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Book Title: Signs in the Rearview Mirror: Leaving a Toxic Relationship Behind by Kelly Smith
Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 214 pages
Genre: Self-Help, Memoir
Publisher: Sunny Day Publishing
Release date: April 2018
PG + M. This non-fiction self-help book has very mild if any swearing.
However, it does deal with the topic of abusive relationships, which
some may consider inappropriate for younger reading audiences.
What kind of person ends up in a toxic relationship? And why stay? This
searingly honest memoir answers both of those questions head-on.
Coming-out of failing marriage, Kelly turns to Gabe out of fear of being
alone. Her gradual slide into danger is at once terrifying and
Kelly tells her story now to inspire others who find themselves in
similar turmoil. In this book, Kelly outlines the steps to escape
abusive relationship and offers hope for future relationships.
Signs In The Rearview Mirror is an enlightening, courageous, and powerful book detailing Kelly Smith’s personal experience with a toxic relationship. Though the book largely focuses on Smith’s romantic relationship, it also touches on her impaired relationship with her mother and how that relationship affected her into adulthood.
Signs In The Rearview Mirror paints a clear picture as to how a toxic relationship begins and ends. Through Kelly’s experience, we are able to become more aware of the red flags that present themselves as well as what attracts us to these relationships in the first place.
While it’s never a victim’s fault for what happens to them in a toxic relationship, discovering and facing your past traumas is essential to understanding and recovering from this cycle of abuse. I really appreciated how vulnerable Kelly was in sharing her past and digging into her childhood. Though some of us may not realize it, our relationships with our parents shape who we are and the relationships we attract and accept later in life. This is often a hard but important realization to come by.
For Kelly, the childhood relationship that affected her the most was her strained relationship with her mother.In Signs In The Rearview Mirror, Kelly openly discusses the emotional neglect she experienced by never feeling loved by her mother. Many feelings of anger, sadness, and codependency as a result of feeling unlovable followed her into all of her adult relationships, romantic or otherwise. “Looking back on it today, begging and chasing for love and attention was all I knew. I was taught at an early age that I was not good enough to be naturally loved”. Thankfully, though Kelly temporarily lost herself in an extremely toxic relationship, through personal strength and extensive therapy, she was able to find herself and happiness again.
Signs In The Rearview Mirror is a book for everyone who is currently experiencing a toxic relationship or has experienced a series of toxic relationships in the past. Through Kelly’s experience, readers can get an idea as to what draws them to these relationships and how to leave these toxic relationships behind.
Q1. Signs In The Rearview Mirror discusses many red flags that are universally experienced in toxic relationships. Why do you think people so often ignore glaringly obvious red flags?
Kelly Smith: I think people, both men, and women, “ignore” red flags because it is hard to recognize what you don’t know. A toxic person gradually introduces the abuse slowly and over time. By the time you can actually see and feel the red flags, for many they are already knee-deep in the relationship. Either they are pregnant, have kids already, or have found themselves finally bound to the abuser and it’s hard to leave.
Q2. Do you have any advice for how we can acknowledge red flags when they first present themselves?
Kelly Smith: Before getting into a relationship, get to know the other person first. Hold off on sex, talk more, and ask questions that may be difficult to approach at first. Be sure before you get into a relationship you have your boundaries set and you know your deal-breakers. If you sense someone may be controlling, asking you invading questions, such as “Who are you talking to and why?” “Where are you going?” Although these seem like innocent questions, if asked to soon in a developing relationship, they could be signs of control. If someone is asking you to delete friends on social media or asking about pictures you post, that is a red flag. Someone who is jealous is also a red flag.
Q3. I appreciate your vulnerability in your writing. Your book is both enlightening and encouraging. I’m interested in hearing about how the book came about. Was there a pivotal moment when you decided this was an experience you needed and/or wanted to write about?
Kelly Smith: There actually was a pivotal moment where I knew I was going to write this. I had no idea at the time what it looked like, but I knew I had to share my story with others. One Sunday afternoon while I was in the love triangle, I was in the shower and I was frozen in sadness. I crawled out of the shower and was on the floor in my closet, crying and screaming. I had no idea why this was happening to me. I told myself out loud with no one around that if I got through this, I would write about this and share my story because no other human should have to experience what I was going through. And I did. I got the help I needed and then I helped others.
Q4. What key message(s) do you hope people take away from Signs In The Rearview Mirror?
Kelly Smith: I hope people realize after reading this book they are not alone in this. And a happy life is possible after a toxic relationship if they are willing to walk away and get the help they need to heal.
Q5.Thank you for doing this interview with me! Where can readers find your book?
Kelly Smith: Readers can find my book on Amazon. Paperback, Kindle, and Audible. They can also find the book online at Walmart and Barns and Noble.
Amazon ~ B&N ~ Audible
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her three sons and one amazing Giant Schnauzer, Bullseye. Kelly has
written for Huffington Post, Elephant Journal, and hosts a podcast,
Let’s Get Wicked Deep.
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