She Writes Press (2017)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (05/18)
In “Lost in the Reflecting Pool,” psychologist Diane Pomerantz takes us along with her as she reflects on her painful marriage to a narcissistic psychiatrist named Charlie. When their relationship began, it seemed that the good outweighed the bad. Charlie “did all the right things,” which caused Diane to overlook some warning signs. As time passed, the couple dealt with infertility issues, adoption and Diane’s breast cancer. Charlie’s behavior worsened and Diane was left feeling emotionally abandoned. It was painful to read as she tried to hold her family together while struggling to survive. During this time, Diane also discovered that Charlie was having inappropriate relationships with several of his patients. In addition to his other abhorrent behavior, Charlie also leaves a journal out for Diane to see and read about his hatred towards her. Diane knew she must to find a way to move forward with her life before Charlie completely destroyed her.
“Lost in a Reflecting Pool” has some truly heart-wrenching moments, yet Diane’s strength shines through as she finds a way out and is able to create a better life for herself and her children. Her journey will give strength to others who find themselves in similar circumstances. Having personally experienced relationships with narcissists, I could relate to so much of what she went through, especially, when I look back and see how I allowed myself to overlook the warning signs. In one case, I became very good friends with an ex-wife of someone with whom I had been in a relationship. As he repeated his same narcissistic behaviors with me, she told me that seeing this helped her realize that she wasn’t crazy. I can totally understand this, because I think for many us, it is hard to understand how someone can receive pleasure from causing pain to others, especially those who are supposed to be a loved one. In Diane’s case, she was a psychologist and he a psychiatrist. He was in a profession with high ethical standards, especially regarding patients.
I suspect that some people with narcissistic tendencies may choose careers in mental health because of the ease in which they find their victims. For those of us who sincerely choose to work in professions where we desire to help others, this is unimaginable, yet evidence exists that it does indeed happen. Charlie took his behavior to a higher level, in that he was emotionally abusive to his family. I see him as a covetous sociopath. I am so glad that Diane made her escape and raised two successful children.
“Lost in the Reflecting Pool,” by Diane Pomerantz is a critical story for others to read, especially if they are starting to see some tell-tale signs. This memoir is amazing. Well-written and straight from the heart, people will easily relate to so much of what she writes. Diane is truly inspirational, and I believe that by sharing her harrowing journey, she will help others to avoid the same pain. A wonderful message of hope and courage.