A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Manipulate

Non-Fiction - Memoir
98 Pages
Reviewed on 08/23/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite

If you ever wondered what goes into emotional and psychological spousal abuse that stems from narcissism, A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Manipulate is the book that will show you a first-person account. Author Michael Sunset is a survivor of an abusive marital relationship and hopes to share his overall experience that begins with enduring a brutal smear campaign by his own mother and sister along with his ex-wife. He articulates how people with Cluster B personalities master cunning manipulation that can put you through great stress and anxiety that could trigger your suicidal tendencies. He gives real-life examples of insidious gaslighting and how victims can defend themselves against it in order to prevent the gaslighters from growing more venomous. He emphasizes the importance of self-care and healthy coping strategies with external support (in Mr. Sunset’s case, his daughter and his brother) as key factors in recovery and maintaining your well-being.

A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Manipulate exemplifies what it feels like to be a man in an abusive relationship. Psychological and emotional abuse is often attributed to women as victims. Perhaps male victims are reluctant to report abuse because they either feel embarrassed or fear that no one would believe them, given the societal norms that men are expected to be strong especially in a heterosexual relationship. Thankfully, Michael Sunset shows emotionally and psychologically abused men, as well as those who care for them, that they are not alone, and that they do not face a shortage of resources when combatting manipulative tactics employed by their abusers. Reading his experience, it is comforting to know that victimized men can overcome the abuse.

Trisha Dawn

A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Manipulate is a memoir of an honest, empathic, and well-rounded man, Michael Sunset. Michael Sunset’s memoir tells the story of his long struggle of being manipulated by the people he loved and trusted most. He describes his traumatizing experience of being mentally abused by his sister, his mom, and his ex-wife along with her parents. They all worked together to manipulate everyone around him, to take control of his finances, and to take his daughter away from him. It is a memoir filled with emotional abuse brought about by gaslighting, smear campaigns, stonewalling, reality distortions, financial abuse, and the ways to defend against them.

A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Manipulate by Michael Sunset is a detailed, valuable, and authentic book. What is most notable in this memoir is Michael Sunset’s strength and determination to fight for himself and for his daughter until the end, despite the grueling challenges he constantly faced. I was left speechless by the behavior of his own family: his mom and his sister pretending to be on his side when all along they have been sabotaging him behind his back. It shocked me that they were as obnoxious as his wife. I couldn’t help but express my dismay out loud as I read further into the story. I could only imagine the pain, disappointment, and suffering Michael felt after he realized he was being manipulated, not only by his wife and her parents but by his own mother and sister as well. I was delighted when he finally won the battle and started his process of healing. This memoir has expanded my knowledge about mental health and given me insight into the ways of mental abusers. A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Manipulate was truly an eye-opening read.

K.C. Finn

A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Manipulate is a work of non-fiction in the memoir, social issues and advice, and guidance sub-genres, and was penned by author Michael Sunset. Focusing specifically on a type of emotional abuse and manipulation brought about by narcissistic tendencies, the work recounts the real-life experiences of the author at the hands of those whom he trusted most. In order to obtain custody and financial control during a divorce, we hear how the author’s ex-wife made him and his family believe that he had a mental illness. What results is a shocking uncovering of reality and a helpful account that can warn others of the kind of emotional abuse you might not even know you’re experiencing.

Author Michael Sunset offers a brave account of his real experiences in this accomplished and concise work of memoir writing. The narrative style is clean and professionally edited, but it keeps its most raw and personal touches with great, accessible phrasing. It is as if the work is narrated by a close friend telling you his story, which is all the more heartening and harrowing as the details unfold. Uncovering a truly fascinating and devastating personal experience with mental and emotional abuse, the work delivers on its mission to expose predatory behavior for others to see how and why it works. Overall, A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Manipulate is a very valuable work for others to read, either to help make sense of their own experiences or be warned against this kind of trauma in the future.

Kayla Cook

Michael Sunset thought he was in a healthy, loving relationship with his wife and family. However, when his world was shattered, he was forced to realize that those he thought loved him only wanted to hurt him. His sister, mother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, and wife all conspired together to smear him, make him believe he was insane, rip his daughter away from him, and ruin his life. Now, after divorcing his wife and cutting those abusive people out of his life, he is on the road to recovery with his daughter and he wants to share his experiences and educate people on the reality of narcissism. How can you identify narcissism in those around you? What common tactics do narcissists employ and how can you defend yourself against them? How should you confront the narcissists in your life? Read A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Manipulate by Michael Sunset to find out all this and more.

A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Manipulate is an alarming memoir that does an excellent job of educating its readers about gaslighting, smear campaigns, and other narcissistic practices, thus enabling readers to recognize the abuse they may be suffering and stop it. Michael Sunset also provides effective methods to counter such tactics. By sharing his own story, Michael effectively gives examples of such tactics in use, explains the effects they can have on a person, and describes decisions he should have made sooner to stop or mitigate the abuse. Furthermore, Michael talks about practices he takes part in that are helping him recover from the intense psychological and emotional trauma he endured. A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Manipulate truly is a chilling true story that’s a must-read for anyone who has suffered or is suffering from narcissistic abuse and who wants to break free from it and move on.

Lesley Jones

Born into a home with a narcissistic mother and submissive father, Michael Sunset became accustomed to being mentally and emotionally abused. When he met his wife, the same manipulative and abusive signs started to appear. This is Michael's story of how he became the victim of mental abuse, gaslighting, and a smear campaign aided by members of his family and how he fought back to reclaim his life. Michael's memoir, A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Manipulate, tackles many sensitive subjects concerning the manipulative techniques he endured at the hands of his abusers to gain maximum control over him. After being misdiagnosed by mental health professionals, he had to face a lengthy court battle to have contact with his daughter, whilst being constantly berated by relatives. Michael will also share the knowledge he gained and the methods he used to overcome his abusers to finally live a free and happy existence.

A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Manipulate by Michael Sunset is a very emotional and insightful memoir into the manipulation techniques used to control another person's mind. Michael's experiences will certainly help others spot the danger signs within toxic relationships. His explanation of the term gaslighting was described perfectly and his advice on dealing with narcissistic personalities really helpful. What I found most disturbing was the behavior of some health care professionals and their readiness to supply the victim with medication without a detailed assessment of the patient. Michael also highlights the dangers of being around toxic people whose sole aim is to chip away at your self-worth. If this abuse is allowed to continue, it can have such a detrimental effect on your mental health and the line between fact and fiction becomes blurred. Michael is living proof that you can overcome extreme mental torture and use such a bad experience to help others. I would highly recommend anyone in a similar situation to read this memoir. You will not only be able to determine the warning signs but also devise an action plan to escape the abuser's clutches.