Author Archives: Antonella Gambotto-Burke

The sociopathic mother

“Sociopaths also tend to be deceitful. ‘If your mother is prone to lying about things big and small, she may have traits of antisocial personality disorder, particularly if she lies for personal gain,’ says Odessky.”
– from 9 Signs Your Mom Might be a Sociopath

“Sadly, the inability to feel empathy, a benchmark characteristic of psychopathy, is especially destructive to an emotionally developing child. Any hint of weakness or pain from the child is criticized or invalidated unless it can be used to the mother’s benefit; consider the response of a psychopathic mother, who had married a known sex offender even though, at the time, she had a five-year-old child. When the child finally told her mother that her stepfather had raped her, her only response was, ‘Why didn’t you tell me at the divorce settlement so we could have gotten more money out of him?’”
– from The Psychopathic Mother

Monster-in-law / Jane Fonda + Jennifer Lopez

One of my favourite comedies, Monster-in-Law is the story of Viola, a duplicitous, narcissistic and very successful sociopath whose son Kevin secretly despises her. A smooth, charming coward and a weakling, Kevin allows his choice of bride (hapless hippie JLo) to do the emotional heavy lifting for him. Predictably, Viola turns her guns on his bride-to-be, wanting only to destroy her in lieu of facing the reality that her son hates her. Jane Fonda is magnificent as the vicious, surgically-altered, dyed blonde monster. #realitybites #truthwins #funnyfilm

Mothers: An Essay on Love + Cruelty / Jacqueline Rose

“What, in the end, is Rose arguing? That motherhood is wrongly sentimentalised or that she feels excluded by mothers who do not ­experience ambivalence in their role? That mothers should be heard? Of course we urgently need a revision of cultural­ — and, concomitantly, political — prioritie­s, but such changes will never be implemented if we continue insisting on the same modalities in which meaning is externalised and love sacrificed to status.”

– from my review of Mothers: An Essay on Love and Cruelty

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Girl Power / The Mirror (UK)

I’ve had two of the biggest (sentimental) thrills of my professional life within a week: the most recent is appearing here with activist & 2014 Nobel prize winner Malala Yousafzai, Virginia Woolf, Maya Angelou, Emmeline Pankhurst and JK Rowling as one of the most inspiring international activists for women’s rights.

Bethesda nearly had a cardiac arrest over the fact that my quote is mentioned alongside Taylor Swift’s – wild shrieking could be heard as she danced around the house.

#girlpower #loveistruth #equalrights #womensrights #loveisrespect #respect

My brother at his very best

“It is difficult to describe my brother’s comic riffs without his understated expression, metronome nods, and low, wry voice. That and a bus ticket, he would drawl, will get you to Neutral Bay. Where my laugh is an octave played by Chopin, his was remarkable: from this solid, heavy-jawed man, laughter like a pumping garden hose suddenly freed from the sprinkler – undulating, wildly glittering through the bluest air. My brother’s laugh was unexpected, sheer, and ravishing and in it, he was liberated. Just watch me fly! The properties of his laugh were magical, but also used to disguise truth. My brother used laughter as a kind of insulation or substitute for emotional revelation. Like that last email he sent his friend, it was part of a greater insistence that all was fine when it was not. I pressed him to acknowledge hurts. Sometimes he allowed pain to surface. In razor-grabs, he expressed feelings denied him. The speed and compression of these admissions suggested a fear of judgment.”

– from The Eclipse, A Memoir of Suicide

This photograph of Gianluca in the old Macquarie Bank headquarters on Bond Street just arrived in my inbox from an old workmate of his. It is the most adorable picture of him ever taken – on the cusp of giggling, the very soul of mischief.

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