Everyone knows Anne Heche most famously from her role as half of the Ellen DeGeneres/Anne Heche gay couple. Yes, she’s starred in a few movies, some of which have done well, others not so much, from her background as a soap opera star. So it was a bit disappointing to pick up this book and read it from cover to cover only to discover so little written about the years she was with Ellen DeGeneres. Only after page 211 (of a 248 page book) do we get about a dozen pages of her life with Ellen, and that only as a fleeting, passive description.
Okay, I understand. This is a book about a woman (who just happens to be famous) who has dealt with years of abuse as a child and many more years as a young adult desperately trying to come to terms with that abuse and her own sense of self. So if you pick up this book to want to read more about “Ellen-n-Anne” (as she refers to that time in her life), don’t; no beans are spilled and little insight is given as to how Anne so easily fell into a lesbian relationship as readily as she fell into a traditional marriage shortly after their breakup.
What the reader does find is over 200 pages of Anne’s personal life, laid bare for all to digest. Included in this journey is her childhood, her time as a soap star, and all the relationships inbetween. It isn’t so much a coherent telling of someone’s life story… Rather it is more of a personal account of someone’s life, told in the way people tell the story of their life. Details are important, feelings are emphasized, and a cogent connection from point A to point B are often glossed over. And that’s okay, because this wasn’t written in conjunction with some ghost writer — these are Heche’s own words. Raw, emotional, and focusing on what was (or is) important to her.
This book seems as much to act as form of therapy for Heche (who spent much time in therapy as an adult) as it a telling of her life story. In the forward, she tells the reader that she hopes by sharing her story with us, others will not have to live through the living hell of child abuse with as much difficulty as she did. It is a noble reason to write such a book, and I hope that readers who have gone through childhood abuse take some strength from her story. That it is possible to survive the abuse, to make it through life, and come out the other side whole, stronger, intact, and full of life and love.
At times, admittedly corny and heart-felt, the book is a genuine unique work of art. I think Heche sums it up best when she writes, “I hope that people get the courage to talk about their abuse before they find themselves wandering through dark caves of insanity and into the homes of strangers seeking God.”
Softcover, 256 pages.
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Grohol, J. (2003). Call Me Crazy. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/call-me-crazy/0001500
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Jan 2013
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