"I think, every once in a while, about the life I should be living, the one I fully expected to be enjoying right about now. In the life I was supposed to have, my husband and I would be admiring the view from our waterfront home in the town where we were both born and raised. Good friends and neighbors would be next door, up the street, and all over the neighborhood. Our parents would live only blocks away, in our childhood homes. We'd be taking our grandchildren to the beach club on weekends, enjoying the fruits of our labors and looking forward to a peaceful retirement. That was the plan, anyway...?ut the whole world knows how that turned out." Mary Jo Buttafuoco's anonymous life as a suburban wife and mother in sleepy Massapequa, New York, on Long Island, ended in May 1992, when she was shot in the head on her own front porch by her husband's sixteen-year-old mistress. The 'Long Island Lolita' saga sparked a media frenzy thatcontinues to this day. As the years passed and Mary Jo steadfastly stood by her man, Joey Buttafuoco, while he and Amy Fisher continued to make headlines, one question lingered in the minds of people everywhere: Why did she stay for so long? In Getting It Through My Thick Skull, Mary Jo finally answers that question fully and convincingly. The answer is simple, yet it took almost three decades of turmoil to discover for herself-she was married to a sociopath. Using her tragic and triumphant life lessons and never-before-told accounts of life with Joey, Mary Joe helps readers undrestand sociaopathic behavior and the emotional traps it springs on willing partners, and offers hope and help for the millions of people caught in the cycle of toxic relationships. In addition, readers will meet a new-and-improved Mary Jo, confident and at peace with her new life, and will be inspired by her comback. Through private details of the resiliency and rebuilding she has forged over the past seventeen years, Mary Jo shares for the first time: -Her addiction to painkillers and her recovery through the Betty Ford Center -Her overdue decision to leave Joey and start over again in California-3,000 miles from her support system -Taking control of her physical, spiritual, and emotional health and learned to feel attractive and in control again -Her highly controversial forgiveness of Amy Fisher -The letters she recieved from both Amy and Joy, and her reactions to both -How she found the courage to trust, believe, and find hope in a committed relationship once again -The details of the new love in her life and the joys and challenges of raising a Brady Bunch-style family Includes a 16-page color insert from the Buttafuoco family album.