How can something painful be an easy read?
Is that even possible, an easy read memoir? Almost by definition, a remarkable memoir must have a conflict or opposition that makes it memorable. At times it draws tears, uneasy drops that remind us of sad or hard times in our lives. By an easy read, I meant that I could identify with the author.
Kaye gave up her childhood to fill the gap in her family left by her mother. She became a capable leader. Any of us who have accomplished any of our dreams probably had a dream quencher in our lives somewhere. Kaye’s mother tried to squelch her spirit. In this easy read memoir, Kaye describes how she squirmed out of her mother’s constricting grasp and maintained sanity in the family.
D.G. Kaye had a lifetime of dealing with her mother who alternately ignored her and depended on her.
“Imagine feeling frustrated and powerless in a situation you’re desperate to resolve. When you’re a child, that angst multiples immensely.”
Nothing D.G. ever did was good enough for her mother. When she left home, she escaped from the daily emotional trauma of her childhood. Kaye became a proactive person charting her way in life. In spite of all the childhood years coping with her mother’s neglect, gambling, and abuse, as she grew into adulthood she never refused her mother’s calls. Anyone who has lived with a narcissist understands the conflict of wanting to please the abuser and wanting to escape.
“She wasn’t the sort of mother who would call to say hello or ask how I was feeling, only to complain about something or someone. …usually pertained to my siblings, and she would often call one of them to rant about me as well.”
Kaye’s Setbacks Continued After Childhood
As Kaye aged, she suffered some serious setbacks physically including surprise heart surgery. That story held me spellbound since by this time I read how much she had faced throughout her life. I could not believe that one more thing could land on her plate. Once more she faced it with calm efficiency.
D.G. Kaye eroded the book with the holes she dug for herself trying to overcome deep pain her mother caused her. Many times she had to dig her way out of a new hole. For a time, when she was in her twenties, she decided for a while that married men were safe.
“This beautiful Adonis of a man actually wanted to have coffee with me. …I could tell he could have had any woman he chose. …Nevertheless…”
She found resting places along the way. War trenches protected her before the enemy discovered her hiding place and threatened her existence again.
We have all turned the wrong directions to find love or stability and security. We shut out the pain with bad choices that cause more pain. If we are fortunate and reflective enough, as Kaye has been, we figure out what works.
Kaye withheld few details, even ones that did not make her look like the heroine of the story. That is a rare gift. She did an admirable job of reporting the important highlights of her life. She wove her memoirs into a spellbinding story. It was an easy but not so easy read memoir.
She made me glad that I had been blessed with my narcissistic father instead of her mother. Even so, our emotional lives followed similar paths.
How to Reach D. G. Kaye
www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (Of course there’s a story to this name!)
What About You?
Well into my fifties, I saw a counselor for an issue not related to my narcissistic father. Instead, the counselor saw the unresolved conflicts with my father and led me deeper to deal with my childhood issues. In the first session, she asked what I knew about narcissism, and referred me to some reading material. Children of narcissists often feel shame and do not want to admit they need help. If this is you, you are not alone.
If you had a narcissistic parent or caregiver, you should read Conflicted Hearts.
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