The TurnAround Mom: How an Abuse and Addiction Survivor Stopped the Toxic Cycle for Her Family--and How You Can, Too!

The TurnAround Mom: How an Abuse and Addiction Survivor Stopped the Toxic Cycle for Her Family--and How You Can, Too!

by Carey Sipp, George H. Gallup Jr.
     
 

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If you grew up in a dysfunctional, abusive, or addictive home, you are intimately familiar with violence, uncertainty, and suppressing your feelings. What you may not know, though, is how to create a sane, structured, and serene home for your own family when you never experienced these things yourself. Now you can.

Part courageous memoir, part influential how-to

Overview

If you grew up in a dysfunctional, abusive, or addictive home, you are intimately familiar with violence, uncertainty, and suppressing your feelings. What you may not know, though, is how to create a sane, structured, and serene home for your own family when you never experienced these things yourself. Now you can.

Part courageous memoir, part influential how-to guide, The TurnAround Mom offers the tools you need to end the legacy of toxicity. With chilling vignettes from author Carey Sipp's own abusive past, plus the tips and techniques she used to turn her life--and thus the lives of her children--around, this stirring story will be the daily touchstone that you and your family deserve.

Carey Sipp is a parent-education advocate, an addiction and abuse survivor, and the mother of two children. Visit the author at www.turnaroundmom.com

Editorial Reviews

author of "It Will Never Happen to Me"

"The TurnAround Mom is a model of recovery that creates the potential to end generational cycles of addiction."

Claudia Black, Ph.D.
author of It Will Never Happen to Me
— Claudia Black, Ph.D.

Jack Canfield

"This book (The TurnAround Mom) is an action plan to save your family in these toxic times!"

- Jack Canfield

author, Chicken Soup for the Soul; CEO, Chicken Soup Enterprises

M.A. John Lee
"Everyone, including therapists, should read this down-to-earth book. It deepened my recovery, and I believe will touch your heart."
--John Lee, M.A.
author of Flying Boy and Growing Yourself Back Up
Dr. Laura Schlessinger

"Tough, honest, and to the point about how to take responsibility for your life and your kids, no matter what the damage, destruction, and dysfunction in your own upbringing."

--Dr. Laura Schlessinger, author of Bad Childhood--Good Life

author of "It Will Never Happen to Me" - Claudia Black

"The TurnAround Mom is a model of recovery that creates the potential to end generational cycles of addiction."

Claudia Black, Ph.D.
author of It Will Never Happen to Me

John Lee
"Everyone, including therapists, should read this down-to-earth book. It deepened my recovery, and I believe will touch your heart."
--John Lee, M.A.
author of Flying Boy and Growing Yourself Back Up
From the Publisher

"This book (The Turnaround Mom" will help salvage many lives and restore homes to peace and sanity"

--George H. Gallup, Jr.

Chairman, The George H. Gallup International Institute

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780757398643
Publisher:
Health Communications, Incorporated
Publication date:
01/01/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
200
Sales rank:
853,679
File size:
700 KB

Read an Excerpt

Excerpts from The TurnAround Mom

Mother is bruised and in a hurry.


I am three or four years old, sitting on a cold floor under the table in the kitchen. I have no idea whether it's the middle of the night or early in the morning. I only know that it is dark and that I am under the table watching Daddy hit Mother and push her into the refrigerator. I see their legs go back and forth in front of me. They move a lot. It's scary. I look up. I see him grab her hair and pull her across the kitchen. She hits at him with her broom. He grabs her shirt and it tears. My baby brother cries. I am quiet and can't move. This goes on for a long time. They are loud. She tries to 'shhh' Daddy. Daddy gets madder.


Mother is bruised. She has bald places where her hair is pulled out. She cries. She is sad. Very sad. And she is busy. She rushes to put on her makeup. Hurries to pick up the cleaning lady. Drives fast to get the cleaning lady dropped off at our house so she won't be late to the office. Mother is afraid that if she is late to work she will get fired or 'talked to' by her boss.


We are rushing for breakfast. To get to church. Choir. School. And I feel sick to my stomach. I throw up at school and don't tell anybody. We rush and then we wait. Wait for her to pick us up. Or for him to do it. If she's coming, she will be late. If he's coming, it will be scary. I lose either way. For a while my bed is a safe place. Then I have dreams that my bed is filled with spiders. When I cry about those spiders and try to claw them out of my hair, I wake up Mother and make her mad at me. She lets me sleep in her bed, but every move I make wakes her up and makes her madder and madder.


When I am older I know that Daddy acts this way when he drinks. And that he gets angry very easily. He yells. Cuts furniture. Breaks windows. Threatens with knives and guns. Shoots holes in walls. Shoots a pistol at Mother and me. Throws Mother down the front steps when she is pregnant with my little brother. Hides a huge, live snake in the toolbox on his truck and then asks Mother to go get something out of it so she will find the snake and scream. Pulls a gun on my brother's friend. Drives fast and drunk with me bouncing around in the car. The list goes on and on. He is scary. And then he is sweet. Sad. Sorry. Dressed in a business suit. Looking normal. Giving us money. Pets. Stuff.


We are all so tired. I am afraid. I do not like living under the table.



Sane Ways to Avoid Toxic Intensity


1. If your life is filled with anxiety—drama over relationships, tension about money, stress about work and other major issues, consequences of drinking or using drugs—stop trying to handle it all on your own. Get help from a mental health professional and find an appropriate twelve-step support group, be it Al-Anon for friends and family members of alcoholics, CODA for people who struggle with issues of co-dependence, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or other groups that deal with your concerns. There are support groups for everything from love and relationship addiction to overeating to emotions to money mismanagement. Do not suffer. If you don't have money for therapy, simply go to the twelve-step program best suited for you. These programs are free. You will find help there. It's likely that the longer you suffer, the greater the effects of your problem.


2. If you are the parent of a young child, it is especially crucial that you get help with whatever problem is causing your anxiety. Your child is literally immersed in and surrounded by whatever you are going through because children don't have the ability to block out the feelings of those around them the way adults do. Though your child may not seem aware of your tension, the feelings he or she is absorbing are bound to have an effect in acting out behavior, illness, or problems at preschool or school. Also, these problems are likely to reappear as your child hits puberty. If anxiety is around children, they will probably act it out one way or another.


3. Replace obsessive thoughts—about boyfriends, money problems, wanting a drink, being angry—with a quiet mantra. You'll be a lot less likely to act out. These are my mantras: I trust you, God. I trust you, God; Thank you, God. Thank you, God; or this new twist on an old chant, Even in the midst of chaos, all is well. All is well. All shall be well.


4. Get yourself to a peaceful place and carve out thirty minutes of non-intense, no-instruction-giving, no-demands quiet time with your children before they go to bed. If you can't devote thirty minutes, do as much as you can. Five minutes is better than nothing. The point is just to have some quiet time to connect, to really be with your children, when there are no distractions. You want to let them know how important they are to you; you want them to experience you as a calm and centered adult.


5. Take a couple of minutes of quiet time for yourself in your car before you pick up your children from school or day care. Take this time to breathe deeply, get centered, and put the stresses of your day behind you so your time with them is really your time with them.


6. If a situation with someone who evokes anxiety in you becomes heated, try to de-escalate the situation by talking slower and more softly, and by staying calm. If this kind of thing occurs frequently, consider changing your life so you do not have to deal with this person so often. If you must see a person such as this because of work, find someone who can help you either desensitize yourself to him or her and limit your exposure to the person. Perhaps you can see him or her as a little child and, thereby, not feel so threatened by this person. All of this takes work, and I do not want to over-simplify or seemingly underestimate its importance.


7. If you are attracted to someone who is toxic to you, get help immediately. Talk to someone in a twelve-step group for relationship addicts. If you are healthy you will not be attracted to those who are toxic; you will want to stay away from them. Get help with this as soon as is possible, because if you are attracted to one person who is toxic, it is likely that you'll be attracted to another person who is toxic unless you get help through therapy, through work with your minister or spiritual counselor, or by working with someone who has many years of recovery in twelve-step work.


9. In a toxic situation, use your eyelids. Sometimes when the world is too much—even while someone is talking to you—just close your eyes, even if it's just for a split second. Doing this affirms to you that do have some power over how much input is coming at you.


10. If you are surrounded by toxicity, practice self-care as best you can. Take a long hot bath in a quiet bathroom, with bath salts and peaceful music, at least twice a week. A healing bath like this is best done after children have gone to bed. Use these baths and other ways to recharge yourself: drink a cup of herbal tea, write in your journal, sit for a while with your cat on your lap. The point is to find something peaceful and quiet that helps you to get to a positive place to help counteract the toxicity.


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©2007. Carey Sipp. All rights reserved. Reprinted from The TurnAround Mom: How an Abuse and Addiction Survivor Stopped the Toxic Cycle for Her Family--and How You Can, Too!. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street , Deerfield Beach , FL 33442.

Meet the Author

Carey Sipp, the dynamic author of The TurnAround Mom, is an addiction and abuse survivor and parenting education advocate. She is a frequent speaker on the issues of breaking addiction cycles.

To stop the heartbreaking cycles of addiction and abuse destroying our families, she believes Americans must break our collective addiction to what she calls toxic intensity, "the mother of all addictions."





A divorced single mom for 11 years, Carey was married in 2005 and now has three adult stepchildren in addition to her teenage son and daughter. Visit the author at turnaroundmom.com



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