The Box of Daughter
Healing the Authentic Self
By Katherine Mayfield
(Maine Authors Publishing, Paperback, 9781936447435, 204pp.)
Publication Date: January 12, 2002
In her twenties and thirties, the author pursued a professional acting career in an attempt to gain the respect and attention she lacked in childhood, appearing Off-Broadway, in independent films, and on the daytime drama Guiding Light. Entering therapy in her thirties in response to a divorce, she began to unravel the threads of dysfunction in her family of origin.
More than a decade later, armed with the truth about her family, she sought to understand the challenges her parents faced and recover from the trauma while simultaneously acting as the family caregiver for the parents who abused her.
Freed from the abuse by the deaths of her parents in 2005 and 2008, the author set foot on an inspiring journey to wholeness—developing self-esteem, uncovering her true self, and finally creating a life that is truly her own.
Ms. Mayfield’s memoir The Box of Daughter won the Bronze Medal in the 2012 Reader’s Favorite Book Awards and an Honorable Mention award in the 2012 New England Book Festival, and was inspired by the title poem in her book of poems, The Box of Daughter and Other Poems. Her short story, The Last Visit, which is based on the last time she visited her father in hospice care, won the Honorable Mention award in the 2011 Warren Adler Short Story Contest. She has written for national magazines, local newspapers, and numerous websites.
Publication credits include Dance Teacher Now magazine, Dance Spirit magazine, The Significato Journal online, Sasee magazine, The Women’s Times, the Greenfield Recorder, TinyBuddha.com, MeaningfulWomen.com, and WomensMemoirs.com. Ms. Mayfield is also a ghostwriter and editorial consultant.
Ms. Mayfield has taught workshops and classes in Maine and Massachusetts, and blogs on Dysfunctional Families on her website, www.TheBoxofDaughter.com.
“A testament to the merit of psychological healing through the understanding and expression of feelings….Mayfield’s memoir provides helpful insight to those facing similar struggles.”
“The Box of Daughter [is] extremely relevant and helpful in terms of understanding the insanity of growing up when you are not allowed to have or express your own feelings. This is an excellent book to give to a friend struggling with family entanglement issues. It took courage and a lot of personal pain to write this book, but I have no doubt it will help many, many people.”
“Fresh, bold, and inspiring.”
“The Box of Daughter is a fine pick for community library memoir collections focusing on the family.”
—Midwest Book Review
“This is a very compelling and honest account of the author’s growing self-awareness and ascent from a lifetime of abuse. Though the she was not physically abused, this is no different than a black eye, a cut, or a burn. In many cases it can be worse, since there is no outward evidence. For those struggling with trauma, Katherine’s story offers a brave voice, trumpeting her successes and heralding an emergence from the shadows. It’s always reassuring to know you’re not alone, help is near, and it’s not all in your head.”
—Toadstool Bookshop, Milford, NH
“A brave, unflinching and exquisitely rendered memoir of a family caught in the tragic and relentless cycles of emotional incest that rob so many of their innocence. Katherine’s life-long struggle to come to grips with her mother’s mental illness and her own lost childhood is at once emotionally devastating and ultimately uplifting. Couldn’t put it down.”
—Darcy Scott, author of Hunter Huntress and Matinicus
“Katherine Mayfield holds nothing back, and her unflinching, thorough, and articulate honesty is a true gift for anyone wanting to understand, face, and rise above the emotional scars of a damaging childhood. By sharing her own story of enduring and recovering from the pain of toxic parenting, the author delivers the important message that child abuse is never the fault of the victim and, more importantly, that true transcendence is possible.”
—Amy Wood, Psy.D., author of Life Your Way
“I thoroughly enjoyed every page of The Box of Daughter. Katherine Mayfield's style is so wonderfully interesting, I felt like "a fly on the wall" watching her life unfold. She is a beautiful and kind soul and a gifted storyteller. This book changes you. You'll walk away more compassionate and inspired to live your best life.”
—Ellen Padnos, Women.com
“The Box of Daughter is a hopeful story of a woman unraveled by abuse but found again in self-love and recovery. Heart-warming!”
—Karyl McBride, Ph.D., author of Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers
“This book stirred up a lot of “aha” moments-oh look, that’s my mom...oh look, that’s my whole family!!! Well-written, intriguing, and so very enlightening. Thoroughly enjoyed this book, and if I could give it more than “5 stars” I certainly would!!”
“Katherine Mayfield’s book is an insightful, honest, and riveting account of her childhood emotional abuse and her journey to wholeness as an adult. It demonstrates how harsh words and lack of compassion can traumatize a child just as deeply as physical or sexual abuse. Highly recommended.”
—Aletha Solter, Ph.D., founder of the Aware Parenting Institute and author of Tears and Tantrums