Ariel Leve grew up in Manhattan with an eccentric mother she describes as a€ua poet, an artist, a self-appointed troublemaker and attention seeker.a€ Leve learned to become her own parent, taking care of herself and her mother's needs. There would be uncontrolled, impulsive rages followed with denial, disavowed responsibility, and then extreme outpourings of affection. How does a child learn to feel safe in a world of conditional love? In telling her haunting story, Leve seeks to understand the effects of chronic psychological maltreatment on a child's developing brain, and to discover how to build a life for herself that she never dreamed possible: an unabbreviated life.
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