Dragonslippers: This is What an Abusive Relationship Looks Like by Rosalind B. Penfold
A graphic diary of remarkable emotional honesty that charts the deterioration of one woman's relationship into violence and abuse. A successful young businesswoman with loving family and friends, Rosalind Penfold couldn't believe her luck when she met and quickly fell for a charming widower and father of four who seemed absolutely devoted to her. Only a few months into the relationship, however, the first worrying signs began to emerge that the man she eventually married was not quite as he seemed. A pattern of small lies and petty cruelties began to emerge, which, over the course of their ten-year relationship, would come to encompass a litany of physical, mental and sexual abuse truly shocking in its scope and malevolence. Often too traumatised to vocalise the horror of what she was experiencing, Rosalind kept detailed graphic diaries throughout her relationship that brilliantly capture her sense of powerlessness and confusion as her once dream man gradually reveals himself to be a monster. The result is a touching, profoundly shocking and completely original portrait of domestic abuse, as well as the redemptive story of one woman's struggle to survive in circumstances she felt to be entirely outside her own control. Terrified for the children who became drawn into the circle of violence and sexual humiliation; lied to, cheated on and repeatedly belittled; mortified, above all, that even with the support of her family and friends, she remained unable to leave her abuser for many years, Rosalind Penfold did eventually escape, but at a cost. Her diaries are an extraordinary visual testimony to the emotional and psychological depths to which it is possible to sink, and a reminder of the continued possibility of recovery. Viewing them at a distance forced Rosalind herself to realise the extent of the abuse she was suffering and helped her escape, and these diaries should provide a genuine window into the usually closed world of domestic abuse and the claustrophobic lives of its victims.