Lori Anaple's Reviews > Hiding from Reality: My Story of Love, Loss, and Finding the Courage Within

Hiding from Reality by Taylor Armstrong
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's review
Aug 17, 12

bookshelves: people-who-fascinate-me, 2012

i found this memoir to be a very honest rendering of what Taylor experienced in her life, especially her marriage to Russell. Many people just don't understand how the cycle of violence works. They don't understand that fear and love become so intertwined that the boundary is blurred. They tend to blame the victim because they don't understand. To those who say she is crazy because she didn't leave, I am glad that you have never had to experience violence and that your self is actualized enough to love yourself enough to leave. I don't mean that snidely either. Not everyone is that fortunate.

I have no doubts that writing this book helped her in her grieving process. I thank her for sharing her story. She didn't have to. I don't think it is a way for her to stay relevant. I think that she gets hounded daily about her story, so she decided to share it. If she makes some money out of this, more power to her. Even if it is response to the lawsuits that she is facing, I don't care. She saw a way to help herself and she took it. I don't even know if that is the case or not, but that is my opinion.

I can tell that her therapy has really helped her. She owns all of her choices. She doesn't villify Russell. She knows there was good in him. I think she did a good job of leaving a memory of him that his children can be proud of. She talked about his mental illness and differentiated that from his person. She makes it very clear that his behaviors were not okay. She also makes it clear that his violence did not define him.

Maybe she would have taken him back if he had lived. I don't want to think that she would. I like to think that she has become strong enough to maintain her distance. But who knows. I never wish anyone dead, but I do think that as warped as it is, he gave her the biggest gift he could. He protected her the only way that he knew how. She will mend. She will survive. Sure he left her with a screwed up financial situation, but he also left her with her life.

I do wish that she would have talked more about how she ended up in Beverly Hills. I wish she would have talked a bit more about how her mother reacted to the violence that she suffered.

And I do think that this story will help people. They have to be ready to hear it. But if it even helps a few people or if there are people who can just know that they are not alone, then she has accomplished her goal.
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