If Seen... My Journey Living With Anxiety
by Karla Yazzolino
Black Rose Writing

"You see, what I didn't understand as a child was that I was forming and becoming a person that I wouldn't like to know for a good three decades."

In middle age, Yazzolino wrote an autobiographical account of growing up with anxiety and how she perceived the condition affected her personal relationships and development. The author and her sister were raised by their divorced mother, who Yazzolino describes variously as "self-absorbed," "a professional student," "a hard worker," and "a true manipulator." Much of the book describes examples of the author's loneliness during her childhood and early adolescence. The theme of the book is an explanation of the author's background and the reasons for the choices that she made and the experiences that she had. The main reason for Yazzolino's writing her explanation is summarized in her dedication: "For my family and especially my children, I sing you to me."

The author describes many events, including several that must have been difficult for her to relive—for example, buying a house with her husband, "When we moved... I liked the house and neighborhood, but I did not like my husband."

The personal and familial situations might apply to many people. Yazzolino attempts to pull the story together regarding her actions and reactions, and describe the shape of her current perceptions and relationships. The author's assessments of herself and others are often brusque and definite, but the book is leavened in the beginning in a note to the people closest to her: "I trust you to know that this is my truth and no one else's to judge." It is the story of someone who grew up in fear, who admits that dealing with her condition is a lifelong process.

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