refusal to dive too deeply. I can understand both of those reasons. It's hard enough to share your mistakes with the world without opening up your soul,so complete strangers can have a good look around.

Shame, blame and guilt walk hand in hand with fear, anger and a sense of powerlessness when you end up in an abusive relationship, especially when you involve children in such a dangerous situation. You can't take back the impressions, the experiences or indeed the impactof experiencing or being around abuse has on a young mind. It's important to note, and the author does at the very beginning of this book, that this is the story from her perspective. Her children will have a completely different view on her choices and why she chose Gabe over her safety and their safety over and over again.

Abusive relationships are hard for outsiders to understand. There are a lot of misconceptions about why the abused stays and also the level of support there is depending on where you live.

I think it is very important to note that the author acknowledges, albeit in a less focused way, her own abusive behaviour towards her first husband. The way she treats the people she loves/loved is through her own frame of references. Her own references were determined by the volatile and loveless relationship with her own mother, and her father the alcoholic.

On a side note it's interesting that Smith holds fonder memories of the abusive drunk, and is more antagonistic towards the mother who lived with the abusive drunk. Has she inadvertently reproduced a scenario where she gives her children reason to dislike her choices, her narcissistic tendencies and indeed is herself the volatile verbally abusive person she saw in her own mother.

The author talks a lot about the how and why of ending up in a relationship with Gabe has been steered by her own sense of insecurity and lack of self-worth. For me this is closure. The end of this chapter in her life, and in a way the written word may make it more real and definitive for her. Kudos to the author for finally extracting herself from an abusive and damaging relationship, and for trying to comprehend the damage it caused. The most important thing is acknowledging and then being strong enough to cut the ties that bind.

I think it is commendable to try and break the cycle. To try and change the habits of a lifetime and to try and move forward. None of it is a guarantee that your loved ones will forgive or forget, but perhaps everyone can find a way forward.

The author needed to see the cycle to be able to break out of it and I hope she continues to search and grow from her epiphanies. It's an honest read, albeit a hard one at times.

Buy Signs in the Rearview Mirror at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Buy Signs in the Rearview Mirror at Amazon com
Paperback version Kindle version
Publisher: Sunny Day Publishing, Pub. date: April 2018

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