Hiding from Reality: My Story of Love, Loss, and Finding the Courage Within

Hiding from Reality: My Story of Love, Loss, and Finding the Courage Within

3.1 106
by Taylor Armstrong
     
 

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Taylor Armstrong, star of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on Bravo, pulls back the curtain on the years she suffered in silence through domestic violence in this searingly honest account of her troubled marriage to the late Russell Armstrong.

“The terrible truth is that I felt lost without the control that Russell had imposed on me

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Overview


Taylor Armstrong, star of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on Bravo, pulls back the curtain on the years she suffered in silence through domestic violence in this searingly honest account of her troubled marriage to the late Russell Armstrong.

“The terrible truth is that I felt lost without the control that Russell had imposed on me for the nearly six years that we were married. Disturbingly, I missed that control. I didn’t know what to do once I had no one there to tell me how to dress, act, and behave; what to want; and who, even, to be. In some ways, I missed the abuse. I missed the pain. I missed being scared. Not because I liked feeling any of that. But because it was the life I had become accustomed to, and without anyone to be afraid of, to apologize to, and to cover for, I felt completely lost.”

Reality hit Taylor Armstrong hard one tragic evening last August when she found the body of her estranged husband, Russell, hanging in his California home. Fans across the country were shocked at the horrific news of his death and even more shocked to discover that behind the glittering “reality” of Taylor’s life on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills lurked a painful story of emotional and physical abuse that she had been terrified to tell.

To the outside world, the Armstrongs lived like royalty, throwing lavish parties—including a memorable tea party for their daughter’s fourth birthday—and mingling with their privileged Housewives co-stars. It was impossible to hide the cracks in their marriage from the cameras forever, though, and their darkest secrets slowly began to seep through the gilded faÇade.

With searing honesty, Taylor candidly examines her difficult journey from the abusive home in which she was born to the low self-esteem that kept her constantly on the run from herself, to the tumultuous marriage that ended in suicide, and ultimately to her realization that only by sharing her moving story could she help other women.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A star of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills details her abusive six-year marriage to a man who killed himself in August 2011. Armstrong's earliest memory is of witnessing her father attack her mother. Shortly thereafter he abandoned the family. Born Shana Hughes, the Oklahoma native changed her name to Shana Taylor, for her stepfather, then to Taylor Ford, in homage to her favorite fashion designer, Tom Ford. Lifelong insecurities led her to get a permanent lip implant and breast augmentation and to cultivate unhealthy relationships with men. In 2004, she moved from Florida to Beverly Hills, where she ran her fledgling textile company out of her condo. "There were red flags all over the place" when she met Russell, an investor with a history of domestic abuse and bankruptcy, but she doggedly pursued him. Despite his verbal and physical attacks, they married. Russell shut down her business, and Armstrong, now financially dependent on him, lived in a state of anxiety about setting him off. When Armstrong got pregnant, Russell claimed he only wanted to keep the baby if it was a girl because he already had two sons. Luckily, it was a girl. Armstrong is candid about her low self-esteem but takes no real accountability for herself, opting instead to reveal the laundry list of Russell's endless demands and paranoia. Appearing on Housewives added stress to their already fractured marriage, and Armstrong's decision to tell her cast mates about Russell's dark side, including his allegedly popping her jaw out of its socket, resulted in her secrets being revealed by them on air. Armstrong separated from Russell after an alleged vicious attack requiring surgery. Months after he left, she discovered his body in a friend's house. Despite her story's dramatic events, Armstrong's writing is tepid, and she demonstrates very little growth over the course of the narrative.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781451677713
Publisher:
Gallery Books
Publication date:
02/07/2012
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author


Taylor Armstrong is the breakout star of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. She lives in California with her daughter.

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Hiding from Reality: My Story of Love, Loss, and Finding the Courage Within 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 106 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in a day and it is an honest account of "hiding from reality". I feel that she continues to hide from reality even in this book and maybe even from herself. Here are my issues: 1. Unless she is not sharing the entire story, I do not understand how traumatized Taylor was from her childhood. Her mother divorced her father at the age of 3 and she claims she remembers an incident when she was two. That was a pretty vivid memory for a two year old. Also, her childhood didn't sound so bad -- ok she was not living the Beverly Hills lifestyle but she had a mother who loved and worked very hard to care for her. Sounds rather fortunate to me. I think from a young age she felt deprived and wanted to live a glamorous life and being the child of a single parent was embarrassing to her. 2. She claims that Russel coerced her into signing her name on all of these business ventures and she feared for her life and that is why she signed everything. I feel she is not being honest. She signed those papers because she loved living the Beverly Hills lifestyle and by signing her names on these ventures it allowed her to continue to live the life she dreamed of. She may not have known of all of his business dealings but she certainly was well aware that she was using her name so that she could continue to live a lavish lifestyle. 3. I do not understand why if you know that your are experiencing financial distress you would need to a. have a live in personal assistant when you don't have a job. b. have a live in nanny when you don't have a job and c. continue to buy things, go on fancy vacations and throw lavish parties when you do not have the means to do so. 4. I am not 100% convinced that Taylor left Russel because she finally had it with being beat. He had been doing these things for the past 6 years and she continued to tell the world about it and continued to go back to him. I feel that because there was so much bad press following him and it started to spill over into his business life and make financial problems even more prominent, also with Taylor now making money of her own from the show, she decided to leave. As much as she claims that she is not a golddigger ---- I believe that money is what attracted her to this relationship and money is what trapped her into this abusive relationship for so long. In the end, I feel that she was definitely abused and I am sorry for that. But with "finding her new voice", I think she needs to be honest and take ownership not always blame her childhood and Russel's control. Her driving force had always appeared to be money even from a young girl
Jenn1972 More than 1 year ago
I watch TRHOBH and thought I would give this book the benefit of the doubt. Oh, Lord! It was terrible! The whole book was like reading a fiction teen novel. It was poorly written and I didn't get anything out of it. I don't know if what she claims is true but I definitely don't think reading this book will change your mind if you like her and believe her or you don't. I feel bad now that I've seen on the news that the black eye picture she showed the world wasn't even from her husband, but it was due to eye surgery! I feel duped! I feel terrible for buying this book now and giving money to her lies.
dragonfly14 More than 1 year ago
there is nothing new int his book that Taylor has not said over and over and over in public.....rehearsed canned lines....don't waste your money this book will be in discount bins in a week
ireadfstrthanutalk More than 1 year ago
The unsupported claims made in this book are unbelievable, that there is no evidence to support these accusations against a dead man makes my head spin. IN FACT there is photographic evidence in abundance refuting the authors claims. I read this thinking it would be a down played version of the authors highly suspect public statements, instead she was even more unbelievable in the book. I feel dirty for having to contributed to Taylor Armstrong's slander.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a woman that was abused by her husband, very little of this story rings true. Dont know why nI bought it..... what a terrible read!!!!!!!! I guess she should get one star for getting someone to publish this parc......
Khar More than 1 year ago
This book is the saddest example of taking advantage of victims of domestic violence I have ever read. Please donate the money you will spend on this book to your local DV shelter and contact them for reading material. This book will never be a recommended read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Full of self pity and half truths. Is this how she wants her daughter to remember her father. Another failed attempt at fame. Dont waste the money.
Debutante More than 1 year ago
I tried to be fair in this review, but I have a hard time since I watch Housewives of Beverly Hills. She comes off as pretty insincere on the show ---especially in several episodes where she starts to "cry" but there are NO TEARS ! Only in one episode did I see an actual tear squeezed out. Hard to believe this woman. Nothing original, most of the info was presented on the show or in snippets by Armstrong -- or Hughes, or Taylor or Ford or whatever her name is.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First of all, I found this to be an interesting and sad, sad read. Taylor was candid and shed some light into the backstory of her abuse. The negative comments that some people have written are downright nasty and honestly, I would have done the same thing by writing a book. Having to support herself, a little girl, and pay for all the lawsuits, what option did she have? Her husband squandered their finances. I think she should be supported instead of torn down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nothing rings true in this book! What a crock of crap!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am an avid watcher of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and while Taylor's behavior on the show was a major annoyance to me, I wanted to find out what happened behind closed doors; to see if her side was biased or if she could show some impartiality. The first few chapters were a tough read, a lot of rambling. I had to remind myself this was based on her personal journals. After mentioning that, it is an interesting but sad book. I realized I needed to give Taylor some sympathy, when I started to realize Russell was a mirror image of my exhusband.
TMK7188 More than 1 year ago
Overall, this was a good book and an easy read. Taylor does not offer much more new information that she didn't already disclose on TV and in interviews. I believe she was abused, however, I do not believe everything she stated regarding her childhood and her finances. Just as another reviewer stated, Taylor may be hiding from her own reality.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was complete drama like the TV show and not even good at that. I disagree with some of the things in the book like memories at age 2. Would not recommend. Read in a day and not satisfied.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yes, it's THAT bad. I could barely finish such a self-promoting victim book. Just. Awful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Taylor Armstrong does a beautiful job of describing the life and reasons that women stay with abusive husbands. As a former abused wife I left with money, no job, no job skills, but an IQ and guts, with four young children and I made it by the support of strangers. I got a pell grant and went to nursing school. My kids all went into therapy as did I. Luckily we had a happy ending. I think the reason why MS Armstrong is being malined about her book is because of a few things she leaves out that would pull the chapter of the book together. My one question would be why her therapist did not report the beatings and broken bones to the authorities. In my state that is law. It is hard to relate to a $60,000 birthday party even if "sponsers" paid for part of it. Also without giving away the end; there is a huge gap about how she was broke but still lived in Bel Air with a house in Vail. Happy she got out when she did; but many abused wives will read this book and think they are stuck because they do not have the monetary resources she had. Ms Armstrong did a wonderful job of leaving at least three pages of resources that abused women can reach out to; if they are brave enough to do so. Most women who are in active abuse would be afraid to buy this book and take it home...if they had the money. PS: I only told my story so to reach out to those women that, like me; were/are broke and can come out on the other end safe and eventually happy and not living in fear.
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I could barely get past chapter 1
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