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Mary Jo Buttafuoco

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Before May 19th, 1992, our next guest lived in Massapequa, Long Island which is in New York. She was a housewife with a husband and 2 children, a boy and a girl. Trying to be a good mom and wife and just trying to get through life like everybody else. But all that changed on that day in May, when she answered the door to find a young girl on her front stoop. She had never heard the name Amy Fisher, but now, for the rest of my life, she will live forever with her on any Google search.

Yes, you have probably all heard of the case known as the Long Island Lolita Saga…well today we have the privilege to speak with Mary Jo Buttafuoco.  Mary Jo has written a book called “GETTING IT THROUGH MY THICK SKULL - Why I Stayed, What I Learned And What Millions Of People Involved With Sociopaths Need To Know” and it is our priviliedge to have her with us today on Your Life Matters. 

Mary Jo Buttafuoco’s anonymous life as a suburban wife and mother in sleepy Massapequa, Long Island ended in May 1992, when she was shot in the head on her own front porch. The “Long Island Lolita” saga sparked a media frenzy that has not died to this day. As the years passed and Mary Jo steadfastly stood by her man while the name Buttafuoco became a national punchline and Joey and Amy continued to make headlines, one question lingered in the minds of women everywhere: Why did she stay for so long?

In GETTING IT THROUGH MY THICK SKULL Mary Jo answers that question fully and convincingly, in light of a recent revelation. The answer is simple, yet it took almost three decades of turmoil to lead Mary Jo to one inescapable conclusion: she was married to a sociopath. And while Mary Jo’s face and story are known all over the world, she’s just one of countless women who have become similarly enmeshed with a partner who wreaks utter havoc on the lives around them.

It is estimated that as much as 4% of the population could be clinically defined as sociopaths, meaning that there are countless American women (and men!) caught up in these destructive relationships. Most have no idea that they are living with a sociopath. Mary Jo has studied the topic extensively, consulted with doctors and therapists, and listened to many all-too-familiar stories from others who are struggling with the insanity of trying to maintain an intimate partnership with a sociopath.

Clinical definitions of sociopathy vary, and there is a wide range in the scale of behaviors. Millions of spouses, family members and friends have been manipulated by a sociopath to the point that they eventually become willing victims. It’s a truly alarming and widespread pattern of behavior that needs to be more widely understood, and who better to be the voice than Mary Jo Buttafuoco, who lived it, learned from it, and came out the other side a stronger, wiser and happier woman?

In GETTING IT THROUGH MY THICK SKULL Mary Jo uses her own experiences and shares those of the many others she’s met on her journey to help readers determine if they are indeed involved with a sociopath; and if so, what type (the batterer, the cold and remote robot, the charmer, the hit-and-run sociopath, or one of many other “types” along the spectrum). Complete with valuable reflections and exercises, GETTING IT THROUGH MY THICK SKULL illuminates the reasons women stay in such relationships; explains why the spell of a sociopath is so hard to break, and points out the many warning signs along the way for those who feel trapped in a relationship they can’t fix no matter how hard they try.


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