I have gotten to know Stella Eden over Twitter over the last half a year if not longer. We both have passion to bring awareness to domestic abuse and involve ourselves in the sector. I was delighted to receive a signed copy of her book The Right To Be Me. I have had it quite a few months with not having the time to set aside but alas I have finished it and read it in the last month.
A harrowing tale of a woman’s struggle to free herself from the clutches of an abusive marriage. With a childhood that consisted of sexual abuse and emotional blackmail, she carves out a life for herself as a podiatrist – a dream she’s had since childhood. Seeking the love and validation she never received as a child, she falls for the deeply manipulative, but attentive, Damian, who is to become her husband for the next eighteen years. After a lifetime of low self-esteem and a non-existent self-image she finally realises that her life is in mortal danger if she doesn’t make her escape. The nightmare is far from over as Damian proves himself willing to go to any lengths to prevent her from finding a new and happy life without him.
I read The Right To Be Me over the course of a month. Like any book that contains such horrific treatment of a person I chose when to read material like this, it is important for my own emotional wellbeing. I would be mindful if you were to read this as well, it is important to look after yourself.
Stella came across as confident in her writing and not fearful, she went into detail about what Damian had put her through and how he had managed to manipulate his own family and even services against her. I have to admit it is not an easy read at times but it makes you feel the hurt and reality of what can happen behind closed doors. Again another eye widening book that is important to the awareness of domestic abuse. I felt disgusted with Damian and I wanted to step into the book and help, I couldn’t believe how the police handled the situation.
I got to about half way through the book and there was a very large chapter, I struggled with this in particular as I felt there wasn’t a break and I do believe it could have been broken up. However it doesn’t take away from the aim or the purpose of the book.
I decided to award it 5/5 stars because of the courage it takes to write your own personal experiences down especially those that may put you at risk in itself. The bravery Stella has shines through as you read on through the book and she should be very proud of her achievement. I know it will be a book I won’t forget and I have a resounding respect for Stella, even more then I had before.
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