Dance with the Devil: Love in the Age of Covid, by Maggie Russo
“Dance with the Devil creates a brilliant new genre: part gripping story, part self-help book. It actually helped me identify and recover from narcissistic abuse!” – DM, PhD
He was an attractive man, but Bill was 25 years younger than Julia! She hadn’t any expectation of anything like this happening. On a couple of occasions when she said, “Boundaries, Bill, we need to respect each other’s boundaries,” she might as well have been talking to a wall.
Once, Bill chuckled and smugly responded to Julia’s gentle rebuke by saying, “I always get what I want, eventually.” The arrogance in his comment chilled Julia. Who expects to always get what they want?
Despite seeing red flags, an emotionally mature Julia consents to what she realizes is a short term liaison with the handsome guitar player from Tennessee. She realizes from the start that their romance is based on a trauma bond forged in the Covid pandemic. It takes Julia a few weeks longer to realize that a second trauma is being manufactured by Bill in order to control her.
Narcissists are predatory masters of disguise. We find them in our families, in our jobs, and even in our beds. In order to navigate the modern culture of narcissism, we need a narrative that is personal, yet explains the skills necessary for living healthy lives after experiencing psychological abuse. Dance with the Devil is that story.