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A Mother's Love is Not Required for Life, by Felicia Sullivan

Our friend Felicia Sullivan will have a new book coming out soon. Titled The Sky Isn't Visible from Here: Scenes from a Life, the book is a biography of her growing up with a beautiful but deceitful drug-addicted mother, her life amongst drug dealers, succumbing to drug abuse and finally redeeming herself.

The Huffington Post has a particularly moving piece on Felicia's troubled relationship with her mother - and how she came to realize that a mother's love is not required in life.

Giggling, my mother reveals that she's leaving us for another man, one she met in a bar -- he's taking her to Disneyland! Disneyland! -- and could I not call her for six months, make that a year, because she's concerned that I would inevitably wreck her happiness. You always do. In the same breath, my mother tells me, Oh, the sex. You wouldn't believe. I start to shake because my mother is leaving us for a man and mouse ears. I look up at my mother, watch her scrape her teeth with her fork, slurp the last dregs of her piña colada, and I writhe. I hate her. I hate you.

Nine months later, on the eve of my college graduation, my mother calls me, hysterical. The man who bought her mouse ears tried to strangle her. She's been fired, living on white bread, and can still see the marks his hands left on her neck.

Could we take her back? Could life be the way it was?

I pause, wondering if it's possible to drown standing up. I want to be the dutiful daughter, the one who loves beyond repair. But I think about the way it was: the woman who never allowed me trespass to my real father, a mother who stole my childhood from me. I remember the years of neglect, rage and abuse, her decade-long cocaine addiction, the fear of angering her and the terror of wondering whether she would get even in my sleep, and the countless times she told me I wasn't worth her labor. I wasn't worth anything at all.

I told my mother that she made it impossible for me to love her. Her response was a cold fuck you.

Link | Felicia's blog - Thanks Felicia and congrats on the new book coming out!


Alex,
Thank you for your warm words and support. I'm completely terrified and excited and thrilled and freaked out about this book coming out and what it means, and it's great people like you, friends, who make this journey much, much easier.
Warmly, f.
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Wow. Just reading that excerpt made chills run up and down my spine. I've been through some Hell with my parents but not to that extent. I hope the book does well Felicia.
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I'm always amazed when I hear stories about people who get an awful lot in life, but turn it into a success. The fact that you could pull yourself from such a horrible environment and end up in an Ivy league college is a testament to your determination and intelligence.

No one, but yourself has the right to tell you to forgive or not forgive your mother, and I certainly wont judge you either way. I will say that I have heard many stories of people who bottle up their anger and it consumes them. I just hope that you can find peace with your decision.

One more thing, I can't possibly understand what you went through, but I hope you can overcome the trauma that was inflicted on you by a parent who says your worthless. Don't let people define you or hold you down!

Good luck with your book.

Justin
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Is that really an excerpt? It has more plot in seven paragraphs than many novels.

I love good writing about bad things. Looks like this is right up my alley.
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Some parents are too dangerous, too disturbed, and too damaged to allow into our lives if we decide that we want to stay sane and alive. This is not a popular message. I so admire this author for being brave enough to write. Maybe one day, I will do the same.
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Apparently, the author in question still catches a lot of grief for not trying to reconcile with her mother. I think it's quite a feat of self-control that she never tried to kill her.
People can be very odd...
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*hugs to Felicia* There's so much I want to say here... Here's hoping one day I'll have half the courage you do to wade through those memories and turn them into something that makes it all worth while. Kudos and Kisses,
~S
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