“I have to leave.” My own thoughts echoed Natalie Appleton’s in her memoir I Have Something to Tell You as I lay awake every night in the same bed far away from the person who was causing me so much pain.
This has been on my mind and in my heart for a long time, and I’ve been hurt and twisted by it, Appleton wrote. “I have no choice but to comply with your request. “I must leave as soon as possible.”
‘I Have Something To Tell You’ by Natalie Appleton
Should I Stay or Should I Go? by Lundy Bancroft and JAC Patrissi caught my eye as I perused the self-help section of a bookshop looking for answers. Because I was embarrassed to be seen buying a book about relationships, I also purchased a second book. When you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship, you’re more likely to feel humiliated, it turns out.
The fact that my lover didn’t value my independence or confidence in the things I could achieve made me doubt my self-perception as an independent, self-assured woman. If my friends had asked why I was staying, I couldn’t come up with an answer that made sense. For a long time, my pals didn’t know that I was in need of their help.
Now I’m not ashamed. I’m not sure if I should stay or go. made it possible for me to depart with the self-assurance I required. It answered every question I had and concentrated on emotionally abusive relationships, not simply those that were unsatisfactory. This book was the first to provide me with the vocabulary and context necessary to comprehend what was taking place.
‘Should I Stay Or Should I Go?: A Guide To Knowing If Your Relationship Can — And Should — Be Saved’ by Lundy Bancroft & JAC Patrissi
All of the questions I’d been asking myself when something went wrong — don’t all partnerships have problems? — had now been answered. Is there something I’m overlooking? What if I was overreacting? These questions—Is he serious?—were addressed in Bancroft and Patrisi’s book. A very low-cost but highly successful therapy session: the book was a neutral third party that helped me work through my feelings, assured and helped me realize what I was experiencing was unhealthy. “Respect must be shown to you, “Bancroft and Patrissi are both authors. “You should never have to put up with your partner calling you names, making fun of you, or humiliating or mocking you in an argument. Period. The fact that he’s had a horrible day or decade, he’s intoxicated, he’s under financial hardship, he’s irate with you, or that he thinks you disrespected him doesn’t matter; it’s irrelevant. A lack of respect is just unacceptable. It’s never too late to try anything else. When I read this book, I didn’t know what these lines meant until I saw them in context in the context of this book.
‘How To Be A Person In The World’ by Heather Havrilesky
I read Mandy Len Catron’s How to Fall in Love with Anyone while traveling to a friend’s vacation wedding. In Catron’s first line, “In early 2010, I signed a declaration of marriage to a man I was contemplating of leaving,” I recognized the sentiment of Appleton’s “I have to go.” Throughout Catron’s memoir, their connection dominates the narrative, from their first meeting to their eventual breakup.
As a result of reading Catron’s narrative of how lonely she felt after splitting up with a man who, like Appleton’s boyfriend, was not appropriate for her, I was able to identify with her.
A little mystery in the process of falling in love doesn’t bother us, adds Catron. I believe we actually prefer it.” However, the conclusions differ. When a relationship ends, we want to know “why.”
‘How To Fall In Love With Anyone’ by Mandy Len Catron
Here, I was supposed to be the one who dumped her, not the one who was wailing and pleading with her partner to tell her why he was leaving her. Despite this, I remained eager for an explanation. I wasn’t being unreasonable or misinterpreting the situation, as I later learned when I realized I was in an emotionally abusive relationship.
When I told him I was leaving, there was nothing he could do to change my mind, I felt a wave of relief wash over me and I walked away, never to return.
‘Gaslighting: Recognize Manipulative and Emotionally Abusive People–and Break Free’ by Dr. Stephanie Sarkis
I was browsing a bookshop over a year after I ended my relationship when I came across a bright yellow cover with the word “gaslighting” on it. I would have bought this book immediately if it had been available when I was debating whether or not to stay. It was published in October of last year. We often say, “It’s not you, it’s me,” when we’re trying to get over a breakup, but the author Dr. Stephanie Sarkis’ variant, “Is it me, or are you making me think it’s me?” was just what I needed.
In the end, these five books gave me the courage to seek out a better relationship for myself — and I hope they do the same for you.
Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith
Melinda and Vic Van Allen, a couple so enraged by their loathing for one other that they play mind games that lead to murder, is my favorite of Highsmith’s toxic relationship tales. A brilliant depiction of how disastrously a marriage may go awry.
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
This is one of the best descriptions of gaslighting you will ever read, so don’t believe anyone who says it’s a love tale. We begin to realize that Max de Winter is far from what he appears to be, taking joy in dominating and ruining the lives of both his wives, culminating in a devastating conclusion as to what really happened to Rebecca in this wonderful novel. This is particularly significant in that it reveals how we view and attribute responsibility for bad relationships to women.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Our present fascination with unreliable narrators and plot twists can’t be discussed without referencing this essential novel, which reignited our interest in poisonous relationships. When this book came out seven years ago, it was absolutely stunning to have everything we thought we knew about Nick and Amy flipped on its head in the middle of the novel. It’s impossible to root for either of these characters, which is why the closing moment is so unsettling when we realize that they’ve both come to the worst conclusion they could have hoped for.