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One of my daughters, Monica Moore Smith, was recently divorced after an abusive marriage. This week she was kindly hosted by her friend, Al Fox Carraway, on her Instagram channel to engage in a Q&A session with Al's followers.

Here is the IGTV video and below I will add the resources Monica mentions and recommends to help you if you are in (or think you are in or have been in or someone you love has been in…) an abusive relationship. I've added a few of my own, too.

I'm so proud of Monica for her courage as she moves forward. She has always been such a kind, loving soul and to see her pain and be unable to do anything to stop it has been gut wrenching. It is such a relief that she is safe and free.

If you know of resources for parents of abuse victims/survivors, I would love to hear about them in the comments!

Abuse

Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men

Lundy Bancroft

The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize It and How to Respond

Patricia Evans

Is It Me? Making Sense of Your Confusing Marriage: A Christian Woman's Guide to Hidden Emotional and Spiritual Abuse

Natalie Hoffman

The Emotionally Abused Woman: Overcoming Destructive Patterns and Reclaiming Yourself

Beverly Engel

Should I Stay or Should I Go?: A Guide to Knowing if Your Relationship Can—and Should—be Saved

Lundy Bancroft, JAC Patrissi

Daily Wisdom for Why Does He Do That?: Encouragement for Women Involved with Angry and Controlling Men

Lundy Bancroft

Boundaries

Beyond B****y: Mastering the Art of Boundaries

Vicki Tidwell Palmer

Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life

Henry Cloud, John Townsend

Boundaries in Marriage

Henry Cloud, John Townsend

Boundaries in Dating: How Healthy Choices Grow Healthy Relationships

Henry Cloud, John Townsend

Narcissism

About a year into the marriage, I realized Monica's husband wasn't just immature, insecure, possessive, controlling, and clueless—but that he was actually a narcissistic abuser, something I wasn't familiar with in anything other than a very peripheral way.

Monica wasn't allowed to talk to anyone about her experiences (doing so would violate “confidentiality”), but my husband and I witnessed enough of the bizarre behavior and watched our daughter shrink away.

We were not the targets of the abuse. Rest assured, abuse has collateral damage that is rarely addressed. The worst part for us was being powerless to change the situation and stop the abuse.

This is a playlist of some of the videos that were helpful for me in understanding what was happening to her.

As an aside, when I created this playlist they were still married and I was so afraid for her. Although I don't think he ever really watched my YouTube videos or perused my channel, I still labeled the playlist Z and then figured out how to make it private. I knew if he saw it, she would pay the price.

Today I made it public. I will add to the playlist periodically as I come across more useful videos. Please add any recommendations in the comments.

Healing from Abuse

Healing from Hidden Abuse

Checklist for Assessing Change in Men Who Abuse Women

Lundy Bancroft

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

Bessel van der Kolk

Changes That Heal: Four Practical Steps to a Happier, Healthier You

Henry Cloud

Therapy

If you are being abused, please seek a therapist that specializes in domestic abuse.

“Marriage counseling” is not a solution for abuse and may make the abuse worse. Please seek references in your area for individual counseling.