In her book “Breaking the Bonds of Adult Child Abuse” Sister Renee Pittelli explains narcissism, narcissistic behavior, sociopaths, and abuse as a personality disorder. She helps the reader recognize and understand the nature of these abusive relationships and offers practical principles and approaches for dealing with narcissistic family members.
Sister Pittelli uses many illustrations for her own experiences of being verbally abused by her birth parents, of how they used exploitation, criticism, and manipulation to intimidate and control her both as a child and as an “adult child.”
She also describes dozens of case studies, personal stories, and testimonies of survivors who have moved on from being victimized by abuse, humiliation, betrayal, and abandonment to build normal intimate relationships, fulfilling happy lives as they apply the practical principles, examples, and scriptural admonitions and promises set forth in the book.
I found the chapters on abandonment, limits, and boundaries, especially informative, describing reasons for abandonment, the abusers motivation, and in providing important counsel for gaining respect, setting and maintaining limits, and learning to say “no.”
Sister Renee Pittelli’s credentials as a victim’s advocate, an Adult Child Recovery Mentor, an established author, and founder/director of a ministry dedicated to counseling the victims of Adult Child Abuse are validation of her qualifications to author this material.
The sheer volume of the book (630 pages) may be intimidating for the average reader; however, the comprehensive nature of the text including the well-chosen Biblical references with practical application makes this a fitting resource as a text for counseling ministries, lay counselor or mentor training.
The book is well organized, formatted with significant thought-provoking lists, well balance Scriptures and applications. Sister Pittelli’s writing is articulate, psychologically sound, and theologically accurate, culturally relevant.
“Breaking the Bonds of Adult Child Abuse” is an important resource, it serves as a reminder to the victimized reader that they are not alone in being victimized. This is a significant book to be read, processed, assimilated, applied, and re-read.
Breaking the Bonds of Adult Child Abuse: A Biblical Textbook on Abusive Narcissistic Families, How They Operate, and How to Deal With Them
Sister Renee Pittelli
Outskirts Press (2011)
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (12/11)