An Abbreviated Life

An Abbreviated Life

Synopsis

A beautiful, startling, and candid memoir about growing up without boundaries, in which Ariel Leve recalls with candor and sensitivity the turbulent time she endured as the only child of an unstable poet for a mother and a beloved but largely absent father, and explores the consequences of a psychologically harrowing childhood as she seeks refuge from the past and recovers what was lost.

Ariel Leve grew up in Manhattan with an eccentric mother she describes as “a poet, an artist, a self-appointed troublemaker and attention seeker.” Leve learned to become her own parent, taking care of herself and her mother’s needs. There would be uncontrolled, impulsive rages followed with denial, disavowed responsibility, and then extreme outpourings of affection. How does a child learn to feel safe in this topsy-turvy world of conditional love?

Leve captures the chaos and lasting impact of a child’s life under siege and explores how the coping mechanisms she developed to survive later incapacitated her as an adult. There were material comforts, but no emotional safety, except for summer visits to her father’s home in South East Asia—an escape that was terminated after he attempted to gain custody. Following the death of a loving caretaker, a succession of replacements raised Leve—relationships which resulted in intense attachment and loss. It was not until decades later, when Leve moved to other side of the world, that she could begin to emancipate herself from the past. In a relationship with a man who has children, caring for them yields clarity of what was missing.

In telling her haunting story, Leve seeks to understand the effects of chronic psychological maltreatment on a child’s developing brain, and to discover how to build a life for herself that she never dreamed possible: An unabbreviated life.

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Chapters

  • 001 An Abbreviated Life

    Duration: 54s

  • 002 Chapter 1

    Duration: 01min

  • 003 Chapter 2

    Duration: 02min

  • 004 Chapter 3

    Duration: 01min

  • 005 Chapter 4

    Duration: 06min

  • 006 Chapter 5

    Duration: 02min

  • 007 Chapter 6

    Duration: 06min

  • 008 Chapter 7

    Duration: 04min

  • 009 Chapter 8

    Duration: 07min

  • 010 Chapter 9

    Duration: 02min

  • 011 Chapter 10

    Duration: 09min

  • 012 Chapter 11

    Duration: 01min

  • 013 Chapter 12

    Duration: 14min

  • 014 Chapter 13

    Duration: 18min

  • 015 Chapter 14

    Duration: 17min

  • 016 Chapter 15

    Duration: 12min

  • 017 Chapter 16

    Duration: 04min

  • 018 Chapter 17

    Duration: 06min

  • 019 Chapter 18

    Duration: 03min

  • 020 Chapter 19

    Duration: 09min

  • 021 Chapter 20

    Duration: 07min

  • 022 Chapter 21

    Duration: 15min

  • 023 Chapter 22

    Duration: 12min

  • 024 Chapter 23

    Duration: 05min

  • 025 Chapter 24

    Duration: 03min

  • 026 Chapter 25

    Duration: 07min

  • 027 Chapter 26

    Duration: 04min

  • 028 Chapter 27

    Duration: 07min

  • 029 Chapter 28

    Duration: 04min

  • 030 Chapter 29

    Duration: 07min

  • 031 Chapter 30

    Duration: 02min

  • 032 Chapter 31

    Duration: 13min

  • 033 Chapter 32

    Duration: 04min

  • 034 Chapter 33

    Duration: 04min

  • 035 Chapter 34

    Duration: 03min

  • 036 Chapter 35

    Duration: 05min

  • 037 Chapter 36

    Duration: 10min

  • 038 Chapter 37

    Duration: 04min

  • 039 Chapter 38

    Duration: 04min

  • 040 Chapter 39

    Duration: 02min

  • 041 Chapter 40

    Duration: 16min

  • 042 Chapter 41

    Duration: 07min

  • 043 Chapter 42

    Duration: 07min

  • 044 Chapter 43

    Duration: 18min

  • 045 Chapter 44

    Duration: 03min

  • 046 Chapter 45

    Duration: 02min

  • 047 Chapter 46

    Duration: 10min

  • 048 Chapter 47

    Duration: 02min

  • 049 Chapter 48

    Duration: 04min

  • 050 Chapter 49

    Duration: 05min

  • 051 Chapter 50

    Duration: 07min

  • 052 Chapter 51

    Duration: 03min

  • 053 Credits

    Duration: 01min

  • sample

    Duration: 01min