She's Not Herself

She's Not Herself

by Linda Appleman Shapiro

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780988439078
Publisher: Dream of Things
Publication date: 09/02/2014
Pages: 268
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.56(d)

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She's Not Herself 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Amy_M More than 1 year ago
When Linda Appleman Shapiro was a child, her mother would say and do things that confused and frightened her. In post-war Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, mental illness was rarely acknowledged, and doctors had little understanding of how to treat it. All Linda’s father would tell her was, “Your mother…she’s not herself today.” Linda grew up believing that she had no right to ask questions, that she should never cause trouble for anyone else—that she had to be perfect. As a young adult, though, fears that she would become like her mother spurred Shapiro to examine her family’s story more closely. She grew to understand the trauma her mother endured as a child in Russia during World War I. With the assistance of therapy, Shapiro acknowledged what she had missed in her childhood, and she found the voice she had silence. She also developed great compassion for her mother. Ultimately, Shapiro decided to help other families by becoming a therapist herself. There are few books that speak to the children of mentally ill parents as thoughtfully as this one does. Shapiro shows how trauma affects families through generations, yet she offers hope that things can change. But this book is about more than just Shapiro’s relationship with her mother: it explores Linda’s delight with school and learning; her experience with first love and her relationship with her husband; and her efforts to define herself through work and family. It evokes an iconic immigrant community in Brooklyn with colorful stories from a memorable era. She’s Not Herself is a beautiful coming-of-age story that has the immediacy of a child’s perspective and the wisdom of an adult’s.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a moving, beautifully written and engrossing story that offers hope to the many people who live with a family member (or friend) who has a mental illness. It is a meaningful and important book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mental mother child and teen carer is this a new sub family genre of disfunction? These combos are trite and boring as disfunction can only go so far m.a.@sparta
TsBlogging1 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by S. Davis May 16, 2015  4 p.m. The best thing about memoirs is getting into the mind of another person and viewing the world from his or her perspective. In Linda Appleman Shapiro’s memoir "She’s Not Herself: A Psychotherapist’s Journey Into and Beyond Her Mother’s Mental Illness," she does exactly this. The reader gets to grow up along with Linda and understand events as she understood them at various stages in her life.  It is evident from the very first chapter of the memoir how from an extremely young age, Linda always felt the need to take care  of her mother because her mother could not take care of herself. The insights the author is able to make decades after these events have taken place show just how much Linda has grown to understand herself as well as her mother’s depression.  The memoir reads similarly to a journal in that the author seems to be working through her own issues as she is writing them down. This made it easier for me to connect with Linda and the story of her childhood in a way that I could not have connected if the memoir were simply bare facts. I loved going through the journey of Linda’s life with her throughout the memoir not just because of how easy it was to follow  along, but how vivid her memories were. She has such a way with words and storytelling that made me feel as though I were standing right alongside her in her memories. Having had a similar childhood, Linda’s story really made me feel like I’m not alone. She hooked me from the very first sentence and let me go reluctantly at the end.  I would recommend this book to anyone who grew up with less-than-ideal parents, or who fears of becoming like their own parents. In fact, I would recommend this book to anyone who wishes to understand depression better than a textbook could convey. She’s Not Herself is worthy of five out of five stars, hands down.  Until next time, S. Davis  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago