Last month, the books on my reading list included Mary Trump’s Too Much and Never Enough, Shel Silverstein’s The Missing Piece, and Ready to Heal – Breaking Free of Addictive Relationships by Kelly McDaniel.
September book reviews
Let’s start with Too Much and Never Enough. The book left me feeling quite a few opposing emotions. There were times that I almost felt bad for Donald Trump. Almost. It was his older brother Fred (Mary’s father) that really succumbed to the very privileged but unfortunate circumstance that he could not control; being born into the Trump family.
Donald learned to get by and gain favor with his father (Fred, Sr.) by bullying his siblings, lying, and being disobedient. These two factors made Fred, Sr. notice and even encourage and cultivate that kind of behavior, because he saw it as advantageous in the business world. Even though Donald was terrible at managing businesses (or really anything he got his hands on) he had created a persona that made the Trump name synonymous with wealth and grandeur. Fred, Sr. continued to bail Donald out after each business failure to keep up appearances.
The Donald we know today is the product of a sociopath raising a child. A child that never measured up but learned to overcompensate and bluster as a defense mechanism. Donald Trump is a very fragile little man, with an even more delicate ego. I don’t feel sorry for him, one bit. Especially after seeing how much he’s paid in taxes, and seeing how he treats people around him. The election is a month and some change away, and I think that this was the perfect time to read this book. I’d definitely recommend if you are on the fence about who to vote for this November.
Ready to Heal – Breaking Free of Addictive Relationships was like THE BOOK that I needed to read. A section that stood out to me (like really captured my attention and left me shook) was How Emotional Orphans Are Born. It was about Attachment Theory and the infant brain. If we are not emotionally tended to correctly by a or both parents, our brains don’t develop a secure attachment style – meaning that we learn that the world is not safe and that our needs won’t be met.
It’s really a heartbreaking section, because I immediately recalled how my dad used to joke about how I was a good sleeper soon after my mom went back to work after I was born. He said I would cry and cry, and he’d look at me in the crib like, “I don’t have boobs, what do you want me to do?”
Eventually, I didn’t cry anymore.
A very similar scenario was spelled out in this section. I wasn’t self-soothing, as he thought. In fact, I was dissociated and learning that my needs wouldn’t be met.
Reading this clarified so much for me. I fiercely hate having to depend on anyone for anything. If I can do it myself, I will, because I never feel like anyone has my back or really fights for me. I’ve been like that since I was old enough to walk, talk, and read. It stems back to being in the crib with no one coming to answer my cries. From there, I developed an anxious attachment style, and it’s impacted all of my friendships and relationships. I also learned about the concept of “mother hunger” that impacts a woman for her entire life is she is not bonded with her mom. She might spend the rest of her life looking for the reassurance she never got from her mother, which also impacts all of her relationships.
Learning this information may have changed my life and future relationships for the better. Working through all the exercises in the book brought more and more transparency to my relationship habits. I understand how at the beginning of a relationship, I am independent, but by the end I let my partner walk all over me and have lost myself. I’m afraid to let myself need someone, and then as when I finally let someone in, I’m terrified they’ll leave me. I do whatever I can to keep them. Knowing the pitfalls of my attachment style and how to keep myself from falling into the same habits is such a relief.
This book led me to make a healthy and empowered decision this week about a potential relationship. That’s a huge step for me, and I was heard and validated instead of stonewalled or insulted. That is a victory of proportions that I can’t even begin to explain for someone with my history of abuse. I feel like I can come back to Ready to Heal any time I feel like I’m getting overwhelmed.
If you think you may have love or sex addiction, or just want to learn more about relationships that you have difficulty ending, I’d highly recommend this one!
Last but not least, there’s The Missing Piece by Shel Silverstein. I have to make time for my inner-child, it’s a non-negotiable. At least once a week, I try to do something that kid-Iris would have enjoyed. Sometimes I draw, and I’m not artistic by any means so it looks like a kid did it. Kid-me loved blowing bubbles and reading, so a kid’s book was the perfect idea.
I’ve never read it before, so I have to be honest. The incomplete circle rolls around, singing a song about finding its missing piece. It tries to fit a few, but they don’t fit. I didn’t get it when I got to the end. I’m like, “Okay, so this incomplete circle finds its missing piece and lets it go because it couldn’t sing its song?”
It didn’t make sense. I read it again, and again, and one more time, wondering why the circle wasn’t happy. And honestly… I still don’t get it. This one went right over my head, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
Why would anyone let go of what they’ve been looking for their whole life? Maybe it’s just me, but if I find what I’m looking for, I cherish it. I love it. I keep it close and keep it safe. I’m probably looking at this too literally, but it confused the crap out of me. I’m happy to report this probably would’ve stumped kid-me, too.
What I’m reading in October
I’m reading Welcome to Your Crisis by Laura Day, Ghost Boy by Martin Pistorius, and It’s Not All Downhill from Here by Terri McMillan.
Welcome to Your Crisis popped up on my suggested titles for Amazon. I was wondering if my purchase history let Amazon know that the last year has been tumultuous, but I’m glad it was recommended. I’m excited to learn more and continue working on myself. Healing is a continuous journey.
I heard about Ghost Boy on Reddit. I’m not sure which subreddit I was in or why, but someone left a comment about a South African man that was trapped in his own body for a decade. I suffer from sleep paralysis a few times a week, so I have a very small understanding of his experience. It’s terrifying to not be able to move or speak while you’re completely lucid. This will be an interesting read, for sure.
Lastly, we have It’s Not All Downhill from Here. I love Terry McMillan so much! I read How Stella Got Her Groove Back years ago. Admittedly I was probably too young for that book, but it was amazing! I have been following her work ever since. I just saw her name on a bright yellow cover and thought, “Yep that’s for me.”
What’s on your reading list for this month? Anything spooky? Don’t forget to check out The Girl in the Mural! If you want a thriller, read about Ava, Ivy, and their battle for sanity and love.
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