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Publisher's Summary

Why I Stayed, What I Learned, and What Millions of People Involved with Sociopaths Need to Know

Mary Jo Buttafuoco's anonymous life as a suburban wife and mother ended in May 1992, when she was shot in the head on her own front porch. The "Long Island Lolita" saga sparked a media frenzy that has not died to this day.

As the years passed and Mary Jo steadfastly stood by her man, one question lingered in the minds of women everywhere: Why did she stay for so long?

In Getting It Through My Thick Skull, Mary Jo finally answers that question fully and convincingly. The answer is simple, yet it took almost three decades of turmoil: She was married to a sociopath. And while Mary Jo's face and story are known all over the world, she's just one of countless women who have become similarly enmeshed with a partner who wreaks utter havoc on the lives around them.

Using her own experiences, Mary Jo helps listeners determine if they are indeed involved with a sociopath and offers hope and help for them through her tragic and triumphant life lessons. In addition, readers will be inspired by Mary Jo's comeback: A true reclamation and re-creation of her life from the inside out.

Through private details of the resiliency and rebuilding she has forged over the past 16 years, Mary Jo shares with readers for the first time:

  • Her addiction to painkillers and her recovery through the Betty Ford Center
  • Her overdue decision to leave Joey and start over again on her own in California - 3,000 miles from her support system
  • Taking control of her physical, spiritual, and emotional health, and learning to feel attractive and in control again, despite the scars and trauma of the gunshot
  • Her highly controversial and public forgiveness of Amy Fisher
  • The new love in her life and how she found the courage to trust, believe, and find hope in a committed relationship once again
  • ©2009 Mary Jo Buttafuoco; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

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    Answers without Questions

    Mary Jo was shot while I was raising two boys in Brooklyn. This story was talked about by everyone including children at my kid's School. I could not believe Mary Jo's life was being portrayed on live TV as if she didn't deserve respect or privacy as the victim of a crime. I was appauled when Amy was sentenced to such a short time in prison. I suspected Joey had some hold on Mary Jo but I also understood her need to hang on as she was very fragile at that point and he was all she knew. Many people criticized her for staying and defending Joey but she needed to get her bearings before she could make her move. I'm proud of the woman she was and has become. She remained true to herself and her children. Most of all she Survived and is stronger for it. I wish you the best Mary Jo. I feel as if I've known you forever! Thank you for answering the questions I never thought to ask..... Be well my friend xo.

    • Overall

    Good read

    Great read...lot better than the movie. I would recommend this book to everyone. Good book.

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    Disappointing

    I understand that Mary Jo has undergone an extreme, life altering, situation and I cannot even imagine what her experience/recovery has been like. However, when making accusations about a Sociopath there needs to be more examples in order to support her opinion. She gave no examples of Joey Buddafucos behavior for the reader to identify with. Mary Jo's opinion that Joey Buddafuco is a Sociopath is there, but no real evidence to back up his "sociopathic tendencies."
    Very poorly written, in my opinion.

    • Overall
    • Joy
    • Bear, DE, United States
    • 01-01-11

    Finally, she gets it

    I was starting to worry about Mary Jo; she stood by her man for way too long. This book is the final, honest account of her story with Joey B. and the aftermath of the shooting. She is painfully honest and detailed and she deserves kudos for writing a book that sets the record straight from her point of view. I'm glad to hear she is doing well and now has a new life without that jerk!

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    • Lil
    • Idaho Falls, ID, United States
    • 12-17-10

    Nice Perspective...

    I like how Mary Jo tried to keep the larger picture in mind (IE her kids) as she told the story. She didn't seem to want to throw anyone under the proverbial bus. My only criticism is I was hoping to linger a little less on the history and, instead, savor more of what she's learned. Honestly, this came across less as "what I have learned" and more of her beating herself up a little much...but I can't imagine the criticism she faced. The "now-a-days" seemed a little rushed to me. I wanted to hear more details of how "the best revenge is a life well-lived." But it was nice to at least gain some of her perspective. Prosper, strong lady.