Did Jeanette receive psychological help along the way? I am curious about Jeanette ending up renting a room in a psychologist's house. I wonder if that was just a coincidence? I also wonder whether or not in Jeanette's process to come to terms with her upbringing and her parents, she saw a psychologist. She is so gracious, yet admits with humor how her mother can still embarrass her. I just wonder how she got to such an amazing place of acceptance.
From everything I've heard and I've met Jeanette in person she has not had counseling. I have to say though I think there's a great deal of covering up still. I guess some people can look at a situation and see things as completely different than they are. I know in my own life I could never look at my mother and feel she'd been a good mother. I don't know how Jeanette can provide a roof over her mother's head and not feel any sort of anger about the past. Her mother didn't do her laundry or see that she was clean and fed. How can a person exerience that and not feel anger? How can a person write a book about that kind of experience and not feel the slightest bit of satisfaction that the "truth" is going to be out there and people are going to know how rotten your parents were? Jeanette says she didn't write the book to out anyone........she says that.
I am not sure, but I've wondered about that. I would think so, given that Ms. Walls has been able to function in adult life. I would think that to achieve the level of functionality Walls has, you would have to try to sort out some of the issues that were left over from childhood, and it would make the most sense to try to do that through therapy.,
I think that Jeanette focuses on the good things her parents gave her instead of the bad. I do think that her parents did give her some good things emotionally that enabled her to succeed and in some ways, she was far richer mentally than others who had a 'normal' childhood.
I did not see this book as "outing" anyone- when we are silent about something it can bring shame to it that we should not own. Perhaps she has had therapy and this is a way to let go of some of the anger, or shame, or hurt. It is healing to unburden things and take away the power of the secret.
Many of us have grown up in dysfunctional situations and sometimes become very strong individuals. We learn survival skills that some children never have. The innate love and attachment for parents can not always be thrown away.
While reading the book, I felt that though the parents may have done a lot to destroy her body (neglect, hunger, place her in danger, etc.) they didn't do much to destroy her soul. She says that they never struck her in anger, they didn't belittle her, they didn't turn her against her siblings. I think they loved her, as much as they were capable of loving anybody, and I think she demonstrated great inner strengths from early childhood that are still part of her character.
From the way that I understood it, she did not have to worry about "outing" her mother because her mother didn't think she did anything wrong. -Also, from interviews that I've read, she was more concerned that she would lose her friends and her career, people who didn't know about her background. (and it seems she was surprised that that didn't happen)
It's called blocking out the bad. And what her parents did was not just some "mistakes" it was horrid, systematized, continual, extreme abuse. Oh, but the dad taught them about molecular structure, so it's okay? I think not.
I agree with that. I see that "blocking" with some of my own friends. It's almost like a survival technique. In Jeannette's case, she did seem to take the lemons and make lemon meringue pie, and I don't think she blocked out the bad so much as she stopped focusing on it. But no, this treatment was not okay at all. In my mind, her whole upbringing is even worse than she will admit.
Well, I think if she was so angry at her mom, she wouldn't have her living with her (like you said) I think Jeannette has a big forgiving heart. (not that I could do that) that's why I admire her so much, I don't think I would be able to feed and provide for someone so irresponsible.