Confessions of a Former Child: A Therapist's Memoir

Confessions of a Former Child: A Therapist's Memoir

by Daniel Tomasulo


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A hilarious and perceptive examination of the mysteries of childhood and the perils of parenthood

From August 1956 through April 1961 I controlled the traffic and streetlights in New York City and northern New Jersey. It was a daunting task for a five-year-old, but by the summer of ‘56 I realized I had a responsibility I could not ignore. My identity and my mission were top secret. With the exception of terse, encrypted communications to the National Security Council and the CIA, I couldn't breathe a word.

In Confessions of a Former Child, Daniel J. Tomasulo chronicles and confesses his childhood delusions, his particularly challenging experiences as a parent, and his life as a psychologist. His memories of being a kid—controlling streetlights, avoiding any foods with seeds lest he get pregnant, enduring his mother's cold love—are vivid, and his life as a parent is riddled with dilemmas. To start, he finds himself locked in a rubber-walled hospital room while his wife is in labor, and later he faces the necessity of giving mouth-to-mouth to his daughter's suffocating Raggedy Ann doll. As a professional who specializes in the highly personal, he traces the unusual and illuminating connections between his own life and evocative scenes from the lives of his patients.

With refreshing candor and laugh-out-loud humor, Tomasulo explores the elusive magic of childhood, the complications of parent-child relationships, and the lasting significance of the everyday.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781555974992
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Publication date: 04/29/2008
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 6.42(w) x 8.52(h) x 0.58(d)

About the Author

Daniel J. Tomasulo is a psychologist, psychodrama trainer, and writer on faculty at New Jersey City University.

Table of Contents

Prologue     xiii
Crossing the Hudson     1
Saturday     17
A Day at the Beach     25
Confessions of a Former Child     37
Kettle of Fish     65
Always Get a Receipt     81
The Marathon Runs     95
Committed     107
Journeyman     119
Raggedy Ann Was an Accident     125
Manhattan Transference     133
My Father's Shadow     147
The Smoke Clears     157
Reiki     169
King of the Streetlights     175
Epilogue     185

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Confessions of a Former Child: A Therapist's Memoir 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is impossible to put down. Dr. Tomasulo weaves his memories and stories together so perfectly. There are parts that are humorous and parts where the deep emotion and feelings are very palpable. This very charming book is easy to get immersed in and you will enjoy every minute of it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am not a reader who can read a book cover to cover in one sitting. It takes me weeks, sometimes months to get through even the shortest book. The first line of Daniel Tomasulo's Confessions of a Former Child kept me reading until there were no more lines to read. Reading Tomasulo's book was a corporeal experience, laughing, gasping, and sighing my way through stories like "Inkblot testing with Enrico" (the mentally challenged, two hundred and forty-one pound Italian immigrant). His candid way of retelling makes you feel like his most trusted friend. Having never been a psychologist, a parent, or a marathon runner, I found myself relating to the magic of his childhood, his idealization of his father, and the humor that occurs in the every day moments.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The author shares his most personal dreams, childhood fantasies, and life experiences with humor and honesty. Such a great reminder of how our past and present are always connected and makes us who we are no matter how hard we try to forget, wish it were different, or deny it. The author faces it head on with such courage you cannot help but be inspired to do the same.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For all of us who were children, laugh out loud stories with an understanding of why we are who we are. Helps us to understand ourselves and those around us with compassion and love. Must be read more than once to realize all the humor and insight.