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5 out of 5 stars!
I must write about how much I enjoyed D. G Kaye’s memoir ‘Conflicted Hearts’. The troublesome relationship that the author has with her mother mirrors episodes in my own life, and I can empathise regarding feelings that ensue from the author wanting to stay away from the negativity of her mother’s narcissistic ways and try to carry on with her own life, but at the same time suffering an overwhelming guilt at staying away for long periods of time.
D.G Kaye is a strong-minded woman and a fearless lone traveller, who is always trying to please her mother. However, I have found, as the author has, that some people just cannot be pleased no matter what is done to help them. Sometimes it’s a case of standing back, taking a deep breath, and either walking away or growing a thick skin.
I admire the author’s courage in writing this memoir. Being an only child I was never brave enough to walk away and so I had to grow the thick skin, but it was only in my mother’s last years that we actually became closer. Through major illness and stress D.G Kaye tried to do what was best for her mother and herself, and I applaud her for it. But at the end of the day it is only by actually living true to ourselves that we can really be happy.
I am a fan of biographies and autobiographies, and I must say I really enjoyed D.G Kaye’s P.S I Forgive You.
D.G Kaye and her siblings had the misfortune to be raised by a narcissistic and emotionally neglectful mother, who’d had exactly the same upbringing herself and so possibly considered her behaviour to be normal, knowing no other kind. This type of upbringing leaves mental scars on the recipients, which Ms Kaye suffered from for years until she was old enough to learn some insight into her mother’s behaviour.
I have a cousin, who is one of 4 children who were all unwanted ‘accidents’. My aunt not only suffered from post-natal depression, but she was also emotionally neglectful, just like the author’s mother. One child grew up exactly like her mother, one was cowed and never left home, and the other two went as far away from their mother as they could. Therefore I understand completely why Ms Kaye distanced herself in her mother’s later years, as it was the only way she could achieve peace of mind.
We grow in wisdom as we age, and with this insight comes forgiveness. Ms Kaye can obviously never forget her troubled childhood, but I applaud her for finding the inner peace which my cousins were never able to do. An inspirational memoir, which was shorter than I’d hoped, but still a five star read!