"Well-written, intriguing, and so very enlightening. Thoroughly enjoyed this book, and if I could give it more than “5 stars” I certainly would!!” —LibraryThing
“Mayfield’s memoir is a testament to the merit of psychological healing through the understanding and expression of feelings. Full of stark realities of abuse but also the hopefulness of healing, Mayfield’s memoir provides helpful insight to those facing similar struggles.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Fresh, bold, and inspiring.” —Examiner.com
“Katherine Mayfield holds nothing back, and her unflinching, thorough, and articulate honesty is a true gift for anyone wanting to understand, face, and rise above the emotional scars of a damaging childhood." —Amy Wood, Psy.D., author of Life Your Way
Description: In her twenties and thirties, the author pursued a professional acting career in an attempt to gain the respect and attention she lacked in childhood, appearing Off-Broadway, in independent films, and on the daytime drama Guiding Light. Entering therapy in her thirties in response to a divorce, she began to unravel the threads of dysfunction in her family of origin.
More than a decade later, armed with the truth about her family, she sought to understand the challenges her parents faced and recover from the trauma while simultaneously acting as the family caregiver for the parents who abused her. Freed from the abuse by the deaths of her parents in 2005 and 2008, the author set foot on an inspiring journey to wholeness – developing self-esteem, uncovering her true self, and finally creating a life that is truly her own.
“A brave, unflinching and exquisitely rendered memoir of a family caught in the tragic and relentless cycles of emotional incest that rob so many of their innocence. Katherine’s life-long struggle to come to grips with her mother’s mental illness and her own lost childhood is at once emotionally devastating and ultimately uplifting. Couldn’t put it down.” —Darcy Scott, author of Hunter Huntress
“Katherine Mayfield’s book is an insightful, honest, and riveting account of her childhood emotional abuse and her journey to wholeness as an adult. It demonstrates how harsh words and lack of compassion can traumatize a child just as deeply as physical or sexual abuse. Highly recommended.” —Aletha Solter, Ph.D., founder of the Aware Parenting Institute and author of Tears and Tantrums
A former actress who appeared Off-Broadway and on the daytime drama Guiding Light, Katherine Mayfield is the author of "The Box of Daughter: Overcoming a Legacy of Emotional Abuse" and two books on the acting business: "Smart Actors, Foolish Choices" and "Acting A to Z", both published by Back Stage Books. Her short story, The Last Visit, which is based on the last time she visited her father in hospice care, won the Honorable Mention award in the 2011 Warren Adler Short Story Contest. "The Box of Daughter" is based on the title poem in her book of poems, "The Box of Daughter and Other Poems."
Publication credits include Dance Teacher Now magazine, Dance Spirit magazine, The Significato Journal online, Sasee magazine, The Women’s Times, the Greenfield Recorder, Fiftyshift.com, and WomensMemoirs.com.
Ms. Mayfield pursued a professional acting career in her twenties and thirties, performing Off-Broadway, in Hal Hartley’s first film, The Unbelievable Truth, and on the daytime drama Guiding Light. She teaches writing in Maine.read more
Reviews for The Box of Daughter
This book stirred up a lot of "aha" moments-oh look, that's my mom...oh look, that's my whole family!!! Well-written, intriguing, and so very enlightening. Thoroughly enjoyed this book and if I could give it more than "5 stars" I certainly would!!read more
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This book is a truly open and honest account of the authors life, growing up whilst being captured in the middle of emotional abuse. I started to read the book not knowing what to expect, by the third page I had a lump in my throat and the dread in my stomach of how a little girl tries so desperately to please her mum and how a mothers simplest actions can have so much affect on a child. As a parent myself, I immediately started to think of certain things I have done in the past, meaning no harm, but questioning what affect this may have had on my child.The author lived in a dominant and controlling environment when all she needed and craved for was the physical and emotional love of her parents, tenderness, a kiss, a smile, a cuddle, praise. Living the life of two families was how things were expected, one show for the public, family and friends against the real family situation, inside their home, of emotional neglect, sadness, loneliness and for a little girl the lack of tolerance. This lack made her life virtually unbearable, being almost too scared to breathe, as she learnt from a very young age that the only way to please was to be the good little girl, how the box of daughter should be. Stopping herself from enjoying any part of life, so she didn't get hurt when it was taken away from her was another part of growing up.What you do realise as you read more into the book is that her parents lived a very lonely life together, handed down from generations of how parents behaved. You could almost feel their depression as they lived their daily lives. You also feel the anger and jealousy as her mother continually took the limelight at any given opportunity over her daughters achievements.For me the breaking point is when the family had the chance to move to California for 3 years. The author finally finds some freedom and the feeling of acceptance from the school, youth club and theatre club. Things were starting to improve when they were suddenly taken away as the family had to move back to their original area due to her fathers job. This to me leads to more unbalanced feelings and increased frustrations of the whole family.Then living through the caring of her elderly parents as she holds onto all the past pain and resentment of all the things she never experienced as a child. When the day came when she was finally free to live her life as she wanted to, the sheer shock and confusion in her mind on how to life without the shadowing criticism over her, starts to hit her. As the lines read ' I was left with threads of many colours that I didn't have any idea how to sift and sort them into any kind of order, or whether I even needed any of them at all to weave a new tapestry for my life.' Recommended reading.read more
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