BOOK REVIEW: Trading Places, a true story of overcoming abuse

Trading PlacesPeople who have not been entangled in abusive relationships often ask, “Why doesn’t she just leave?” By reading Trading Places, by Natalie Hutchison and Mary Turner Thomson, you begin to understand.

Natalie Hutchison was reproached as a child, ignored by her first husband, then physically abused by her second husband. Finally, she decided enough was enough. Natalie escaped the abuse, went back to work, started a business, and in 2006 won the Barclays Bank Trading Places award, given to individuals who overcome tremendous personal adversity to turn their lives around.

Natalie had health problems as an adolescent, and she tells how her parents reacted to her medical issues.You see the seeds of self-doubt being planted. This is how it starts. This is how some women become primed to be victims of abuse.

Then, Natalie tells her story and how she felt—and that, I believe, is the value of this story. It clearly illustrates the thought processes and emotional hooks experienced by the victims of domestic violence.

But this is a story with a happy ending. Natalie learns to trust herself, then makes a leap of faith to start her own business and rebuild her life. She leaves the pain behind to find joy and success.

Trading Places is available now in the Lovefraud Store.

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54 Comments on "BOOK REVIEW: Trading Places, a true story of overcoming abuse"

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Since I am on the painkillers and have a swollen head, I no longer fear the stick BUT I WANT THE CARROT ( my degree).Thats why I am moving lock stock and barrel to another city next year. But I have to put up with the Ps in this class ( and there are more than two) for three more months.

Your son sure has a lot on his plate. But with you there to see him through he will be fine. I am still praying for him and you. My P daughter has been busy causing havoc behind my back since I went NC. ( I love your word “relationshit” ! lol!) My parents and her have been at my youngest son, so that when he turns up here he is on the defensive and wanting me to argue with him about stuff they have put in his head. So I said to him I am much happier not to have any contact with any of them and tell them all to go sit on a carrot. But he didn’t laugh. Then I asked how my p daught was ( I know…that was dumb!) and he said ” you don’t need to know any of that!” so I thanked him and we settled back into a calmer time. I can’t wait until she has gone back overseas and my P parents die. I prayed for my p parents to die every single night when I was a child from age five. I never missed one night until I left home. Now I am 54 and they are still going strong. God had a joke on me with that one!

Should I just keep being unavailable for this meeting “outside of class” with the P ? ( I know that will bring out the worst in her) Or should I use another strategy?? I have no idea what to do with this one Oxy.

Dear Tilly,

I have an X-friend who I have realized is a border-line personality disorder, and drama-queen. She calls all the time and she also calls my sons and wants them to do things for her, and they can’t stand to be around her. Her husband though is a dear DEAR friend and very ill with heart problems etc. and we want to be around him so we ahve to have some contact with her.

Your TOOTHACHE is a great excuse—use it to the max. Like “oh, dear, I would just LOVE to spend some time out of class with you, I miss our times together, BUT, you know what horrible dental problems I have and I think I have another abscessed tooth, I am just barely able to get to class and back and do my work, it just takes all my strength, but if I felt better I would LOVE to spend time with you. I hope next week or next month or NEXT DECADE, I can find the time to visit with you.” Yea right! NOT!!!

Act down in class or in pain *(even if you aren’t) and “sick” and use that as an excuse to not interact with anyone any more than absolutely NECESSARY. Become a pitiful sick “hermit” barely able to get to class and do your work. It is only for three months, you can pull that one off since no one can SEe you don’t ahve a tooth ache.

Glad the tooth is easing up on the pain, that actually means that it is hitting the infection and you are actually getting better. Pain is a great symptom when we need it to motivate us to FIX the problem.

Thank you and everyone fo ryour prayers. Yep, actually both guys are having a fairly ahrd time lately. I have son D back on antidepressants and will set up some therapy for him as well ASAP.

Son C’s toe (second from little on left) has a dime-sized chunk taken out between them so there is swelling of entire foot (no work this week) but hope it will be better enough by next week he can go back to work on Wednesday. He couldn’t get his shoe on this morning but seems a bit less swollen tonight.

Tilly, I think with your son, the best thing is to not even discuss the Ps with him. They, OF COURSE, will bad-mouth you ALL the time (thus making him uncomfortable and him not wanting to hear it so he may start avoiding THEM) which will make them want to BAD MOUTH YOU MORE, so it may be a gift in disguise for them bad mouthing you, and may have the OPPOSITE effect they intend.

I don’t talk to my cousin about my egg donor at all.

Well, got to get up and get ready for supper, so catch you guys later or tomorrow. Love and hugs and always prayers. Oxy

Dear Oxy,

You said, “I think if you can get your mind wrapped around BOTH the STICK and the CARROT and get to a point where you NO LONGER FEAR the STICK, and NO LONGER DESIRE SO MUCH the CARROT, and just realize that it is not in your power either way, the not CARING either way, will decrease your stress.”

Thank you so much for this post!

I have been busting tush with the job search, and it’s been hard because I see so few jobs in administrative support that my BA in psych might get me in the door for — and TONS of nursing jobs open right now. If I hadn’t listened to the n/p professor and put my RN license on inactive status, I’d be working now. SO I was beating myself up over and over for being so incredible stupid…and so on.

But I don’t undo those past actions today, and I can’t make my inactive Texas license and active California one with worry! It will take time and money that I don’t have right now, and the worry will only sap my strength and prevent me from moving towards a job I can (hopefully) get.

I did fall in love with teaching. There’s nothing wrong with loving the carrot (sounds kinky, but you know what I mean)– but the carrot isn’t me! It was one really nice dream — and I overlooked a really big MEAN stick (the n/p professor and what she did to me). Not good.

I am learning to value my own inner peace above having a certain career, or having life go the way I planned, or even the dream of a happy relationship. I don’t think I have the guts to live outside in a park, but I’ve never tried. I do have the guts to face my brother now, and I didn’t think I’d get this far. I am keeping my eyes on the job search, and even getting a little snaky — when I realized how much it infuriated my brother that I’m frequently just happy for no reason, I stopped sharing that with him, on my niece’s advice. She said it just makes me more a target for his anger and insecurity. “You won’t like it, she said, “but act down for now.” I’m still spontaneously happy — I just take it outside. For now.

I don’t know what my future holds. Today I applied for a terrific job in admin at one of the local hospitals, and I found myself daydreaming about it, for a few minutes. If I got that job, I’d have enough money to take care of my needs, pay my bills, and save a little. Thinking of it, I noticed the huge weight was lifted offmy shoulders, and I felt joyful, confident and strong! Then of course I remembered I hadn’t even snagged an interview.

But I also realized: HEY! Those good feelings came from me! Just when I thought I didn’t have those things anymore (confidence or strength and certainly not joy), there they were! MINE. It was quite the moment.

Now that my carrot attraction factor (caf) has calmed down a bit, I don’t believe I’ll be so vulnerable to the stick! And I’ll keep that image in my head, thanks to you!

Please keep us posted on both your sons.

Lots of love,

Dear Betty,

I’m so glad that my analogy of the Carrot and the stick helped you to clarify things and I am so glad that you are feeling better as well. I wish you well with your job search.

I turned in my license (RNP) about 6 months after my husband died, and put it on inactive status because truly I should not have people’s lives in my hands (short term memory problems etc from the PTSD) and I am actually glad I did. I could ge tit back in 30 days with some catch up courses, but the joke was “by then I would have sobered up.”

Of course it really isn’t a joke, because I do not need to be practicing when I have CRS this badly, and I did have sense enough to realize it. So much of my idenity was wound up though in BEING “Nurse oxy” and so I lost that part of my idenity too (and the income). But though your license isn’t active, I think the education and background in nursing would give you some UMPH! in any kind of hospital administration job and there are quite a few that don’t require licenses. Other jobs too. Maybe even auditing charts for insurance commpanies. Just need the knowledge for that, not the license. So keep your eyes open for some connected job that will use the experience and knowledge you have.

I am glad too that you are realizing those good feelings come from WITHIN you and you can enjoy them.

The MD’s oiffice called today and left a voice mail that the lab results were back, so we will call them back in the morning for the lab report. Keeping fingers crossed.

Have a good evening, Betty and thanks for your post and your prayers!!! (((hugs)))) Oxy

I am having the two teeth pulled out. So I will look how I feel! ( like a wicked witch from down under!). But I will do your strategy..keep the swab in the mouth for class (IT WORKS). And catch up with my P teacher ….yeah, next decade. ( I love it!) lol!
Sorry your sons are going through so much, its hard to have to sit by and feel so helpless. But I know after what they have all been through that they are strong and will come out on top in the end.
I am going to try what you say with my son. Its usually money related things that they all lie about in, in regard to me. Of course.
Thankyou so much ((((Oxy))), you are always in my prayers now.

Dear Tilly,

There is nothing to say after these teeth are out that you can’t fake a “dry socket” (painful for weeks after an extraction) or ANOTHER abscessed and painful tooth—it is only for 3 months and you can fake being depressed and in pain for THAT long. Heck you can stand on your head in a sewer for 3 months if you know that will be the END of it! I had a job like that once, I HAD to stay there 3 months to get their clinic up and running and then I was OUT OF THERE, but if I quit, I would be OUT altogether, so I stuck it out. Was LIKE A TOOTHACHE but I made it. Used up all available sick leave and vacation time, and SCREAMED a lot after work, but made it!!! You can too, you are at least as STUBBORN and hard headed as I am, so just mark the days off the months one at a time and PRETEND TO BE DOWN, nothing a P loves more than for seeing you depressed, in pain and down so she ought to be HAPPY. FAKE IT TIL YOU MAKE IT!!!!! Huggles!

ps..Tilly, thanks for the prayers, ALWAYS need them, my guys have made a lot of progress considering the air craft crash (son D was badly burned when my husband got killed in the same crash) my step dad’s illness and death, my husband’s death and all the P-chaos, but we are TOGETHER and are HERE for each other, so we are very fortunate. There are NO cross words or hateful behavior here in this house, it is FILLED with love and care for each other. It would take elephants to pull us apart! And that is a BLESSING. I pray that you and your son heal together to that point, believe me, I had about given up on C while he was married to that witch! Just keep praying God I firmly believes, gives us what we need when we need it! Keep th efaith!

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