top of page

The Genesis of Survival Personality


“The subtleties of my first visit to the emergency room, where I’d been praised as good for being brave, were already arranging themselves into a personal treatise in much the same way that a seemingly inconsequential architectural miscalculation on the ground floor can result in a sweeping chasm in the penthouse. At a time when everything in my family was unpredictable and dysfunctional, with my mother recently discharged from a brief stay in a hospital herself, here I had been supplied with a formula of behavior for gaining acceptance and, I believed, love. All I had to do was perform heroically, and I could personally save my entire family.”

Autobiography of A Face
Lucy Grealy



“I was an anxious kid. I was born with a job. My parents told me they wanted to be parents so they could avoid the mistakes their own parents had made. I think they said this to let me know I was loved, but it made me feel pressure. I was going to have a better childhood. I wasn’t sure what that entailed, but it suggested responsibilities.”

I Will Be Complete: A Memoir
Glen David Gold

bottom of page