Penny HollickDespite my very traumatic upbringing growing up in an alcoholic home, I always wanted to excel in whatever endeavor I was engaged in. I would ask my teachers for more homework, probably so that I could escape the chaos going on in my household. I graduated from Cal Poly-Pomona with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting with honors.

I received a job offer from one of the largest CPA firms in the world located in downtown Los Angeles which I quickly declined. After growing up in the fast lane of L.A. and Orange County, my mind was set on nature and wilderness and moving far away from my extremely dysfunctional family. I did not know what it was yet, but I knew that God had bigger plans in store for me.

Statistics say that a child who grows up in an alcoholic home usually marries another alcoholic, but true to my nature, I exceeded that expectation by marrying a man with Narcissistic Personality Disorder who would later escalate to a true sociopath.  I took my family secrets along with all of my traumatic pain and wounds inside of me after marrying this hot-tempered Italian man whom I thought I was deeply in love with.  We moved to a very small country town in a majestic wilderness setting in a state near the Canadian border.  We would eventually have four children in a span of five years.  I played the caretaker role of my own family situation since I was eight years old.  I knew that this man had “some problems”, but I was sure that I could “fix” him.  That erroneous line of thinking would in due course lead to my own destruction.  I was no match for him.  In a room full of alpha males, he would be the alpha male.

Along with my accounting expertise, I found that I really enjoyed helping others in the business world.  I opened my own accounting practice in 3 separate states, as I moved around the country.  Continuing with this mindset, my purpose for writing this book is to assist, give guidance and provide the skills and tools necessary to liberate an individual who is suffering from the same or similar mental health and domestic violence issues that I was able to OVERCOME.

I considered myself as “the Great Pretender” because I could be screamed at and cursed at, (using the most unmentionable words), tormented, mocked and insulted at night, and go to work the next day like nothing was wrong. I was quite skillful at stuffing all of my confusion and pain, and I never disclosed this to anyone. The abuse, of course, escalated over the years from verbal to emotional to physical and then sexual.

Everything was so subtle, and I was so ingenuous about domestic violence. I really didn’t know that I was being abused because I never had a black eye or a broken bone.  With the urging of my husband to start going to bars, I eventually became the alcoholic that I swore I would never become. From being the super overachiever with the big dreams, I found myself one beautiful, sunny day in a mental hospital sitting outside on a bench swinging and asking myself “How did I ever end up here in my life at 37 years old?”

I have had this book and title in my mind for many years. This book is written for the millions of other women or men who know what it is like to sit in the bottomless,  black hole of depression, anxiety, agoraphobia, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and for those of you who have been abused as a child or as an adult. I share my very personal story with joy in my heart to show you how YOU can overcome these alcoholism, mental health illnesses and abuse issues. Do NOT remain the victim.  You CAN LEARN to begin to lead a thriving,  productive life of your own dreams!  I can offer you the life-changing methods which you can use to accomplish this.  You can take action now, or you can remain stuck where you are.  It is your choice to take a chance to change your life.

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven; A time to be born, and a time to die;…a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;….A time to rend, and a time to sow; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;…..” Ecclesiastes 3:4

It is now my time to speak.

Warning: some parts of this book could be hard to read, or have a certain shock value to the reader.

-Penny Hollick, Author and Speaker