12 Comments
May 28Liked by Cindy DiTiberio

I would like an All Fours book club. Excellent essay!

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May 28Liked by Cindy DiTiberio

I loved Nightbitch and Fleishman and, of course, All Fours. (The audio book is read by the author and her voice is perfect.) I feel like these books just appear in my hands. None of my friends will read them. Why do I identify so intensely with the themes of leaving my family, or becoming "unhinged?" Does it have to do with hormones? Am I really that desperate? I'm acting like I have never known freedom in this life.

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Yes yes yes.

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Loved Nightbitch. Thanks for the All Fours rec!

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You have All Fours and Nightbitch on my radar now. This was a thoughtful piece and I wish at age 40 when I began to first feel unhinged and ready to divorce I had done it then and not gone on 20 years more, hinged way too tight to a man and marriage taking me down. But I have compassion for her, too. I needed time to know I could get unhinged and survive—and my two daughters who I feared hurting all those years ago would in the end not only understand but applaud my courage.

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I loved it. It made me think a lot about perimenopause’s differences from and commonalities with other hormonal portals. Like transition in labor, at the peak of hormones that make it possible to push the baby out, at fight or flight during labor we become unhinged literally and figuratively. We have to open our bodies to an impossibly profound transformation, and we spontaneously cope (well!) with irrational thoughts such as “I’m gonna leave now; Nevermind about giving birth to the baby.” As a former midwife, I’ve seen many many women in transition during labor attempt to walk away, and in some way we DO and it WORKS. We end up finding the right position or sound or support to get through it.

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This is great, Second Place by Rachel Cusk belongs on this list too!

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Excellent piece! I just finished ALL FOURS and I definitely think “unhinged” is a good descriptor. I (a 45-year-old cis, straight, married woman in the throes of perimenopausal night sweats, manic moods, and insomnia) highlighted *so many* paragraphs as I was reading…man, my poor husband is IN FOR IT 😂

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We just read this for my book club and I think the discussion will build community in a way nothing else has ✨ I have never read anything more true about being a middle aged mother.

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YES. This resonates SO much.

I wrote a story a while back called, “As a Middle-Aged Woman, I Give Zero Fucks.” As I first entered middle age, I felt incredibly empowered. Now, at 43, I’m definitely feeling a bit… unhinged. Not necessarily in a bad way. I’m in the midst of what I’m calling a “healing separation” from my husband and embarking on a journey to reset the terms — whether or not I find my way back to my marriage. It’s a journey that includes reclaiming the innate value of caregiving and also reclaiming my innate sense of self.

I will have to check out both those books!

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Coming unhinged so we can figure out again how to be hinged / attached in ways that work!! Love your review, stoked to read this book this weekend, especially with your comparison to an ultimate favorite, Nightbitch. And through it all, I'm so excited to be part of this collective movement of women waking up and shaking up when we actually have so much energy left that we don't have to direct toward our children.

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I love this so much! and I'm reading All Fours now too OF COURSE

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