Sharing personal information brings people closer together. But how do you know when you’ve gone too far—or when someone else has ulterior motives?
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Ms. Streep, I have found your writing to be wise and deeply supportive and helpful.
I’ve just purchased your new book. I haven’t read it yet, but reading this little preview, I am reminded of a question that I often asked myself, and which finally — in my late 50s — along with a lot of therapy, led me to insight: Why don’t I love my mother?
For most of my life, I thought I was at bottom a bad person for not loving my mother. Then finally, I realized that it is natural for a child to love its caretakers, and if I didn’t love my mother. it was because she never actually acted as my caretaker. I don’t owe her my love.
Every time I have had to take care of her in sickness, I have felt nothing but resentment. What a revelation it was when my beloved sister was injured and needed care: I not only dropped everything to help her, without a second thought, I WANTED to take care of her from the bottom of my heart. I realized that I am not a bad person incapable of love and caretaking, in the context of a mutually supportive relationship.
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