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