Interview with Michael Sunset, Author of A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Manipulate
25 Aug 2020
What can you tell us about your new release, A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Manipulate?
A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Manipulate? The book is about my experience related to text book narcissistic abuse with my ex-spouse who I am currently coparenting with. It describes how a severe narcissist uses others to manipulate situations for personal gain and to hurt others without remorse. Through research and therapy, along with observing the text book behaviors I learned that there are Cluster B disorders in my family starting with my mother. I found it interesting that some members of my family would meet the criteria for one of these personality disorders and others don’t. It makes you wonder how much is genetic and how much is environmental. Regardless of the answer to that question my book details how to overcome severe gaslighting and smear campaigns from an ex-spouse and family members. My goal is to give readers the tools to persevere when it seems like everything is stacked against you.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
Reading Jackson McKenzie’s book Psychopath Free and learning best from hearing other people’s experiences overcoming narcissistic abuse inspired me to write the book.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
Psychopath Free, Will I Ever Be Free If You, Splitting, Stop Walking On Egg Shells, and Dangerous Personalities. These books helped me assess my situation and the people in them accurately before returning to court to modify my custody plan. They helped me identify personality disorders in my ex-spouse, members of her family, and members of my own family. This way I knew my ex-wife had a personality disorder before it was confirmed through a psychological evaluation process. These books helped me make the decision to push to have both of us psychologically evaluated.
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask
My first guest would be Dr. Ramani Darvursala. I would ask her how she learned about Cluster B personality disorders and came to have such a passion for educating people about these disorders.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
I love writing because it’s therapeutic.
What is a typical day like for you?
Wake up at 6am, brush my teeth, shower, have a cup of coffee, and head to work to teach where I get to do what I love with great people. After work I relieve stress by working out, going for a jog, or taking my dog for a walk. On nice nights I will go out kayaking and watch the sunset. I like to read before bed or listen to a sleep meditation to wind down.
What scene from A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Manipulate was your favorite to write?
My favorite scene was discussing going back to court with a high conflict lawyer where I was faced with many false accusations. I enjoyed writing about this because I knew it was coming and I stayed calm knowing this was a reflection of my ex-spouse’s behavior and had nothing to do with me. It was a sign of how far I came in regards to learning about facing a Narcissist in court. This allowed me to be prepared to defend against it. To me there is no better feeling than putting in hard work and getting positive results. I knew when I was writing it many others would be able to relate to this and if they are in the difficult process of continuing to face false accusations they can learn to respond better. It felt good to know this scene would benefit many others in similar situations. I’m learning others are already benefiting from reading scenes such as this.
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
I’ve learned to push myself to reach my goals knowing other people aren’t going to it for me. I’ve also learned not to doubt or limit myself. I had many limiting beliefs prior to writing the book. Now I focus on the end result of where I want to be instead of the obstacles that are preventing me from getting there. I focus on what I’m grateful for everyday and what I can give to others.
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