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“Caitlin Rother brings the same unsparing honesty and journalistic integrity that make her meticulously researched true-crime novels intriguingly readable. The story is harrowing (shudder). I think literally every woman will see bits of herself in it.”
“This book was excellent. I cried more than once. Any woman who is in this situation can read this to gain the strength to leave and start healing. In fact, ALL women should read this, whether they are domestic violence victims or not.”
— Pam Warnock, Soroptimist International
When I first met Rich Rose, I could see in his eyes that he had secrets. I just had no idea how twisted and deep they were—or that he was a closet alcoholic—until after we were married. As I got to know him, he proved to be a very kind, generous, and ambitious man, with a huge heart that was quick to love. I was drawn to his love for me and his passion for passion. But tying the knot did not help my feelings grow, resolve any of our fears, or fulfill our hopes and dreams of a life together. It only made things worse. Alcohol-fueled conflict drove us into counseling shortly into the marriage, where the therapist privately diagnosed Rich with borderline personality disorder, but made me promise to keep that a secret from him. That is just one of the difficult chapters in my marriage to this troubled man, who took me on a roller coaster ride of self-doubt, crisis management, and constant chaos, 911 calls, suicidal threats, a trip to the psych hospital, and a life-threatening bout of domestic violence. Years later, I’ve managed to learn and heal from this tragic series of events, to achieve a healthy, happy balance in my life, and to apply my insights and experiences to my career as a true crime author. This is yet another type of #Metoo tale, which I hope will be eye-opening for many women—and men as well—underscoring the message that even strong, accomplished women can find ourselves in these crazy-making situations. And how we can—and must—find the strength to leave before it’s too late.
This is a Milagro charm that Rich gave me in a card for Christmas, four months before he killed himself, with this explanation inside: "A milagro charm is symbolic of a promise made to a scared figure in return for a miracle."
"Secrets, Lies, and Shoelaces is a terrific piece of writing --inward looking, vulnerable, reflective, wise, profoundly sad,
with an uplifting sendoff.” -- Author Craig Lancaster
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