The Box of Daughter
When I was a little girl,
I wanted more than anything
To be a person.
But my parents wanted me
To be a daughter.
“We put you in the box of daughter,” they told me,
Though not in so many words,
And having no choice,
Because I was a daughter,
I climbed into the box.
I didn’t like it there, but it felt safe...
—From The Box of Daughter and Other Poems
"Compelling...gripping...a triumph of the human spirit."
Winner of both the New England Book Festival and Reader's Favorite Book Awards, The Box of Daughter is the story of the author's journey to recover from family bullying and emotional abuse in childhood, raise her self-esteem, and create a life that is truly her own. The Box of Daughter offers a close-up view into a daughter's life experience, and provides a road map to recovery from depression, emotional abuse, and dysfunctional family dynamics for both men and women.
Read more about The Box of Daughter.
Read reviews or excerpts of the book.
How The Box of Daughter Began
Three months after my father died, I attended a bereavement group offered by an affiliate of the hospice program that cared for my father in the last months of his life. The group centered around writing and sharing short pieces related to the grief process that all of us shared, and as I discovered that many of the other participants had experienced similar difficulties in their families of origin, I began writing more short pieces related to my dysfunctional family and my experience of emotional abuse.
I also found it extremely cathartic to write about my fifty years of living in the "box of daughter" in a toxic family. Putting the words and experiences on paper helped me clarify my truth and clear myself of the fear, sadness, and anger related to my past. Spilling my thoughts and feelings in whatever way they wanted to come out helped me to come to terms with the trauma of emotional abuse in childhood and to heal my grief at what I had lost.
Within a few months, I had written so many short pieces that I began seeing them as part of a book, a record of my truth which I hoped would help others who had dysfunctional families to face their own truths and begin to release their pain and sadness.
I am grateful to whatever divine force led me to write this book, and I offer it as a healing gift for others. Finally facing my truth and releasing old feelings helped me to heal myself from the past and move forward into a much more authentic, productive, and fulfilling life.
If you had a difficult childhood, a toxic family, or any other situation that's made you feel as if you're living in a box, you'll find validation for your feelings and suggestions for recovery in The Box of Daughter. Recovery from the past is absolutely possible.