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The Moment: A Selection

“Denial”—A Moment by Kathy Ritchie (audio/video)

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

“My first thought was of Ronald Reagan. He died of Alzheimer’s disease, an incredibly long and drawn out process (from what I remembered). Could my mom have this disease? No. Absolutely not.

Around the turn of the 20th century, controversial psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud first posited the existence of denial as a human defense mechanism. For example, we deny that the reason for our poor performance on an exam was our own lack of preparation; we believe instead that the questions were unfair. We deny that lax gun control laws affect the number of fatal shootings in America; we believe instead that these shootings are unpredictable outliers, impossible to prevent. Denial is what occurs when we are trying to protect ourselves from an unsavory reality, and it is also what writer Kathy Ritchie explores in her piece from The Moment, which details her mother’s difficult diagnosis with dementia. Watch and listen to her story here.

Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Moment”: The Secret Life of Parents

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

“Hearing my mother’s voice calling to my father like that filled me with the most eerie and unsettling realization—namely, that these two people, my parents, existed separately from me.”

I must have been three years old because this happened in our old house, and we moved when I was four. I was upstairs, on the hallway carpet, on my belly, pushing a Barbie across the floor on her belly, as though she were a racecar. It was evening—after dinner, but before bedtime—and the household was slowly shutting down for the day. I could hear my parents moving about downstairs, making the mild noises of domestic life. (more…)

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