In My Shoes

“Uncertainty about parental love is, unfortunately, a fact of life for many children.  But my mother’s raging lunacy flared up so routinely that it left me in a constant state of bewilderment. I could never understand what I’d done to deserve her wrath.  Her animosity rarely escalated into violence. It was more a steady drip, drip, drip of psychological assaults and her evident pleasure in hurting me. I was stupid. I was lazy. I was ugly. I was a hypochondriac. These were her endearments.


When the evidence is overwhelming, sometimes people at last face the truth. There was no question that I had won, but there was no joy in demolishing my mother in a courtroom… She did exit my body though. Before the trial in Jersey I used to feel her in my chest all the time, but now that constriction was gone. After forty years we were at last severed.”

Tamara Mellon, In My Shoes: A Memoir