I’d like to think that in another world, Reese Witherspoon and I would be friends. I mean, I usually enjoy the books that she reads. I tend to read the books she picks for her book club, and that includes this months book, “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle. I am going to talk about the book, but this is not a review, more my thoughts on the book itself.

“Untamed” is written by Glennon Doyle, apparently a somewhat famous memoirist. Honestly, I’d never hear of her before, but also honestly, this has been the first time I have ever dipped a toe into the non fiction aisle. It’s written as a series of essays, and they aren’t necessarily in chronological order. To be fair, reading it would sort of be like reading my blog posts every day- she tells little snippets of her life, and what she learned. She preaches about things and tells you how the world should be.

Ok- it’s really really a lot like reading my blog, but with actual editing.

The author has struggled with addiction issues in the past, and is frank about what she had done in the past, and how it shaped her. She’s cut the addiction cord.

Well, sort of.

Growing up she was bulimic. Then there were drugs. Now there’s her wife.

Though she was in a heterosexual relationship for years in adulthood, one day she met a woman and fell in love.

Fine.

Except when I read this book, it appears to me that she has replaced bulimia and drugs with Abby.

I get that for the first time in her life she’s found love. She glows like she did when she was ten. That’s all awesome. But the way she writes about her spouse is the way an addict speaks of their addiction. She has traded one thing for another…

Of course, this is entirely my opinion. My psychology degree is from the brown chair in the corner of my living room. But I read the words on the page, and I can’t help but wonder what her next memoir will be about…If this book were fiction, I can’t help but think that this would be foreshadowing.

However…

There is one thing I read though that really resonated with me.

“A woman becomes a responsible parent when she stops being an obedient daughter. When she finally understands that she is creating something different from what her parents created.”

I know that my relationship with my Mother changed after I had my daughter. I was able to understand clearly how strong maternal love is. But I also saw my Mother’s flaws as a woman and a mother. I saw how much I had wanted to please her in the past, how so many of my actions were done solely to make my Mother proud, to earn her love. It was only as a parent that I realized that no child should have to earn the love of their parent. You love your child because they are your child, especially when they are little. You make sure that they know that they are loved unconditionally.

The day that I had my daughter was the day that I stopped being an obedient daughter. It was almost as my Mother and I became equals- we were both parents. We understood what it was like to be responsible for another human. But from that day forward, my main allegiance was to my child. I needed to figure our how to raise her to be strong and confident and resilient. I could only do that my making sure my daughter learned the lessons that I thought were most valuable. I could not be an effective parent if I was parenting to what my Mother wanted me to do…

I had disappointed my Mother my entire life. Up until I had my daughter I cared about that, spent my life trying to make her proud. After I had my daughter, I didn’t give a damn. I knew that I had to make decisions that I thought were best…

But anyway…

This book is interesting, and if you get bored with an essay it’s easy to jump to the next one, because they’re short, and it’s not really a story where you will miss anything. She get’s a little preachy, but me saying that is like the pot calling the kettle black…

I think my next few posts will be non corona related, and more about some interesting things I got from the books I’ve read…

 

 

41 thoughts on “Tre- Untamed

  1. Sounds interesting – and certainly co-dependency is a form of addictive behaviour.

    I love it when books make you go “that … that’s it exactly!” and I have to say it’s non-fiction which does that for me. I literally cannot think of a fictional book which has resonated in that way for me. I’ve learned interesting things from fiction – but I can’t think of any which made me re-examine my life the way non-fiction has.

    I’m very much looking forward to this new series you’re planning of things taken from what you’re currently reading.

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  2. I love your take on the book. I think what one gets from reading a book is more pertinent than ‘a book review’. I think the value of the substance of what we read is what it leaves us with. Your comments on the Mother relationship is interesting. It was only as a mother I came to understand some things and forgive – if forgive is the right word. BTW I would have thought you and RW were already best friends. She has no idea what she is missing.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. 💗💗😗. I agree with you, which is why I love book clubs. I love to hear what people thought, what moved them…and it’s why I read these celebrity book club picks, because my hope is I’ll run into someone else who read it, and we can discuss

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The addiction thing is exactly what I thought after reading Eat, Pray, Love and then reading what she did after writing the book.

    I love the quotes about motherhood. I didn’t have such an …interesting relationship with my mother, but did experience that perspective tilt of parenthood.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I learned a lot by being a daughter and more by being a parent. I try to take and learn from every situation even if it is only what I don’t want to do. I like some memoirs and while I think they are a little like a biography I still get the basics of a person.

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  5. Thanks for sharing, does sound like a book I would like. Sadly I would say that you could have a very real point about her trading one addiction for another. So many fall into that trap, and its hard not to.
    Love the quote you shared, and glad you were able to break free from thinking you had to please your Mom all your life. It shouldn’t be like that. I do have a very good relationship with my Mom, but its not because every choice I make pleases her, its because I know that no matter what choice I make, she will still love me, for she knows I am my own person! And like you said, that’s the way it should be!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some of the stuff she writes is eh, but much of it is well thought out and articulated. She’s a clever writer, and the essays are short, so it’s easy to pick up and put down

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ok this sounds interesting. I have in the last few months of writing my book realised that I was always the child to my mother. I never grew up, never acted like a grown up. I was always her little girl. As a result of this, I never took responsibility for anything, or made any decisions or frankly … grew up. God how our relationships with our parents form us. Katie

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  7. I enjoyed this post today because it feels like a chat. You lounging in that brown chair in the corner, sipping something from a crystal glass. I don’t think you let the cat completely out of the bag on this book but you may have influenced the slant someone has reading it.
    Perhaps you should post the book you are reading and give your friends a chance to read the same, then you can share your insights without influencing their take.
    Going out on a limb here, I assume you use a kindle or similar and that allows nearly instant downloading?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I completely agree with that! When I had my daughter, my loyalties also shifted from my parents to my daughter. And I had to confront the flaws in the way I had been raised so that I didn’t make those same mistakes with my own kids. It called for some in-depth thinking and evaluation, and that was hard. But it was worth it. Obviously, I made mistakes with my own kids. But they were my mistakes, rather than me simply passing along the ones from my parents. So I can honestly say I did the best I could.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We all make mistakes in raising kids. But yes, they are our mistakes. It means we took responsibility for our actions, and got over our childhoods. I thought it was such an interesting observation

      Liked by 1 person

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