4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Dr. C. Errol Ball reveals how he overcame the pain and consequences of an abusive upbringing in his inspirational memoir, Functional Dysfunction. As both a Christian minister and a physician, the author provides an insightful perspective regarding the connection between spiritual, mental, and physical healing. Dr. Ball draws from his experiences, honestly chronicling his mistakes and the lessons he has learned. He offers understanding, compassion, and encouragement that will resonate with readers desiring to transform their lives.
This 100-page book contains a wealth of information; it is organized and eloquently written. Dr. Ball refers to his faith journey without sounding preachy or judgmental toward his abusers. His insightful principles will appeal to a wide range of readers. For instance, he encourages such practices as resisting the temptation to blame others, self-acceptance, forgiveness, and self-care in the book's final chapter, "Winning Strategies." However, he also emphasizes the value of hard work and setting goals. The minister practiced what he preached by returning to college, elevating his GPA from 1.75 to 3.5, and eventually completing medical school.
I most admire Dr. Ball's ability to sensitively convey the sexual and physical abuse he endured without portraying a victim mentality. He quite effectively strikes a balance between transparency and accountability while encouraging forgiveness and personal reflection. From his plummeting grades to his dysfunctional relationships, the author illustrates the far-reaching effects of abusive and emotionally unavailable parents. His recollection of his parents never verbally expressing their love for him as a child is heartbreaking. Even so, he now models unconditional love by making peace with the parents who hurt him. The following quote exemplifies the author's core message: "I have come to find that every experience--whether painful or pleasant--offers an opportunity for growth, a chance to turn sour grapes into a fine wine."
As a boy, Dr. Ball observed inappropriate contact between his father and older sister, witnessing firsthand the cycle of abuse. Sensitive readers should be aware of nonexplicit references to the author's sexual abuse and how it affected his relationships with women as a young man. There are also a few instances of minor profanity; the author quotes others' crude comments.
The book's editing was flawless, and I didn't note a single error. I am unable to highlight anything I dislike or suggestions for improvement. Therefore, I unreservedly rate Functional Dysfunction 4 out of 4 stars. The exceptional book is likely to help readers struggling with the aftermath of abuse, seeking more purpose in their lives, or desiring to break dysfunctional lifestyle patterns.
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon