I Breathe, Therefore I am
I Breathe, Therefore I amCaroline Cederquist
How do you break up with your own mother?
’I have risen above the misery from which I came. I’ve been in therapy for many years and created a good life for myself with a wonderful daughter, fantastic friends, and a career in journalism. And I have put the past and the dark behind me; I do not want to remember. I’ve washed away my past but, suddenly, everything has rushed up on me.
Throughout her childhood, Caroline Cederquist endured mistreatment from those who should have provided care, safety and love. As the child of an alcoholic father and narcissistic mother, Caroline grew up in a chaotic family where her father chose alcohol over his family, and her self-absorbed mother subjected Caroline to years of emotional abuse. Caroline’s mother often chose her various partners over her daughter’s welfare, ignoring Caroline’s distress, propelling the young Caroline down the same path towards self destruction. After surviving years of chaos, social services and psychiatric care, Caroline finally makes the heart-breaking and crucial decision to leave home and move away from her mother at the age of 15, after having broken off all relations with her father already as a nine-year-old.
In adulthood, a string of meaningless relationships and emotional instability left her feeling vulnerable, powerless and at risk to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Deciding to put an end to the vicious cycle, she sets about undoing the damage done by her parents by taking care of herself and those around her. And in that decision, she also decides to break up with her mother for good.
Discovering the power of the written word at a young age that lead to a very successful career in journalism and communication, Caroline Cederquist packs a literary punch in her raw and unflinching account of the reverberations of a toxic mother-daughter relationship, and the damage done by an alcoholic and volatile father. The is a memoir about surviving in spite your family and coming out the other side, stronger and wiser.
Akin to Alison Bechdel’s Are You My Mother? and Olivia Rayne’s My Mother, the Psychopath.