Nonfiction book about recovering from domestic abuse?
May 18, 2014 10:43 AM   Subscribe

I read the article linked to in the metafilter post "Who gets to graduate," which showed "Inception"-like evidence of the power of exposing someone to a simple idea in shifting their thought processing and hence life choices. This made me think that it would probably behoove me to use this trick to help myself move forward in my desired direction of being a trusting, compassionate person who can feel a bond with people I meet and not a disdainful, broken asshole who sees people as convenient resources rather than potential friends.So I would like to find a nonfiction, first person account of someone's recovery from domestic abuse (or other traumatic event, I suppose). Bonus: Writing which included wry, dark or acerbic humor would be completely awesome. Thanks, as always.
posted by FiveSecondRule to Human Relations (12 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
The Book of Joe by Jonathan Tropper
posted by Bentobox Humperdinck at 11:47 AM on May 18, 2014

Augusten Burroughs - "running with scissors" & "dry"
posted by St. Peepsburg at 12:13 PM on May 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

Interestingly there aren't a lot of these accounts out there. Being a survivor is hard and there are few of us who are willing to publish accounts with our real names attached. I'd actually suggest looking through some questions here on Ask for some good first-hand accounts in the comments. Try looking at the "abuse" tag for a start.
posted by sockermom at 1:35 PM on May 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

+1 Augesten Burroughs. I also highly recommend "This Is How".
posted by pazazygeek at 2:14 PM on May 18, 2014

There is a whole genre of these types of books, usually kept together in bookshops as inspirational memoirs, or dubbed 'misery lit'.

The quality really varies in terms of literary craft and the reason for the writer moving past surviving, as well as the trauma. For instance, The Kiss by Kathryn Harrison was incredibly moving and helpful to me, even though the specifics of her trauma didn't map to mine, but her emotional struggles did. One of my kids has read and re-read Ugly and its sequel repeatedly. Alice Walker's The Colour Purple is a classic for this, although it's a novel.

I think your best bet is to go to the memoir section in a library or bookshop and browse until you find a writer who speaks to you. They may have a cheesy cover (soft focus flower petals falling, silhouette of woman staring at camera) and blurbs with multiple exclamation points, but read the first few pages to decide. There is something very powerful about reading an account of pain and surviving and getting to the point of being able to write about that is basically someone leaning down and saying, hey I lived this too, and I got to the end of the story, and you will too.
posted by viggorlijah at 8:18 PM on May 18, 2014

Another vote for Augusten Burroughs. Also Nick Flynn's Another Bullshit Night in Suck City.
posted by headnsouth at 8:29 PM on May 18, 2014

The 'psycho ex game' is pretty good.
posted by tanktop at 3:05 AM on May 19, 2014

(ie psychopathic not psychotic).
posted by tanktop at 3:05 AM on May 19, 2014

For recovery from trauma, try "I had brain surgery, what's your excuse?" (Does what it says on the tin).
posted by endless_forms at 7:21 AM on May 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

Black and Blue, by Anna Quindlen
posted by mmiddle at 8:11 AM on May 19, 2014

A Child Called "It" was the first book that came to mind.
posted by SisterHavana at 2:19 PM on May 19, 2014

I enjoyed listening to Attempting Normal by Marc Maron (though I'd strongly advise listening to the sample to determine if you can stand Maron's voice - you may prefer to read it instead)
posted by Wyeldfire at 12:33 PM on May 20, 2014

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