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Divorcing Mom: A Memoir of Psychoanalysis

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  16 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Psychoanalysis was her family's religion‚"‚‚"instead of wafers and wine, there were Seconals, Nembutals, and gin. Baptized into the faith at fourteen, Melissa Knox endured her analyst's praise of her childlike, victimized mother‚"‚‚"who leaned too close, ate off Melissa's plate, and thought "pedophile" meant "silly person." Gaslighted with the notions that she'd seduced ...more
Hardcover, 218 pages
Published January 22nd 2019 by Cynren Press
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Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Following her enrollment at a summer camp program, 14 year old Melissa Knox was severely depressed and unable to speak or leave the house. The counseling staff notified her parents of her compulsive and inappropriate topics of sex and masochism, and Knox was placed in therapy with Dr. Oscar Sternbach; a Viennese psychoanalyst that escaped the Holocaust, and maintained a practice in upper Manhattan. In “Divorcing Mom: A Memoir of Psychoanalysis” Knox shared her compelling and troubling story ...more
Sep 08, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was pretty disturbed by this book throughout. At times I thought, “This is the strangest memoir I’ve ever read”. Melissa Knox resells memories of growing up with a clearly mentally unstable mother, being a victim of sexual abuse, incest, and neglect. This memoir was more than Melissa “divorcing mom”. It describes years of improper psychoanalysis, to which she eventually realizes.

While there were times I came across a particularly profound internal thought shared by Melissa, I did not look
Sep 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book Review: Divorcing Mom: A Memoir of Psychoanalysis
Author: Melissa Knox
Publisher: Cynren Press
Publication Date: January 22, 2019
Review Date: September 7, 2018

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Ok, this was a well-written memoir. No issue with the writing. But the subject matter turned my stomach. I don’t know what’s going on: this is the 2nd book in the past month that I’ve had a very intense negative visceral reaction to, the other book being
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Divorcing Mom is a harrowing and complex book about a 14 year old girl who began therapy with a Freudian psychotherapist was abusive and demeaning and dominated Ms. Knox well into adulthood. He was hired by Melissa Knox's mother, a highly narcissistic and damaged woman, whose negative beliefs and flawed vision of her daughter gave the therapist all of the room he wanted to control Knox until mid-adulthood. It is hard to believe how this was able to continue but Melissa Knox but her own impaired ...more
Susan Balee
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This memoir's prose drew me immediately -- lots of sensory details, great dialogue, humor in the midst of tragedy. As others have said, there's much in here that's painful: this author, like Augusten Burroughs, Susannah Kaysen, Tobias Wolff, and so, so many other writers endured a childhood skating on the borders of madness. Her parents were themselves troubled children in the bodies of adults, but she had no other caretakers, so, like Faulkner's Dilsey, she endured. Unlike Dilsey, she wasn't ...more
Kathleen Garber
Feb 03, 2020 rated it liked it
The author, Melissa Knox, lived a strange life. I’m all for psychonalysis but her parents took it to a whole other level. Her parents had a psychotherapist, emphasis on the psycho. Then they got her one and he was weird and inappropriate with her.

I have had counsellors and psychologists in my lifetime and it’s never been anything like what she went through. I hope there aren’t therapists like that around now. If you aren’t sure if your therapist is acting appropriately or giving you good
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The resilience and humor of this incredible tale of being brainwashed and overcoming the brainwasher brings to mind Henry James's remark: "The increasing seriousness of things--that's the great opportunity for jokes." Melissa Knox manages to move beyond the pain she had to endure and the authoritarian analyst who told her what to think and what to feel. A captivating story full of insights, told in a light yet sophisticated manner. Highly recommended--also for readers who have not experienced ...more
Janilyn Kocher
Divorcing Mom is a bizarre book. I did not like it at all. There is no introduction to the author, readers are plunged into her strange story. The chapters are rambling recollections with no cohesion. The author spent years with a therapist who did more damage than anything else. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.
Divorcing Mom is very sad, dark, and disturbing. The author goes into detail about her very messed-up family, two very messed-up psychoanalysts (the author's own and the one that treated her mother and father), and how she finally left her family. It offers no insight, and leaves you in a dark mood; I would not suggest this book for most people. [Thanks to Netgalley and Cynren Press for an ARC]
Rhonda Lomazow
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Melissa Knox has written a raw open honest memoir ,a memoir a young woman’s suffering sexual abuse at her parents and her analysts hands .An unimaginable life suffering no child should endure.Melissa Knox is a brave woman whose life is not easy to read about but a story you wil not forget.# Edelweiss.
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was privileged to read the early galleys of this brave recounting of a young woman abused by childish, violent parents and her exploitative psychoanalyst. This is a tale of psychoanalysts crazier than their patients, parents who sought parenting from their children, and an isolated teenager struggling to free herself from their web--told with trenchant yet heartbreaking humor.
Jill Elizabeth
I never cease to be amazed by the incredibly difficult childhoods/young adult-hoods that some people undergo - or by the resilience and strength that so many exhibit in overcoming such horrid beginnings... Melissa Knox's memoir is a prime example of this. In a no-holds-barred voice that wanders over, under, and through her experiences, Knox relates a horrifying series of events that can all be traced to an obsessive familial dependence on psychoanalysis. It's a tough, gut-wrenching read, and ...more
rated it did not like it
Feb 10, 2019
Stefani Akins
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
With this and my last review, I seem to be on a bit of a mental health track, but I assure you it’s complete coincidence. I was sucked in by the promise that “Divorcing Mom” would be humorous, and while it is very well written and engaging, you won’t find much to laugh about.

Melissa is fourteen when she is first sent to Dr. Sternbach, her mother’s psychiatrist. This is New York, don’t you know, and for decades (and perhaps still) it was stereotypical that at some point, as a New Yorker, you
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