I don't know where the idea originated that memoir writing is cathartic. For me, it's always felt like playing my own neurosurgeon, sans anesthesia. As a memoirist, you have to crack your head open and examine every uncomfortable thing in there.
What makes a narcissistic mother so scary? Her absolute power and controlling influence. A narcissistic mother is your only 'friend,' at least until you're old enough to go to school.
If mothers are our first teachers, then having a narcissistic one teaches us that human closeness is terrifying, and the world is a heartless, inconsistent place.
My parents always swore that in my childhood they had to let me win at board games. If, by the lucky stroke of the plastic wheel, my father would accidentally beat me at Candy Land, I would fly into fits of bawling that I'm told would last for hours. If I couldn't triumph, I didn't want to play.
I grew up in a family that despised displays of strong emotion, rage in particular. We stewed. We sulked. When arguments did occur, they were full-scale conniptions, and we regarded them as family failings. Afterward, we withdrew from one another and tried our best to strike the event from our memories.
Why is Kris Jenner a powerhouse? Because some part of us confuses fame and infamy, too. If she really bothered us half as much as we claim she does, we'd look away and stop feeding her empire.
I think what I learned in research is that as Americans, we're very distrustful of anger. We're not sure if we should repress it. The idea that anger is supposed to be controlled is American, and we try to keep it out of our homes.
As long as we depend on other women for self-esteem, using them as bad examples or fantasy versions - special, powerful - of ourselves, they remain stuck in a narcissistic version of themselves, too.
I don't know where the idea originated that memoir writing is cathartic. For me, it's always felt like playing my own neurosurgeon, sans anesthesia.
I grew up in a family that despised displays of strong emotion, rage in particular. We stewed. We sulked. When arguments did occur, they were full-scale conniptions, and we regarded them as family failings.
In my early to mid-20s, a fear of confrontation made it difficult for me to end relationships in a mature or even quasi-sane way. Instead, I would hang on resentfully, praying that my doomed beau would end things first and spare me the displeasure. To add hindrance to hang-up, the men I chose were usually just as stoic as I was.
I think when you're 14 years old, I think you're sort of looking for markers that prove you're an adult and you're independent of your parents.
Reading Poe was like a near-death experience, the kind that makes you feel fragile and free in its wake. I felt almost as though I'd scared myself alive.
We are taught to believe it's bad to be angry, or at least it's not good. That's not the case all throughout the world. People are more open and not embarrassed about it. For instance in Paris, people believe Americans have a really unhealthy relation with anger. They think it's essential to get angry.
I would never make up a character who didn't exist or an event that didn't transpire. If you're a real writer, you have other tools in your toolbox to build drama.