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Getting it Through My Thick Skull: Why I Stayed, What I Learned, and What Millions of People Involved With Sociopaths Need to Know
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Getting it Through My Thick Skull: Why I Stayed, What I Learned, and What Millions of People Involved With Sociopaths Need to Know

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  227 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
Mary Jo Buttafuoco's anonymous life as a suburban wife and mother in sleepy Massapequa, New York, on Long Island, ended in May 1992, when she was shot in the head on her own front porch. The 'Long Island Lolita' saga sparked a media frenzy that has not died to this day. As the years passed and Mary Jo steadfastly stood by her man while Joey Buttafuoco and Amy Fisher contin ...more
Hardcover, 255 pages
Published July 21st 2009 by Health Communications (first published July 1st 2009)
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Feb 25, 2010 Leeanna rated it really liked it
Getting It Through My Thick Skull, by Mary Jo Buttafuoco

I was pretty young when the infamous "Long Island Lolita" case took over the media, and I didn't remember any of the movies or coverage or interviews, so I went into this book with fresh eyes, and read an engaging, inspiring story.

Mary Jo's incredibly honest about her life with Joey, from their early dysfunctional and yet happy marriage, when he first started exhibiting signs of being a sociopath. Only she didn't know it at the time, and wa
Oct 21, 2009 Shelley rated it it was ok
I found the book kind of agravating - not sure Joey Buttafuco is a sociopath - more like a dry addict. I'm glad Mary Jo Buttafuco has recovered and is happy but I don't think she was as much a victim of Joey Buttafuco as she wants to believe and wants us to believe. She blames him for many events that she willingly participated in. I'm the first one to defend and root for someone who has been victimized but I get annoyed when someone wants to blame someone else for all of the repercussions of th ...more
Dec 03, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it
This book popped up in my “recommendations” one day. It was on sale, so I figured why not? I was pleasantly surprised. actually really liked this book. I found it well written and I finished it in 2 days.
Mar 17, 2011 Kelly rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011-non-fiction
This part was missing:
What Millions of People Involved with Sociopaths Need to Know
Kim V
Aug 20, 2009 Kim V rated it really liked it
“Stand by your man
And tell the world you love him
Keep giving all the love you can
Stand by your man.”

Stand By Your Man by Tammy Wynette

Mary Jo Buttafuoco stood by her man through sex, drugs, and an assailant’s bullet. And all she got in return was more of the same from her charming, but soulless husband, Joey, and scorn from the world. Before there were the O.J.-Nicole-Ron and the Scott-Laci-Amber sagas, there was the Amy Fisher-Joey and Mary Jo Buttafuoco triangle. While the who- done- it part
Jun 29, 2012 Karen rated it it was amazing
Mary Jo Buttafuoco attempts to answer the question on millions of minds: What took her so long to leave Joey? She answers it. Kind of. Still not sure what took her soooo long and why she believed all the shit Joey shoveled for so many years. But Mary Jo has come a long way. She's finally gotten on with her life. Her story is fascinating; I could not put this book down.

I've read many reviews of this book. Not everyone is convinced Joey is a sociopath. From what Mary Jo says, I believe he is. A so
There's no such thing as Sociopaths, just really bad people. Unfortunately bad people can be very good at manipulating. Interesting story with some good lessons to be learned. Pray the children have learned from the parents mistakes and are not destined to repeat.
Sep 26, 2016 MissLoveReadingBooks rated it it was amazing
I read this book in less than 3 days because I couldn't wait to get through it. I found myself feeling so sorry for Mary Jo. She went through so much with Joey but still stuck by his side. She thought she was doing the right thing by graduating high school and marrying Joey, her parents were always hard on her because she was a bit of a wild child. After marrying Joey she became pregnant and that's when Joey's drug addiction began. This is when she found out Joey was a liar. They were speeding h ...more
Aug 08, 2009 Rhonda rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2009
I wouldn't have picked up this book if it weren't for a friend telling me she was reading it and it was pretty good. I guess I'm interested more in the "sociopath" than the Buttafuoco's. It really is amazing why she just couldn't see through him or get past him for so long...I guess these kinds of people have a "way" with you that charms you and you can't see life without them.
Just a couple pages in, she quotes Dr. Robert Hare's (co-author of Snakes in Suits) checklist of sociopathic traits...2
Helen Azar
Jul 15, 2009 Helen Azar rated it really liked it
I met Mary Jo briefly at the Book Expo in NYC last year. Of course as most others I probably had a preconceived idea about her, and got her book out of pure morbid curiousity... I was in fact pleasantly surprised by her and the book, both. Not to say that it is a masterpiece deserving of the Pulitzer, but it was an interesting biography, and as you read it you even sort of start understanding where this woman was coming from (not quite, but sort of). I am hoping that at the very least the book m ...more
Aug 14, 2013 Sallee rated it liked it
Shelves: autobiography
This book relates Mary Jo Buttafuoco's own version of her life with Joey Buttafuoco before and after being shot in the head by Amy Fisher. As the title infers, she tells us why she stayed with him so long, her own struggles with prescription pain killers and depression and her awakening to a new way of life. I understand that she went through a horrible situation and her marriage to Joey who she feels is a sociopath was just as horrible. However, I have some mixed feelings. She wanted an indepe ...more
When I ran across this I was initially intrigued because of the profile of a sociopath and the fact that I recently read a bit about the whole media frenzy surrounding this case. I was curious about Mary Jo's story since objectively she was the victim of the crime. I knew little to very little about the details besides the basics of what happened prior to reading this. If you are curious about it I would suggest this book. She gives equal time to explaining the events and how she felt about them ...more
Tiffany Speed
Sep 08, 2016 Tiffany Speed rated it liked it
I suppose I was living under a rock when this story broke, as I was not familiar with the events or the people........ BUT, what a compelling story. It is truly unbelievable that someone that young would premeditate to harm & kill another human that they did not know socially, personally, or otherwise except for the association of the wife of an owner of a business in which my daddy takes my car. What the??? Seriously?!?
The relationship of the Buttafuocos was definitely "sociopathic" on man
Jun 21, 2012 Carina rated it liked it
I was only 3 years old when Mary Jo Buttafuoco was shot in the head by Amy Fisher, her husband's 16-year-old mistress, so this event wasn't something I had knowledge of before reading this book. At any rate, this story was extremely interesting to me. There are a million clinical sounding books out there about manipulation and what is going on inside the heads of sociopaths, but it's much more enlightening to actually hear someone's life story about their real experiences.
Joella Tunnell
Feb 10, 2010 Joella Tunnell rated it really liked it
I didn't expect this book to be as good as it was. I remember reading about the teenager shooting her lovers' wife, and the name Buttafuoco, but didn't give it much thought. The wife's story of her marriage and years of recovering from her injuries, and how strong a grip a sociopath can have on a person was eyeopening.
May 24, 2015 E. rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed the insight into living with a sociopath that this book illustrated. Mary Jo is a strong woman who fought her way out of a very damaging relationship. She has moved onto a healthy relationship and kept close ties to her 2 children. This is not the cheesy tabloid fodder it could have been.
Very interesting account of Mary Jo's life with Joey Buttofuoco, before and after the Amy Fisher saga. I've always wondered why she stayed with him so long and she more than answers this question. This book is definitely a must-read for those who are involved or have been involved with a man who has sociopathic or misogynistic traits.
Ebony J.
Jan 16, 2017 Ebony J. rated it it was amazing
Finally got a chance to hear her perspective. Many may not understand why she stayed so long, but when you want to believe in your marriage and also afraid of being a failure, it make all the sense to rationalize the B.S. So glad she finaloy woke up and realized her self worth. Excellent book to read and would recommend it for any one who has doubt about starting over.
Oct 02, 2009 Terri rated it liked it
Somewhat liked the book. There are some holes in the story, but it gave a pretty good insight into how women fall for good talkers. Sometimes we, as women, just refuse to believe the obvious. Basically learned to listen to your instinct.
Jan 27, 2017 Vanessa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
you go girl!!

great quick read. very down to earth. i can now see why she stayed so long and how this horrible man tried to ruin her, but she took that lesson and turned herself into a stronger woman and a supportive mother.
Lin S.
Sep 15, 2012 Lin S. rated it liked it
I picked this up night before last and finished it this morning. Not sure why but having been married to a sociopath myself I guess it was too compelling to not read and compare. I'm glad Mary Jo has found peace as have I.
Jan 09, 2017 Lauren rated it liked it
I think the title is a little misleading about "what millions of people involved with sociopaths need to know" but otherwise, it was good. Joey was a manipulative person, so I was glad to see that Mary Jo finally got out and worked on her own happiness.
Oct 09, 2009 Diane rated it liked it
I was glad she shared her story but, this book was as you would expect. It really wonder if she had an education or a career of her own ( instead of a life that revolved around her husband) would she of put up with so much b.s? I think not.
Very Interesting! I had no idea what a nice, down to earth lady Mary Jo is. Her insight in to the early warning signs that she observed with regards to her husbands sociopathy is enlightening. I ate this one up!
Aug 12, 2009 Amy rated it really liked it
Interesting...since I followed the Amy Fisher case. And it did not put the JoeyButtafuoco in a good light.
Sep 09, 2009 Cheri added it
Yes, I read it.
Jan 16, 2012 M rated it liked it
My 82 yr old neighbor lent me this book. She's hip! The book is nothing profound but an easy juicy read. And I sort of like Mary Jo!!!
Mar 04, 2012 Marni rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoir-biography
Promises a lot but doesn't deliver.
Dec 18, 2009 Lindi rated it liked it
Somewhat informative on what a psychopath looks like (main idea - they appear normal to others). Shown as Mary Jo really the victim in all their mess. Not worth reading, though.
Jul 08, 2010 Jennifer rated it it was ok
What an interesting saga - I got caught up in it, but then felt a little deflated at the end. As if, we all try hard and life doesn't get better. Ugh.
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