A few days ago I read a memoir so important, so effective, and so deeply moving that I feel compelled to tell you about it:
“The Other Side of Charm: Your Memoir,” by author, psychotherapist and psychopath survivor H.G. Beverly.
I’ve read many books on the subject of psychopathic abuse, but none even comes close to exposing the diabolical minds of these predators, the inner workings of their manipulation, or the harm suffered by their victims, to the degree this book does. Not even close. Beverly, writing in her unique and shockingly effective style, conveys her experience in a way that takes it to another level, one that’s infinitely deeper and darker than any other memoir I’ve read.
Beverly grabs you on page one and takes you into the psychological pressure cooker with her, closes the lid, and turns it on high. If you’ve already been there, she takes you back again.
I found out quickly why the book’s subtitle is “Your Memoir.” As she so effectively illustrates her abusive partner’s modus operandi and the effect it had on her, I clearly saw my ex and myself within her words. I felt it. All over again. Viscerally and emotionally. The bewilderment, the disbelief, the shock, the pain and the sadness came rushing back, raw and real. I couldn’t put it down, yet sometimes it was too much and I had to. When I did, I realized I had barely been breathing.
Through her words, she told my own story in a way I never could. Although the details may differ, this is the personal memoir of every survivor.
Not being a parent, it gave me a deep appreciation for what parents experience, how children are manipulated and used as pawns, and for the legal nightmare many are dragged into, sometimes for one exhausting year after the next. The travesty of justice she experienced was mind-blowing and tied my already vaguely nauseated stomach into a hard tangle of knots.
WARNING: This book will trigger you. Also, it contains some graphic and heartbreaking accounts of animal abuse.
Every therapist, lawyer, judge, guardian, and anyone potentially involved with psychopaths and/or their victims needs to read this book. Even if you choose not to read it, please give a copy to your therapist or lawyer or pastor or friend. I will be sending a copy to my former therapist, and hope she will pass it on to others. It’s just that important. So many people who really need to be aware remain in the dark, to the great detriment of the victims. I believe this book can make a difference.
Here are a few excerpts from the first chapter:
“You will fall in love. Your love will come to you from the southeast in some kind of subtle-sparkle-smoke fog coming in through the cracks around your door sweeping across the room to you there where you’ll be reading on your sofa he’ll be reaching his hands down around your waist filling your eyes with his glow so intense that you will not keep yourself from looking over and away. Lids half closed to shield your eyes. Your love will not be able to stay away will come to you in the morning and in the afternoon and in the evening and in the middle of the night your love will wake you from a dream with strong coffee will relax your rigid bones with a glass of wine will make you wonder why you’ve been working so hard all this time you’ll watch him coming toward you and his smoke will serenade your heart so this is passion…
…You won’t have known what it could be what might happen in your heart when the sparks start flying to the sky when the light show creates a fog and you won’t have known what love could feel like to be lost what the smoke might do to your heart all engulfed in that glittering, hazy mist no time to come up for air you won’t even bother trying. You won’t have known what it could be until it finds its way in through the cracks and then you’ll know that nothing was like this before so this is the one there’s no way of saying no when God sends you the smoke you don’t question your destiny.
You won’t question your destiny.”
Be sure to visit H.G. Beverly’s blog for some excellent articles. If you do read the book, or if you’ve already read it, please share your thoughts by leaving a comment. Thank you.