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Don't Call Me Mother: A Daughter's Journey from Abandonment to Forgiveness Paperback – February 1, 2013
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In this new edition of her memoir, Linda Joy Myers illustrates just how powerful the combination of memory confronted, forgiveness offered, and new love expressed, can be. What I admire most about this book is the way the author takes you to her most sustaining love -- the prairie land of the Midwest -- and concludes her story as a return to that place where forgiveness becomes "a feather on my heart, as natural as the plains wind."
--Shirley Showalter, former president of Goshen College, author of the blog I Have a Story
Don't Call Me Mother takes me deep inside the mind of a young girl who has been spurned by that most important person in her life, her own mother. Without a guide to help her develop into a woman, Linda Joy is forced into a vulnerable, innovative search for dignity and survival that is at the heart of every hero's tale.
--Jerry Waxler, M.S., founder of the Memory Writers Network, author of Memoir Revolution, and Four Elements for Writers
With poetically visceral prose, Linda Joy Myers tells of her relentless work to emerge from an abandoned and abused child to a forgiving and loving daughter, mother, and grandmother. This must-read memoir brings her raw dark secrets to life. I couldn't tear myself away. --Madeline Sharples, author of Leaving the Hall Light On
Linda Joy Myers eloquently renders the details of her past in this
transformative memoir, allowing all of us to find redemption through her
honest courage. For anyone yearning for self-discovery, Don't Call Me
Mother serves as a compelling guide on a journey to wholeness. I loved the book.
--Michele Weldon, assistant professor, Northwestern University and author of
I Closed My Eyes, and Writing to Save Your Life.
The new afterword pulls back the veil and lays bare the actual healing power of memoir. Poignant, visceral, and triumphant, this new section left me shaken and stunned with its raw beauty. As a reader, I felt I was witnessing transformation.
--Kathleen Adams LPC, Author, Journal to the Self and Scribing the Soul
Director, Center for Journal Therapy and Therapeutic Writing Institute
From the Author
People ask me why I wrote about the generations of mothers who abandoned their daughters, and how it was that I could find forgiveness for my mother and grandmother. My reason to write the book at first was for my own healing. The memories and stories were jumbled up in my mind, and there were several traumatic moments that kept reappearing. I learned about the power of writing the truth to heal, and even wrote a book about that: The Power of Memoir, and then I realized that because I couldn't find any books to help me understand and heal from my mother wounds, no books about this kind of abandonment, I needed to write a book myself.
It took me many years to write the first edition of the book--I was living through some of the issues raised in the book, but after my mother died, I realized that I could write a more compassionate story than I would have before. Something very significant happened when she died that altered me and how I told my story.
In this new edition, I wanted to share what happened "After the Memoir"--stories that link into how I kept searching for resolution and forgiveness, and how writing the memoir had helped me to see things more clearly. I visit families to explore more layers of truth, and I find truths all right--some are harder than others to bear, but in the end, there is even more resolution. Forgiveness is hard work, but when we manage it, we are free to simply Be.
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With great skill, Myers chronicles her complicated, strained relationship with a mother and grandmother who most likely suffered from some type of severe personality disorder. She then puts herself under the same microscopic lens, exploring the way her family pathology shaped her as a mother, and what it took to free herself from generations of toxic patterns. A great read for anyone who has ever had a complicated relationship with her mother, which is 99.9% of us.
As I said, I'm still processing... in a good way. :)