Devil in the Details: Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood

Devil in the Details: Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood

by Jennifer Traig

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316010740
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 02/09/2006
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 361,621
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.75(d)
Lexile: 950L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

Read an Excerpt

Devil in the Details


By Jennifer Traig

Little, Brown

Copyright © 2004 Jennifer Traig
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-316-15877-1


Chapter One

My Father and I were in the laundry room and we were having a crisis. It was the strangest thing, but I couldn't stop crying. And there were a few other weird things: I was wearing a yarmulke and a nightgown, for one, and then there were my hands, red and raw and wrapped in plastic baggies. My lip was split. There were paper towels under my feet. And weirdest of all, everything I owned seemed to be in the washing machine, whites and colors, clothes and shoes, barrettes and backpacks, all jumbled together. Huh.

"Huh," my father said, examining the Reebok Esprit Hello Kitty stew churning through permanent press. "You want to tell me what happened here?"

Wasn't it obvious? The fumes from the bacon my sister had microwaved for dessert had tainted everything I owned, so now it all had to be washed. But this sort of rational explanation hadn't been going over well with my father lately. I scrambled to think of another, turning lies over in my mouth: it was homework, an experiment; it was performance art, a high-concept piece protesting the consumerization of tweens. I glanced up at my father and down at the machine, then dragged my baggied wrist under my nose and exhaled. "I dont know."

We didn't know. Many years later we would learn that what happened was a strange condition called scrupulosity, a hyperreligious form of obsessive-compulsive disorder. It hit me when I was twelve and plagued me, off and on, throughout my teens, making every day a surprising and mortifying adventure. The disease manifested itself in different ways, but they were always, always embarrassing. Sometimes I had to drop to my knees and pray in the middle of student council meetings, and sometimes I had to hide under the bleachers and chant psalms. Sometimes I couldn't touch anything and sometimes I had to pat something repeatedly. Sometimes I had to wash my hands and sometimes I had to wash someone else's. Sometimes I had to purify my binders. Sometimes I had to put all my things in the washing machine.

Scrupulosity is also known as scruples, a name I much prefer. Scruples sounds like it could be a pesky, harmless condition: "I ate some bad clams last night, and today I've got the scruples." Scruples is cute and saucy. "Oh, you and your scruples," I imagined my date saying, laughing at the coy way I examined my lunch for spiritual contaminants. Scruples also evokes the fabulous Judith Krantz novel that would lead me to expect a far different disorder, one in which my mental illness compelled me to fulfill the fantasies of Beverly Hills debauchees-for a price.

But its none of that. In fact, scruple is the Latin word for a small sharp stone. Originally this denoted a measure; the idea was that the sufferer was constantly weighing the scales of her conscience. I imagine a pebble in a shoe, perhaps because I was hobbled by constant nagging worries and by the undersized pointed flats I wore to punish myself. They pinched and chafed and matched nothing I owned, but weren't nearly as uncomfortable as the doubts that plagued me every second of every day.

Scrupulosity is sometimes called the doubting disease, because it forces you to question everything. Anything you do or say or wear or hear or eat or think, you examine in excruciatingly minute detail. Will I go to hell if I watch HBO? Is it sacrilegious to shop wholesale? What is the biblical position on organic produce? One question leads directly to the next, like beads on a rosary, each doubt a pearl to rub and worry. Foundation garments, beverages, reading material: for the scrupulous, no matter is too mundane for a dissertation-length theological interrogation. Oh, we have fun.

But it was 1982, and we didn't know any of this then. We didn't know what this was or where it had come from. It had come out of nowhere. Well, there were things. There was the fact that I'd been having obsessive-compulsive impulses since preschool. These had been stray and occasional, and while my parents may have thought it was strange that I couldn't stop rearranging the coasters, they didn't think it was anything worth treating. The compulsions had grown with me, however, and now they loomed like hulking, moody preteens. There was also the fact that I'd been systematically starving myself for a year and was no longer capable of making any kind of rational decision. I sometimes wore knickers and pumps, wore fedoras and a vinyl bomber jacket to seventh grade, setting myself up for the kind of ridicule that takes years of therapy and precisely calibrated medications to undo. No, I was in no condition to make rational decisions, no condition at all.

And into this mire had come halachah, Jewish law. I had begun studying for my bat mitzvah, twelve years old and a little bit scattered and crazy, and suddenly here were all these wonderful rules. They were fantastic, prescribing ones every movement, giving structure to the erratic compulsions that had begun to beat a baffling but irresistible tattoo on my nervous system. Halachah and latent OCD make a wonderful cocktail, and I was intoxicated. Suddenly I wasn't just washing; I was purifying myself of sin. I Wasn't just patting things; I was laying on hands. Now my rituals were exactly that: rituals.

And my gosh, it was fun. The endless chanting, the incessant immersing of vessels-I couldn't get enough. The obsessive behavior quickly evolved from a casual hobby to an all-consuming addiction, a full-time occupation. It happened so fast. One day I was riding bikes to McDonalds like a normal kid; the next, I was painting the lintels with marinade to ward off the Angel of Death.

I don't remember what came first, but I think it was the food. At this point I'd been having problems with food in an obsessive but secular way for about a year. I had begun eliminating foods from my diet, first sugar and shortening, and then cooked foods, then food that had been touched by human hands, then processed foods, and then unprocessed. By January we were down to little more than dried fruit, and my nails were the texture of string cheese.

But then came these lovely laws to give shape to my dietary idiosyncrasies. It was so sudden and unexpected, this revulsion to pork and shellfish, to meat with dairy. I hadn't asked for it, but here it was. Suddenly I was keeping kosher. I was sort of keeping kosher. I was afraid to tell my parents, so I was hiding it, spitting ham into napkins, carefully dissecting cheese from burger, pepperoni from pizza.

"Is there a reason you're hiding that pork chop under your plate?" my mother wanted to know.

"Oh, I'm just tenderizing it," I lied, thwacking it with the Fiestaware.

"Is there something wrong with the shrimp?" my father inquired.

"Seafood recall, they said on the news. You all can play food poisoning roulette if you like, but I'm giving mine to the cat."

The food could have kept me busy forever, but I was ambitious. One by one, things fell away. I would wake up and know: today, no television, its blasphemous. Then: no more reading Seventeen, its immodest, its forbidden. A partial list of things I considered off-limits: exfoliation, hair color, mix tapes, lip gloss. Oh, I had so much energy, and there were so many laws I could take on, and when I ran out I would just make up my own.

The fact that I had no idea what I was doing held me back not at all. Despite six years of Hebrew school and a bat mitzvah crash course, I knew next to nothing about daily Jewish practice. I'd retained a couple folk songs and some Hebrew swear words, but that was about it. The only source texts I had were a King James Bible, an encyclopedia, and the collected works of Chaim Potok and Herman Wouk in paperback.

But this was enough. The Bible alone was chock-full of minute instructions, obscure decrees banning the plucking of this and the poking of that. It was these small, specific directives I favored. I was less interested in big guidelines like commandments than in the marginalia of Jewish practice, the fine print, the novelty laws and weird statutes. Had my impulses been secular, I would have observed the funny forgotten ordinances on the law books banning the chewing of gum by false-mustache wearers or the dressing up of ones mule.

As it was I zeroed in on the biblical laws governing agriculture and livestock. Later, as I grew older and more disturbed, I would focus on the laws concerning contamination by death and bodily fluids, but for now it was plants and pets. We did not have any crops, but we had a lawn, and that was close enough. I contrived to leave the corners unmown so the poor could come and glean. I imagined hordes of kerchiefed, unwashed peasants descending to gather sheaves of crabgrass at dawn. "Oh, thank you, Jennifer the Righteous!" they would cry, their dirty faces shining with happiness, blades of grass caught in their blackened teeth.

They never showed up, but I was undeterred. The Bible said, and I did. As for livestock, we had only a dog and a cat, but I was determined to care for them as my faith intended. Halachah instructs us to feed our animals before we feed ourselves. Its a good law, designed to teach compassion, but it wasn't specific enough for me. Were you supposed to feed them just once, before breakfast, or did you have to feed them every time you wanted to eat? I decided to err on the side of zeal and fed them before every meal, every snack, every glass of water. The dog was active enough to burn off the extra calories, but the cat quickly ballooned to twenty pounds. My mother flinched every time I approached the can opener.

"Oh, I swear, you're not giving the cat any more food, are you? She stepped on my foot this morning and I think she broke a toe."

Goodness knows I wanted to stop. The cats stomach was brushing the linoleum; I knew I wasn't doing her any favors. And I dreaded feeding her. Opening and serving her meaty wet food was a lengthy and excruciating process that involved washing my hands and the utensils multiple times. If any cat food splattered, the cleanup could take twice as long, and if the spray landed near my mouth-invariably it would, as I spastically flung the food into the bowl-all hell broke loose. I would be compelled to wash my mouth in cold water, then hot, then cold again. After my lips were split and bleeding I would give up and decide the cat food had rendered me fleishig, as though I had actually eaten the meat; to avoid mixing the meat with milk, I wouldn't touch milk for the next six hours.

That was fine; I had no time for ice cream when there were so many other laws to observe and question. There was this one: the Torah commands a master to pay for his animals misdeeds. Our dog had been committing misdeeds all over the neighbors lawns for years. Was I now compelled to offer restitution? Exactly what form should that take?

This probably wasn't a concern in normal Jewish homes, I realized, even observant ones, but I couldn't help myself. I didn't know any better. I knew nothing. I did not know, for instance, that girls weren't required to wear yarmulkes. I agonized over the issue. Should I wear a yarmulke all the time, even to school? I really thought I should, but I just wasn't brave enough. A fedora, yes; but a yarmulke was too much.

After several weeks of debate I decided I really only needed to cover my head when I prayed. The thing was, I couldn't stop praying. Since I rarely had a hat with me, I grabbed whatever was near: napkins, paper towels, Kleenex. Mostly I just used my hand. My fingers kept flying up to hover over my head while I quickly muttered a self-composed blessing. I pretended I was waving, or swatting, or scratching. This was not as effective a ruse as I imagined, and I ended up looking not only crazy but infested.

My head was certainly buzzing. It was a beehive, a switchboard with a hundred extensions lighting up at once. The only thing that quieted my brain was prayer. I wished it were something else. Prayer was dull and time-consuming. If only I found relief in more entertaining activities, like watching television or styling hair.

Instead, I had prayer. Soon my day was dominated by lengthy devotional sessions, conducted every morning, afternoon, and evening. I knew Jews were supposed to pray three times a day, but I didn't know the actual prayers, so I composed my own. First was ten minutes of chanting for a dozen missing children whose names I'd memorized after seeing them on the news. Next was extended pleading on behalf of all Americans held hostage abroad. After that I apologized for everything I had done wrong or would do wrong. Then I prayed for my family, begging forgiveness for their excessive pork consumption, and finished up by praying I wouldn't die alone.

On Saturday the prayers were doubled and tripled. Because there Wasn't a synagogue service within walking distance, I conducted my own. Because I did not know what a service consisted of, I made one up. From nine o'clock until half past noon I sat primly in my room, reading my Bible and my Junior Jewish Encyclopedia, line by line, not moving to a new line until I was sure I'd understood the last one completely. When that portion of the service was concluded, I read the "Torah Thoughts" feature in the Jewish newspaper, followed by the wedding announcements. Then I got on my knees and did back exercises. I was fairly certain this wasn't part of the traditional Shabbat service, but I thought it was a nice closer. Sound body equals sound mind and sound spirit.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Devil in the Details by Jennifer Traig Copyright © 2004 by Jennifer Traig. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Scruples3
Interstitial: A Guide to Proper Hand-Washing Technique21
Devil in the Details: A Primer23
Interstitial: Musical Chairs: A Game38
Half-Breed41
Interstitial: Photo, Santa's Lap, 197459
The Good Book60
Interstitial: My Sister's Room Is the Gateway to Death: A Two-Column Proof79
Forbidden Fruit80
Interstitial: Skinny Tomato Quiche from the Kosher Gourmet97
Today I am a Manic101
Interstitial: Global Events for Which I Considered Myself Responsible (a partial listing)117
Idle Hands118
Interstitial: Fun Things You Can Make with Kleenex129
Sunrise, Sunset: The Holidays131
Interstitial: Culturally Inappropriate Gifts I Have Received from Santa Claus153
All is Vanity154
Interstitial: Beauty Tips for Fastidious Girls168
Orange Girl170
Interstitial: Sample SAT Questions for Obsessive-Compulsive Learners186
Sacre Bleu188
Interstitial: Diseases I Have Self-Diagnosed (a partial listing)206
Hell on Wheels208
Interstitial: Help Jenny Get to Homeroom: A Maze221
Shalom Bayit223

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Devil in the Details: Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 46 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I often to recommend this book to others but couldn't recall the title. Humorous memoir of a serious subject.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The topic was interesting - but the execution just didn't hold my interest. It certainly was not a page turner, though I'm glad I finished it and got the perspective of the author, but I probably wouldn't recommend it to anyone who is looking for something engaging.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is very enlighning and shows how hard life was for Jennifer Traig. No child shoud to go through that stuff.
Guest More than 1 year ago
HILARIOUS! I am obsessed with this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Real funny stuff. This is the kind of memoir anyone can enjoy. I read it in two days and talked about it for five. Good luck to the author!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was enthralled by this book. Traig uses humor to describe her adolescent battles with OCD. It was highly readable and will probably be a help to others with this disorder.
KLmesoftly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An amusing, self-deprecating account of one woman's lifelong struggles with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and the religious scruples and eating disorder that accompanied it. She weaves the tale well with descriptions of her relationships with her family members during this time and the experience of growing up Jewish in America.
wwtct on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was really great. She's a great writer, and I hadn't really known what I was getting into when I started it. I knew it was about OCD of course, but I hadn't known about the religious aspect and I found that really interesting and different from other OCD memoirs I've read. She definitely has something valuable to add to a genre that can be overcrowded with similar stories.
knitwit2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very funny look at a childhood ( mostly middle school) affected by OCD and religious confusion. Jennifer's mom was Catholic, her dad Jewish - she identified more with Judaism. With very little in the way of instruction she sort of made up her religion as she went along. This make it up as you go along attitude was particularly unsettling due to her OCD and anorexia. OC's love rules and routines so the the religious rules and dietary constraints of Judiasm were a perfect match.Her parents were nice people, but in those days OCD had not yet been identified as a disorder so they really were at a loss. The book might have been darker written by another person because it hard to be very painful to grow up like this but Ms. Traig keeps it light and funny.
SqueakyChu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I selected this book because, from its title, I assumed it was the story of a girl with obsessive compulsive disorder. I find such books interesting as they help me understand human behavior in all of its variants. What I found, though, was a thoroughly enjoyable mix of OCD and Judaism! Jennifer Traig, suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder as a child, found ways to use her Jewish religion to act out her behaviors. Her closest family - a devout Catholic mom, a non-observant dad, and a "could care less" Jewish sister - were throughly confused by Jennifer's behavior. They dealt with her peculiarities as long as they could until they sought therapy and medical help for her.This book is quite funny throughout and shows that the author is comfortable looking back on who she was as a child. I believe there was also some pain, but that's not part of this book. I took away from Jennifer's story of her childhood a sense of her love for Judaism, her love for her family, and her delight in being who she is. I was pleasantly surprised by how engaged I was with her story and think others will find this a pleasant read as well.
The_Hibernator on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In this bittersweet memoir, Jennifer Traig laughs about her puzzling problems growing up with obsessive compulsive disorder in an era before OCD was a recognized disorder. With a witty humor, she describes trials that would have permanently scarred a less resilient youth. In a world where OCD is stereotyped in pop culture, TV shows, and movies it is a relief to find someone willing to provide a more realistic, though upbeat, view of this very debilitating disorder. I imagine many people will be able to find a little of themselves in Jennifer Traig, and teens now facing such issues will find the upbeat happy ending comforting.
lalalibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
OCD wasn't really understood in the 70s and 80s so Jenny Traig's family just thought she was really weird...she also had anorexia and scrupulosity, a form of OCD related to religion. Basically she tried to follow every Jewish law she could. This book was hilarious and I sped through it. I'm buying it for a friend for Christmas.
kristinbell on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Devil in the Details: Scenes From an Obsessive Girlhood" by Jennifer Traig will tickle your inner OCD child if you have one. I'm not a full blown OCD person, but I can relate to some of what Traig writes about, and she shows us with much wit what a full blown disorder is like. It is great that she has such a wonderful sense of humor about a disorder that is so crippling to her and so many millions of people like her. For those who don't understand Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, this gives a good glimpse into a life that is severely train-wrecked by it. I give this four stars instead of five, because I found the ending a bit weak compared to the rest of the book that kept me enthralled. My only unanswered question is: am I the only one who noticed that the candies on the cover of the book aren't COMPLETELY straight???!!! haha.
porchsitter55 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. The author takes you on a journey through her life as a sufferer of obsessive-compulsive disorder, and how she struggled with her "scrupulosity" on a daily basis. The book has a rather disjointed timeline of the author's life, jumping back and forth in time, but it is written with such a sharp wit and an lack of self consciousness about her disease, the reader cannot help but laugh and shake their heads at the bizarre idiosyncrasies of this young lady. She knows the way she acts is crazy, but is unable to stop.Jennifer is born and raised in an interfaith household, and while neither parent is very serious about their religion, Jennifer leans more toward her father's Jewish heritage rather than her mother's Catholicism. Since the multitude of laws and rituals of the Old Testament are so detailed and strict, and that she feels so compelled to carry out so many rituals with her OCD as well, she decides that becoming a very strict practicing Jew is perfect for her. She has a bat mitzvah after going through religious training, and finally becomes what she believes will make her complete and whole.Throughout the years, her family struggles with Jennifer's ups and downs, and the outrageous, over-zealous and literal interpretation of her religion, along with the OCD, and tries for years to get her to change her ways. Even though the story sort of jumped around from one age to another, and back again, and although the abrupt ending left this reader hanging.....this book was hard to put down and extremely enjoyable due to the author's natural wit and humor, and excellent writing skills.I already have ordered two of her other books. This one is a must-read if you know anyone with OCD, or if you just need a good hearty chuckle. I commend this author for working so hard despite her illness, and receiving a PhD in literature.
screamingbanshee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was really difficult to get through. It started out ok but the attempt at wry humor got to me after a while ... Traig had serious problems yet this tried to present the humorous side to it. Unfortunately it didn't really work.
indygo88 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Some mixed feelings about this one. For someone who's been diagnosed with OCD, I would've expected this memoir to maybe have been a little more fluid than it was. My main problem with this book for me was the way it jumped around in time -- at one point Traig would be talking about an incident in her teenage years, and then she'd be talking about something that happened when she was 4 or 5, and I had trouble getting a grip on how this disease really evolved for her. True -- I laughed out loud at some particular scenes, trying to picture them in my head, and at other times I was just shaking my head back & forth at the seemingly ridiculousness of the whole OCD thing. I recognize that it's a real disease and I feel for those who suffer from it, and it was truly enlightening to read about it from the point of view from someone living it. Traig obviously has writing talent & a great sense of humor (as does her mother, who has some great lines in here), but I really didn't care for the way it was all put together -- too disjointed. The first half of the book was pretty refreshing, but the second half mostly dragged on because the sequencing (or lack of) was getting to me.
karinnekarinne on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I did not enjoy this book AT ALL; I felt compelled to finish it just so I could say I did.When I started "Devil in the Details," it was with the expectation that it would be about Jennifer Traig's struggle with OCD, maybe with a funny lean to it since she is known in the McSweeney's circuit. I was NOT expecting to learn alllll about Jewish law. Traig's OCD tendencies lean toward scrupulosity (which, for her, involves keeping Jewish laws, including some very obscure ones), which was new to me, so I enjoyed reading about it, at first. But it got tedious fast. Don't get me wrong, there are some funny parts, and Traig manages to get the feeling of helplessness (for lack of a better term) -- against OCD and especially against the religious compulsions -- across. I felt for her. I felt for her parents, I felt for her sister, I felt for everyone who has read this book and felt like they HAD to finish it even though it becomes a chore about halfway through the book.In addition, the whole book felt disjointed, as Traig bounced back and forth in time and topic. Maybe this was her intent and I should have read it as a book of essays instead of a whole-piece memoir. I can't really recommend this one; although I'm sure a few people WOULD enjoy it, I can't think of any of them offhand. The cover is pretty, though!
jessieep on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I totally identified with the author. This is a great look at the life of someone with OCD.
macnan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Could not get into this book at all. Was a lot more about religion than OCD.
ijustgetbored on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Is it wrong to fall over laughing when reading a book about a person with severe OCD? If so, I'm in some deep cosmic trouble, because this was hilarious."Scenes" aptly describes the book because, as Traig herself makes clear, her battles with the disease were sporadic. Plus, the book has scattered through it various (also very funny) quizzes, proofs, sample SAT questions, and so forth that give insight into the OCD mind. Somehow, Traig helps us find humor in the horror of bloody, chapped hands, anorexia, and hair-pulling. It's almost a hat trick; I'm not sure how she did it.Traig and her family, as presented in the book, are immensely likable and weather the bizzare with good humor. There are colorful portraits of them as well as of Traig; no member of her immediate family is there as a mere prop to her own story, which is a real strength in the book, something that helps make it more substantial than many of the more "me-centric" memoirs.Religion plays a heavy part in this memoir, something that many readers may not expect, but it was the key piece of Traig's disorder. I personally found it fascinating to read about, as so many elements of Orthodox Judaism were unfamiliar to me, and, again, I thought it gave the book a good deal of substance. Some readers may be put off by this element of the unfamiliar, while others may find it intriguing (and it certainly makes this book stand out from any other OCD memoir). The book becomes not just a "book about a girl with OCD" but also a more profound look at a girl coming to terms with her identity and faith. And again-- to be able to make all of this side-splittingly funny reveals rare talent indeed!Very highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As someone who suffered from similar symptoms of OCD at such a young age it was a truly comforting book in a lot of ways. You can feel so along when you live so much within yourself that you don't realize other people are struggling in a similar manner. I read it at such an appropriate time in my life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How can someone unremorsefully admit to joining a zionist youth grp?!
RebeccaScaglione More than 1 year ago
Devil in the Details: Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood by Jennifer Traig falls right in the middle for me.  I picked this book up while on my road trip, after having been recommended to read it by a family member. I enjoyed Jennifer's tales of her obsessions, both with germs and religious scrupulosity, because of the humor and honesty she used when describing herself as a teenager.  She knew she was obsessive and a lot to handle, but was able to tell her stories with a positive twist. However, about halfway through I decided I didn't need to know much more about her life, so some of the stories seemed to me a bit superfluous. Even so, they were humorous and thought-provoking.  I understand how someone could obsess over germs and cleanliness (some of my friends will attest to my disgust with dirty things) but Jennifer also had an interesting issue: scrupulosity, where she took the Jewish ideals, customs, and rules and followed them strictly, but also made up a bunch of her own. For instance, she was not allowed to worship graven images.  However, this translated in her mind to not being able to make eye contact with teachers and also to not being able to look at paintings in a museum. But as a whole, Devil in the Details was entertaining and a light-hearted way to look at a serious mental illness that affects people, and I do believe it brought me a greater understanding of compulsions. What's a memoir that you enjoy reading? Thanks for reading, Rebecca @ Love at First Book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago