A kid should never have to go through that. What people forget about childhood is how utterly trapped children can be — they can’t run to a therapist or friend for advice. When things go wrong, they carry the burden. I’m so sorry your mom put all that on you, and so glad you knew what she might do. It sounds like she may have had borderline personality disorder too, something still not well understood, but involving that sort of emotional blackmail. My mom suffered from similar things and you’d have thought the other adults would have done something, but mental illness can start subtly and it’s not like you can force someone to take medicine whose symptoms can be hidden at times. Glad you are writing about this. Thank you.

Journalist & author of nerdy novel CARRIE PILBY (film version‘s on Netflix). Finishing up offbeat memoir. Love dogs & puns. Read more: http://carenlissner.com.

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