Nikki Gemmell started writing After, the day she found out that her mother had ended her own life.
Many of the reviews focus on the obvious topics of death and dying – but for me, this book was more about the complexities of the mother-daughter relationship , early childhood emotional neglect, emotional abuse and trauma, and the struggle to separate and individuate from early childhood wounding.
Working with women in therapy, and with a wide range of concerns, exploring and healing the mother-daughter relationship is always part of our work together. Narcissistic wounding is often at the core. By this I mean, the daughter is not seen in her own light and her emotional, psychological and spiritual needs were not met, often because the mother’s needs were also not met.
Nikki Gemmell does a wonderful job of writing about these issues and I love that she has found a creative space to ‘see’ herself. It takes guts, authenticity, vulnerability and courage to write a book like this!
This memoir is a must for anyone interested in delving deeper into the psyche of the mother-daughter relationship.
If you would like to know more, grab a copy of After and watch Nikki on Australian Story.
If you are struggling with any of the concerns I have raised in this post – please find a counsellor or psychotherapist in your area specialising in mother-daughter relationships and early childhood trauma.