Linda Appleman Sharpiro will join me here tomorrow on the first stop of her WOW! Women on Writing blog tour to promote her memoir, She’s Not Herself: A Psychotherapist’s Journey Into and Beyond Her Mother’s Mental Illness. To give you a little advance information about her memoir I’ve posted my review here today. As you’ll see I was very much taken by her book.
My review of She’s Not Herself: A Psychotherapist’s Journey Into and Beyond Her Mother’s Mental Illness
I love survival memoirs and this is certainly one of the best I’ve read. It resonated with me and touched me in many ways: the author and I both grew up in the 1940s and 1950s, we were both children of immigrant parents – hers from Russia, mine from Eastern Europe. And most important of all we both had to find a way to grow up and thrive while our mothers were never themselves. The author’s mother suffered from post traumatic stress disorder and depression, my mother battled with borderline manic depression (undiagnosed). Her mother attempted suicide several times; my mother constantly threatened it. We both had adored older brothers who essentially left us with the burden of our mothers. And we grew up at a time when adults kept secrets from their children so we never really knew, but always suspected, what was really going on in our homes. Yet, despite it all, we both went on to get educated even though we were “girls,” get married, and have families and careers, deciding not to live an invisible life like many other women of our generation.
In fact Linda Appleman Shapiro, says, “As difficult as my childhood was, I see it now as a gift from which I can draw strength and compassion.” This gift was the “healing power of forgiving.” With that she went on to become a psychotherapist who for over thirty years has helped others.
Bravo, author Shapiro. Your excellent writing will help many, many others find the strength to overcome what they are dealt.
This quote from She’s Not Herself says it all:
“For me, it wasn’t until I was married and had children that I was truly able to see how deeply affected I was by my childhood. Now, after more than thirty years as a psychotherapist, forty-six years as a wife, forty-four years as a mother, and thirteen years as a grandmother, I hold on to the one belief I consider to be most valuable: the need to honor the parts of our selves that are healthy, the parts that are strong, even when unpredictable situations—our own physical or emotional stressors or those of our loved ones—catch us off guard.”
Read all about it in She’s Not Herself.
Please join us here tomorrow when Linda discusses what it is like to live with a family member suffering from a mental illness in an age when mental illness was hardly discussed.
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