It turns out that somatization is related to hysteria, which stems from the Greek cognate of uterus. Uterus = hysteria. They al...moreA quote from this book:
It turns out that somatization is related to hysteria, which stems from the Greek cognate of uterus. Uterus = hysteria. They always called me hysterical in my family. Extreme feeling. Sarah Bernhardt. Intense. But what is extreme? I mean, what would be the appropriate level of emotional response to someone beating you daily or calling you jackass or stupid or molesting you? What would be the nonhysterical response to living in a world where so many are eating dirt and swimming in the sewage system in Port-au-Prince to unclog the drains and find plastic bottles to sell? What would be the appropriate nonhysterical response to people blindfolding other people and walking them around naked on leashes or watching waving people being abandoned on rooftops in a flood? What would be the proper way to experience these things? Hysteria - a word to make women feel insane for knowing what they know.(less)
"I realized then that for all of us, part of the process of Mom's dying was mourning not just her death but also the death of o...moreBest quote about death:
"I realized then that for all of us, part of the process of Mom's dying was mourning not just her death but also the death of our dreams of things to come. You don't really lose the person who has been; you have all those memories. I would always have the summer in Godalming when I was six and learned to tie my shoe; and the year in England when Nina drank so much Ribena blackberry currant syrup that we dubbed her Nina Ribena; and the performance of Giselle in London I'd seen with Mom, my first ballet ever, when Baryshnikov and Gelsey Kirkland danced so brilliantly they got seventeen standing ovations, and Mom and I stood side by side with tears rolling down our faces because it was so thrilling. (...)
"But we were all going to have to say goodbye to Mom taking her youngest grandchildren to a Broadway show or to the Tate Modern or to Harrods to marvel at the Food Hall and visit the pet store puppies. We were going to have to say goodbye to the little ones remembering their grandmother beyond a fleeting image or an imagined memory prompted by a photograph. We would need to say goodbye to Mom at their graduations and to her buying them clothes and to them bringing home boyfriends and girlfriends to meet her.
"We would also have to say goodbye to the joy of watching this next generation soak up the massive quantities of love their grandmother would have given them, and seeing them learn that there was someone in the world who loved them as much as their parents did: a grandmother who was delighted by all their quirks and who thought they were the most amazing creatures on earth."
This book is a beautiful tribute from a son to his mother, told through the books they read and shared together in her last years of life. Through the impromptu book club they began, Will and his mother Mary Ann grow to know each other more deeply as they share their views, opinions, and ideas on the experiences of the characters in the books they read, and how those stories relate to their own lives. Will and Mary Ann love books, and if you do too, you'll enjoy this one - and find in its pages many more titles to add to your "to-read" list!
An actress and model who has been lauded and perhaps idolized for her beauty lays bare the eating disorder and mental illness that nearly killed her....moreAn actress and model who has been lauded and perhaps idolized for her beauty lays bare the eating disorder and mental illness that nearly killed her. While working on hit show Ally McBeal, representing the L'oreal line of hair products, and branching out into a movie career, Portia was gripped by the need to be ever thinner, to rid herself of every fat cell. She counted calories obsessively, refusing to use toothpaste to brush her teeth in case the paste contained hidden calories. Her weight sunk to 82 pounds and still she drove herself to lose more.
This memoir is somewhat terrifying, especially when you consider that none of her Hollywood contacts called Portia on what she was doing to herself. Her account of trying to film "Who is Cletis Tout?", wherein she found herself physically unable to do a scene thanks to the overwhelming pain in her joints, is sobering - and yet no one on the movie set (at least, not that she reports) asks about her health or gives her any kind of message about being too thin.
The book's epilogue briefly discusses Portia's return to mental and physical health, with a hard-won attitude toward food and exercise that will keep her there. Well worth reading.(less)
Great book. Doris uses excerpts from her daughter's diary along with her own writings and recollections to recount Andrea's last year of life and her...moreGreat book. Doris uses excerpts from her daughter's diary along with her own writings and recollections to recount Andrea's last year of life and her tragic death from bulimia. She doesn't shy away from reflecting on her own role in Andrea's illness, and provides an excellent list of resources for concerned parents.(less)
Got about halfway through this before I needed to return it to the library. I'll have to purchase it and read the whole thing when I can afford to. Re...moreGot about halfway through this before I needed to return it to the library. I'll have to purchase it and read the whole thing when I can afford to. Really great info about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and how to change your irrational core beliefs in order to change your behaviour around food. Not the sort of book you can just sit and read through, you need to approach it as a workbook with time to reflect and do exercises.(less)