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

( 106 )

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...

See more details below
Hardcover
$17.08
BN.com price
(Save 31%)$25.00 List Price
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (70) from $1.99   
  • New (22) from $1.99   
  • Used (48) from $1.99   
Hiding from Reality: My Story of Love, Loss, and Finding the Courage Within

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$11.66
BN.com price

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.

Read More Show Less

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.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781451677713
  • Publisher: Gallery Books
  • Publication date: 2/7/2012
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 439,686
  • 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.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Prologue 1

1 Unworthy of Love 7

2 Erasing the Girl I Had Once Been 21

3 Not the Kind of Guy You Want to Go Out With 37

4 The Cost of Protection 57

5 Pizza without a Vegetable 83

6 "I'm Afraid I'm Going to Kill You" 103

7 The Polygraph Test 123

8 "I've Got to Get Out of This Relationship" 139

9 "It's Your Fault" 159

10 Please, Not in Front of Our Daughter 179

11 "It's Over" 201

12 The Worst Day of My Life 219

13 Picking Up the Pieces 235

Epilogue 255

Domestic Violence Resource Guide 257

National Resource Centers 259

Acknowledgments 261

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 106 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(28)

4 Star

(19)

3 Star

(20)

2 Star

(15)

1 Star

(24)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 106 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2012

    Still Hiding From Her Own Reality

    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

    37 out of 45 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 7, 2012

    poorly written fiction

    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.

    30 out of 45 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 7, 2012

    why bother

    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

    25 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 10, 2012

    Read it in one day, was like reading a Sweet Valley High book...

    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.

    23 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 7, 2012

    Ponder this.....

    @bolynn girl...yes, she wrote a book quickly..yes, it does seem its for just monetary gain but lets remember..she lost her husband and has a child to take care of!! If this book reaches just one abused woman and gets her out of danger, its all worth it!! Im about to read this so I wont bash it but will give her 5 stars for standing up and bringing abuse to the forefront...maybe if you give it a chance it may change your view of it! :)

    19 out of 44 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 7, 2012

    really bad

    She stayed in an abusive marriage for a decade, filed for divorce but kept a close relationship with her abuser until he killed himself, when did she find and/or demonstrate courage..........crickets

    13 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2012

    Pinda

    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......

    12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 8, 2012

    LEAVE THIS WOMEN ALONE

    Who are all u to judge this women? You don't know what went on between her and her husband behind closed doors. I give her a lot of credit for telling her story. If you feel that she's a liar and she's wrong for how she's making a living, or how she's living her life then don't acknowledge her. Don't read her book, don't watch the shows she on I mean it's simple. Regardless of how anyone feels about her she's still getting paid and she's still living her life. So get over it find something better to do rather that to put down a women u don't know.

    11 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 16, 2012

    Take the money and donate to real victims

    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.

    10 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2012

    Good book

    Give her a break i applaud her. Yes she stayed yes she loved him but isnt that abused spouse sydrome. Give her a break no one is makimg u buy the book. I liked it

    10 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2012

    GOOD BOOK

    I just finished this. What a crazy story! I think that Taylor has learned from her relationship and is really trying to help people.

    9 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I admire her honesty and courage!

    Being a child of domestic violence, I feel her story is an important one. Others may not agree but having lived it myself, I clearly see my own family drama in hers. It's an honest portrayal and it takes courage to relive it and a lot of self discovery. I'm glad that she is speaking out about her situation. I do believe she has the outlet to help so many others.

    9 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2012

    So tragic!

    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.

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 9, 2012

    Loved it

    I really don't understand why people come on here and act like they know everything about other's lives. This is a review about the book. If you didn't like it, that's one thing, but to question her character and the abuse that took place is just ridiculous. Unless you were around 24/7 you have no idea what really happened.

    As far as not showing courage because she stayed in the relationship for so long, seriously grow up. Nobody has the right to say whether she showed courage or not, in fact most women who are beaten do stay with their partner for reasons of their own. She has a daughter with the man, so of course there was still contact with him in order to co-parent effectively.

    The reality is, is that 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence and 1 in 3 male on female homicides occur from the female's intimate partner. Maybe this story can give someone the courage to actually leave.

    8 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 12, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Boring, Bad

    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.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2012

    Good book

    I think the book was inspiring. Its clear she was being abused and like others have said if this book helps just 1 person get out of an abusive relationship, then this book is worth it. I would do the same about writing a book for money if i were her too. She has her daughter to raise, so why not? Good luck taylor and thank you for sharing your story!!

    7 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2012

    Taylor who ????

    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.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2012

    interesting read

    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.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 15, 2012

    Recommended

    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.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2012

    Hest Honest and sad

    Sad to know this was her life . An authentic look at the myriad of emotions that she faced and continues to deal with as she builds a new life.

    4 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 106 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)