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Summary

The FOG is an acronym that stands for "Fear, Obligation, and Guilt". These three emotions are often how narcissists, sociopaths, and other types of emotional manipulators go about controlling others. 

However, this type of destructive manipulation isn't just limited to narcissists and sociopaths. There is no shortage of people with well-intended bad advice out there who unintentionally fall into the FOG as well and push targets of abuse into keeping the relationship going.

The FOG is one of the main reasons that people stay "stuck" in abusive relationships for so long, why they continue to get involved with abusive people, why they feel they are the problem, and why they tend to feel that the abuse is somehow their fault. When a person is being manipulated, they have a hard time figuring out who has the problem, what is normal, what is problematic, and if their wants, needs, and feelings are valid. The disastrous effects of being lost in the FOG are confusion, crazy-making, people-pleasing, and an erosion of boundaries. What makes this well-intended bad advice so damaging is that, on the surface, it seems like good advice - especially if it's coming from people who seem to have our best interests in mind, such as friends, family, church members, support-group members, or a therapist.

Some examples of this well-intended bad advice that comes from other people is: "Who are you to judge?", "No one is perfect", "You need to forgive them", "She's your mother, you need to have a relationship with her...she's not getting any younger you know", and "Commitment is forever".

This audiobook dives into these and other commonly confused topics such as:

  • "Who are you to judge" vs. being discerning
  • "You need to forgive them" vs. keeping yourself safe
  • A parent vs. a predator
  • Commitment vs. codependency
  • Self-love vs. selfishness
  • A person acting the part vs. a person actually changing
  • Gut instincts vs. hypervigilance
  • A friend vs. someone being friendly
  • Caring vs. caretaking
©2017 Dana Morningstar (P)2019 Dana Morningstar

What listeners say about Out of the Fog

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A life-changing read

Thank you so much, Dana, for this book. It’s been a touchstone for me during a very dark two-year period of coming to terms with and waking up to the abusive relationships of my past (too many), and navigating my way out of them. I’m now left with a blank canvas of no close friends and no job, but it’s preferable to living with one-sided relationships and people who violate my professional boundaries. Who knows - I could now crash and burn completely, or continue to honour myself and grow...

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Excellent read highly recommend

Loved this book. As a therapist working in domestic violence it gave me a greater insight into the world of abuse and narcissism one that I hadn't had before from theory alone.

1 person found this helpful

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Life changing for me

Woke me up to the life I was living and the abuse I was denying for many years .. best book ever to switch that ‘light’ on to what is really happening and your in a destructive, abusive and hurtful relationship, and need the strength to get out.

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Inspiring

Inspiring and informative listen. Brought a lot of clarity, understanding and peace. Thank you, Dana.

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Just what I needed

I have read tons of books in this topic. But Dana’s book is definitely the best for me!
Easy to digest, very warm, supportive, practical and uplifting.
Thank you Dana for writing this book!

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fantastic

Great book. I am going to read again and share with others. Lots of useful information inside for anyone who has come across abusive relationships.

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Excellent!

This is an audiobook I really enjoyed!!! It is full of helpful informations and advices. I will listen to it a second time as soon as I finish it!

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I really think this is the best book I have read on Narcest behaviour to date

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  • Alexandria Filipowski
  • 23-10-19

THE best book I’ve ever read on the subject

I’ve read so many books on narcissism and abuse through my journey of healing, however, this has been one of THE best.

Throughout the relationship with my emotionally abusive partner, I read countless books on personality disorders and narcissism, hoping that the books would help me diagnose my partner as to validate my reasons for leaving.

This book, although I have read it a week after going no contact with my now abusive ex, has helped me to recognize that I don’t, and never did, have to give someone a clinical diagnosis to recognize and accept that the behavior and treatment was just... not okay. Plain and simple.

I truly believe that everyone should read this book regardless of whether you have been in an abusive romantic relationship. This book can help you understand your own patterns, how to create boundaries in general, and recognize when others (coworkers, bosses, family members, friends) are treating you poorly regardless of whether you recognize it in this moment.

Thank you for, quite literally, helping to save my life.

36 people found this helpful

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  • Jsto
  • 07-08-20

YOU ARE NOT CRAZY - IT IS ABUSE. READ THIS BOOK.

If you have the slightest inkling you might be experiencing a form of emotional/psychological abuse or just think there's some toxicity in your relationships that needs cleaning up, please please please read this. Don't be deterred by the word "Narcissistic" in the title. That word can be very misleading.

I consider myself to be very self aware & intuitive and never thought I would fall victim to a narcissist or abuse. I did not see my partner nor family members as Narcissists because they did not fall under the descriptions I was used to hearing. THANK GOD I ignored that word and read this book - it has blown my mind!!!!!! It's not like I haven't done LOADS of marriage counseling, individual therapy, spiritual work, metaphysical exploration, etc. I have read SO many books & articles, watched endless youtube videos, consulted experts of all kinds, wise friends, my inner wisdom, my higher power, you name it, yet no one has been able to identify the abuse I have been victim to. Some have touched on it, but this book EXPLAINS IT ALL!!! Every tiny little nuance that made my relationship & circumstances seem different is explained here. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. I'm writing this review to hopefully help anyone out there who needs to hear this. And for the younger me who I wish had read this years ago.

Don't be like me who wasted 20 years of my life enduring extremely subtle, insidious, crazy-making manipulation, gas-lighting, bullying, intimidation, etc, yet could never quite put my finger on it all. I eventually came to the realization that there was some of that going on, but I also thought that because I wasn't perfect in the relationship, because I didn't always handle things the best way and because my partner also had many redeeming qualities and we shared so many truly lovely experiences and magical memories together that some how, some way, perhaps this could be salvaged. And don't even get me started on the guilt. Oh the guilt.

This book is like a compass, hopefully putting me on a path toward a better life and I hope it does for you too. Sending you loving, healing vibrations. We can do this.

25 people found this helpful

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  • Sebastian Korwal
  • 24-04-19

Life-changing! The BEST book on narcissistic abuse

Such a powerful book! This should be required reading/listening in school, the subject is so important, and this particular book presents it in such a clear-cut, organized way. I had so many jaw-dropping epiphanies while listening - things I've been seeking the answers to my entire life. Dana Morningstar does an excellent job narrating, making it feel as if she's sitting across from you having a heartfelt conversation. BUY THIS BOOK! It will absolutely change your life for the better.

38 people found this helpful

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  • Adri
  • 12-05-19

I think my audio download is messed up...

A whole bunch of chapters and "real life experiences" were repeated multiple times. Furthermore, it seemed some of the material was from the Author's first book (Start Here, I believe is the name).

The information was great, but after 5 to 8 times of re-listening to the same material, things became annoying. The first book was great. I really hope I just got a glitch with the download. I'm returning and letting Audible customer know.

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  • Lilly F.
  • 20-07-19

Not for me

I loved Dana's website, so I was surprised that I didn't like the book much. Most of the book was repetitive and vague. Maybe I was expecting too much, but this book wasn't for me.

10 people found this helpful

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  • jackie
  • 05-05-20

Disappointed

I was very excited to find this book after seeing the positive reviews. I got about halfway through, pushing myself to give the author a chance. What concerns me is that in every chapter I listened to, the author makes a negative connection to her experience with therapy. I’m all for people sharing their experience, but it would have been sufficient to limit those ‘opinions’ to the first/chapters and focusing on more objective material.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-05-19

Excellent info

This book focuses on the recovery techniques, rather than the past, which is unusual in this field. Most are for noticing patterns of the abuse, which will be important in the first stages, especially. But we soon need a way out, and this book helps.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Tara Black
  • 20-04-19

Game changer- life changer

I’ve read thousands of books with topics similar to this. This book is the most relevant & enlightening that I’ve come across to date. I’ve listened at least 3 times....so much useful knowledge.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Stephen S.
  • 17-04-19

Dana Morningstar, THANK YOU 💛💜💚💙

I have been subscribed to Dana Morningstar's Thrive After Abuse Channel on YouTube for a while now. I'm so glad I got this opportunity to download the Audible version of this. The information is priceless on my plan on listening it to it again. Also I'm very glad that Dana Morningstar took the time to do the speaker's many other authors have another voice narrating their book... And I find Dana's voice super soothing and, I'm trying to figure out how to move on after so much and it's so validating to know that it is possible to heal and that I am not the only one

12 people found this helpful

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  • ann
  • 15-04-19

Resourceful, validating and supportive

Out of the Fog has spoken my truth. This book has been the therapist I have been looking for the past 30 years of my life. Finally, I found someone who understands the abuse and neglect I have endured my entire life. Morningstar has help me make sense of the “crazy making” behavior of my dysfunctional family, friends and intimidate relationships that has made me depressed, codependent, and cognitively dissent. She puts a name to narcissistic behaviors and helps to explain why boundaries are so important. This book has given me the strength I need to continue to heal myself and start believing in my own thoughts and feelings so I can find my sense of self. Highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for answers to their dysfunctional life and family systems.

12 people found this helpful