My Twitter followers number over 1800 now and many are following, I suspect, because I am open about being a survivor of incest, rape and domestic violence.  My childhood suffering has driven a need within me for knowledge and understanding.  I’ve read all the self help books I could and I re-trained to do counselling when in my thirties. I trained as a divorce mediator also.  I’ve spent over twenty years looking at other people’s lives as well as my own.  You can find out more about me in my Amazon Author Bio and on the About Me page of

One theme runs through a lot of my observations:  domination.  It does not need to be as severe as abuse.  It can be as subtle as not saying what you actually want.  It may be that one person in a relationship controls the money and, therefore, can chose where the couple live, what they eat, clothes they wear, and where they go.  This is an unbalanced relationship.  One person has more control than the other.

Negotiating a win win is the most equitable style of living togther so you both get some of what you each want. In a compromise, each person has to give up something to get to the middle, so negotiation is the best way forward.

When a persom is dominant it is being driven by fear and their inadequacies and an inability to cope. They usually have poor communication skills and those could be improved if the dominent person had the incentive to do that work.  In my opinion, counselling and personal growth is the only way forward.  Sadly for many who are dominent their very fears (particularly of change) keep them trapped and unable to seek help.  Frequently destroying a relationship – so sad.  Further, not a good example to any children of the relationship.






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Are You ACOA (Adult Child of an Alcoholic)?

Did you have a parent or carer who was drinking excessively? One of the sad aspects of alcoholism is that it affects the children of that person’s family.  Alcoholism does create a dysfunctional family – it does not work the way a healthy family system supports and gives nurturing to each member.

There can be four ways that children are affected that have been generally agreed (originally in the USA I believe).  The successful high achiever who has low self-esteem underneath that achievement.  They are frequently the only child or  the oldest child of a family.  Because they may be the hero of the family and look like they are ok the family ignores their needs and they can become parentified – taking care of the adults and other children.

In a multi-child family you can find the clown – making people laugh to overcome their internal fears because they cannot actually handle the stress.  Humour masks the child’s pain and anxiety.  The humour relieves family tensions.  The jollity creates the illusion that the child is not in need of care and support.

It is possible for a child to be a loner and withdraw into invisibility as a way of trying to survive.  They may be seen as the ‘angel’ who does not cause the family trouble.  This child may feel lost.

The family may use a child as a scapegoat – he or she may be the rebellious one and thus everyone gets to be overly focused on their troublemaking rather than deal with the real problem which is the drinker’s drinking.

Unpredictability and consistent inconsistency can be a hallmark of alcohol abuse in a family and extremely difficult to live with.  The child/children of the family are only ‘allowed’ to feel what the alcoholic finds acceptable and thus they can lose touch with their own perceptions of reality.

If you grew up in a family where there was too much drinking please read my e-book “My Drinking Isn’t A Problem!” available on Amazon or via my website shop.  Also, see my blog at



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By Susan Jane Smith B.Sc.


Forget ‘Dancing Queen ‘ (song by Abba) I think I’ve become the Self-Help Queen now that my 23 books/e-books are for sale on Amazon!

I am a survivor of incest, rape, domestic violence and the miscarriage of my baby.  I spent 3 years in counselling in the U.S.A. and turned my life around personally and professionally.  I re-trained.

Over 20 years as a Psychotherapist and 5 years as a Divorce Mediator followed.  Now I am writing self-help e-books to help other people.  I hope my books will inspire you to change your life if you are sad, angry, stressed, depressed or unhappy.

My 17 e-books in the Little Book Series of Emotional Health for Emotional Wealth were written to give you a starting place – some basic information and support.  Through Amazon they are selling world-wide:  U.S.A., Canada, U.K., France, Germany, Spain, Italy, India, Brazil, Japan, China and via in Australia and New Zealand.

If you read self-help books please check these out:-

Sexual Abuse & Incest

Physical & Emotional Abuse Hurts the World as Well as The Child

Rape Not Sexual Assault

Charming Men and Chauvinists (about domestic violence)

What Passes for Passion on TV (about loving too much/obsessing)

Walking on Egg Shells (about anger)

My Drinking Isn’t A Problem!

Feeling Down?

Parenting Your Way Through Divorce

Food and Thought

Superwoman Does Not Exist (about stress)

Loss is Part of Life (about bereavement and other loss)

Why Walk Into a Therapist’s Office?

What Every 16 Year Old Needs to Know About Love

How a Functional Family Might Look Like

How Not To Be A Doormat


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Are YOU Hearing Wedding Bells?

Wedding bells are very romantic and a beautiful dress is a great attraction.  However, in my experience as a Divorce Mediator you would do well to take the quizzes in my book Pre-Marital MOT: A Relationship Inspection available to purchase on this website as a paperback or an e-book BEFORE you live together, conceive children together or get married.

I’m in my second marriage.  It’s not perfect but I have learned loads in our 16 years together.  My first husband was my childhood sweetheart and I now know we were simply too young – we had no communication skills to resolve conflict.  I have spent the last 20+ years listening to individuals and couples about their relationships so I designed this book as a fun way to get the two of you talking about what matters.

This book is a useful self-assessment tool for couples.  If your partner is not willing to go through the quizzes and discuss their answers with you alarm bells need to be ringing!

A marriage is so much more than the wedding day.  The discussions you have when all ‘loved up’ can set the foundations for the future and you need to build that future on solid information about each other.

Instead of just having fun or great sex or shared interests why not take a look at each other’s character traits?  The old saying does still hold true that you need to take a look at your partner’s parents – do you like their values and how they live?  Would you want your children to have those people as role models?  People do tend to do what their parents did.  The worst assumption you can make is that your partner will always want what you want or will do things the way you do them!

How are your negotiating skills as a couple?  Do you both work towards win/win when there is a disagreement or does one person try to bully the other into submission?  Who wants their own way and at what cost?  Think about this long and hard before you even live together let alone get married.  Do not make the classic mistake believing that it will be better once you are married or that you can change your partner.  If you don’t like your partner’s behaviour now get out of that relationship now!

How is your partner with children – observe to see if you like how they behave and the words they use to children.  Would you want that for your own children?  What are their ideas about punishment – discuss this before you conceive please.  You might get a nasty shock one day otherwise.

The material in Pre-Marital MOT: A Relationship Inspection is designed to get the two of you talking about the issues that matter in the long term.  I hope you have a very happy wedding day and a long marriage.

If you prefer to purchase Pre-Marital MOT: A Relationship Inspection from Amazon the ISBN is 978-0-9553698-4-1 and Amazon’s ASIN is B005LSD62A



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Let Me Tell You About Adele

Adelle was a little girl who went to stay with some relatives in a big city.  One day a man offered her some marbles.  She followed him to his home, but it was not just marbles that were waiting for her there.  To find out more please read my book/e-book “Sexual Abuse & Incest”- it’s priced at £1 for accessibility.

I’ll be writing blogs that are inspired by my books.  In my opinion, my e-book “Sexual Abuse & Incest” is great value for money!  It is based on over 20 years of helping victims become survivors and go on to thrive.  If child sexual abuse or incest has been a part of your life do take a look and see the other resources contained therein.

My passion about this particular book comes from the fact that I have managed to survive incestuous abuse from my biological father when I was 2 years to 7 years old.  When I needed help with this 30 years ago there was very little written.  I ended up reading mostly research papers.  Clinical Psychologist, Essie Hull, managed to get me to face all the pain that I buried for so long.  She saved my life.

Incest is the betrayal of trust – and I think the worst because it leaves you without family support all too often.  The non-offending parent frequently will take a perpetrator’s side over that of the child because they really do not want to believe it could be true.

Now that does not mean that child sexual abuse is not a betrayal of trust – obviously it is.  So is physical and emotional child abuse.  Sometimes a child gets lucky and gets some support from a family member.  Sometimes not.

Whilst Social Workers are over-worked and burdened by too heavy a case load, I do not understand the public’s hesitancy to ask for their help.  That’s probably a different blog.

Statistically everyone knows someone who has been abused in some way.  Please do tell anyone you know (who needs my book as a starting place) about my book because no child should carry the burden of being abused.  The child is not to blame.  If you want to understand more, educate yourself by reading my book and the others that are now available…particularly “The Courage to Heal” by Elaine Bass and Laura Davies.

A couple of decades ago a client wrote this poem about her experiences.  I have long since lost contact with her so have not been able to get her permission to re-print it, but given how she felt about it at the time I think she would be glad if it might help someone else know that they are not alone.  I still cry every time I read this:-


Memories that I wish could be mine

A Daddy so caring, strong, so fine

A man to admire, worship, adore

A source of guidance, loving and sure

A safe love: one that shelters and shields

A wise discipline he gently wields

But sadly these will never be true

The man who fathered me was you

The memories I can recall

Invaded my body, raped my soul

A childhood innocence and trust

Twisted and broken to serve your lust

The taste, the smell, the look in your eyes

The vicious words, the callous lies

My tears – your aim, my pain – your pleasure

What memories for you to treasure!

A little girl made to whimper and cower

Was this your idea of masculine power?

‘Evil’ the word, no other will do

For the years of hell you put me through

You hurt, despised, degraded and defiled

You had total control when I was a child

I kept your secret for so many years

It burdened my life, walled-up my tears

So long the pain I’ve had to hide

Repressed, twisted, buried, denied

I let nobody close, no one could know

For fear the badness inside me would show

But soon I’ll be angry, bitter and sad

Grieve for the childhood that I never had

There’s no turning back, I want to be free

And find the woman I am meant to be

The path is so hard though, the road so long

I tremble and doubt, can I be so strong?

I follow the flame of life inside

It’s burned so low, but never quite died.

All this is true of little boys too.  For some it is abuse by a mother and some a father and some another relative or person.  It still destroys lives unless you reach out and tell – preferably a professional.




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