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Untied....thankfully she made it to this point

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I recently had the opportunity to read actress Meredith Baxter’s memoir, Untied: A Memoir of Family, Fame, and Floundering. It was a very good book but also a very hard book to read in a lot of ways. Here is the story of a very talented actress who was everyone’s favorite TV Mom on Family Ties back in the 1980’s. She also did other, great roles before being a great TV Mom and afterwards as well. I was still sad while reading this book for most of it though. Why? Because you could tell that she really did not think much of herself. Then again, how could she? With the exception of a few people - her five children, Family Ties TV Dad Michael Gross; and her life partner, Nancy Locke - no one really thought much of her either. It was not her fault, people. Unfortunately, Ms. Baxter had the misfortune of coming across a lot of people who did not value her as a person.
It started in her childhood. Imagine having your Mom decide one day that it would be better for you and your siblings to call her by her first name instead of by that traditional moniker of “Mommy”, because she is trying to have a better acting career. Well, at least she could call her Dad “Dad”, but still, he was not really around either. You are raised by your stepfather who switches off between being a tyrant and being a nice guy who is interested in you sexually as you become an adult and beyond. The only decent person you have is your stepmother, but unfortunately, you do not see enough of her for her normalcy to really have an impact on you.
You then go ahead and marry one of the first guys you meet because you need a place to live with him, have two kids very young, and then one day he gets violent with you. You leave him. Fortunately, he does not do that to the kids, but you are still traumatized. Then, you pick up with the second husband who hits you and treats you like absolute garbage during the courtship and subsequent marriage. You have three children with him because in many ways, you were forced to do so. All the while, he is telling you that you are nothing but stupid, worthless, uneducated, and just a pile of crap. Oh, and your acting sucks too. You finally have the courage to leave him after fifteen years, but it is mostly under his terms. Then, you marry a third guy hoping it will be better, but well, it really is not that much better at all. Finally, you decide to get your life together and start dating a lovely lady who does not treat you like crap. She treats you like a human being and honestly loves you for who you are. You find out that not only did you pick the wrong men, but even with the right man, the relationship would not be right for you. You are actually a Lesbian as well.
Some people might say that Ms. Baxter chose to a Lesbian. Personally, I believe she has been a Lesbian her whole life. Due to the early traumas of her life as well as not encountering enough people who were decent, Ms. Baxter had no sense of who she was and also no self-esteem. As a result, she did not know until later in life who she really was. Thankfully, she seems to have found happiness in her life. She also still continues to act having great roles in TV movies, shows, etc. I wish her all the best and hope that things continues to go great for her. I also hope she feels a sense of release and relief from writing this book.
In the meantime, I will say one more thing. Anyone who believes that child abuse, domestic abuse, etc are not real things; read this book. I guarantee you will realize that they are once you do.

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