Let me start off by saying that reading this was an assignment, not something I did out of pleasure or interest or anything. My therapist recommended...moreLet me start off by saying that reading this was an assignment, not something I did out of pleasure or interest or anything. My therapist recommended I read this book. This is a tough read, and one you need to be prepared for. I wouldn't recommend anyone pick up reading it unless you're already into psychology.
The book deals with how children adapt to survive when they do not receive unconditional love from their parents. In some cases, these children were raised by parents who had their own issues (addictions, mental illness for example) other children were forced to please their parents for praise and love, others were rejected by their parents because the parents felt threatened by the child's abilities or lack thereof.
The book is a pyschotherapy text, not necessarily for the casual reader. It goes through case studies and gives areas to focus to help come to terms, and grieve for a lost childhood. Some of the stories hit home very hard for me. The tale about the girl who came home to find her mother laying, as if dead, on the kitchen floor. When the girl panicked and tried to revive her, the mother sat up and declared, "Now I know that you love me."
While, i found the book very insightful, it is also slightly outdated. Particularly in its discussion of repressed memories from infancy, which I believe has been proven a bunch of bull pucky. Still, the concept is relevant, even if the case studies use examples that no longer are relevant.
If you've ever felt lost, or like you can never please anyone, this might be worth checking out, but only if you have a good background in psychology. I did find that it gave me that little push towards the realization that my childhood really shouldn't be idealized.(less)