Acceptance: A Memoir by Emi Neitfeld

Posted on 12/17/2022 in misc

If you are writing a memoir before you are 30, you are either deluded, or you have seen some shit.

Emi Nietfeld has seen some shit.

Her very conservative parents divorced when she was 10 when her dad came out as trans and she changed her name to Michelle. Both parents had mental health issues, her mom's became a very serious hoarding issue after the divorce. 3 years later she was in a state psychiatric hospital after attempting suicide. She likes it there though, she got 3 meals a day, the heat worked, they had hot water, and it didn't smell like cat piss.

She went from institutionalized to placed with conservative foster parents that thought her art history homework (David) was porn, to essentially homeless at age 16, working on her Harvard application from her Toyota Corolla. She got into Harvard and graduates into a $200K a year job at Google. But this is not a happy story.

It's an indictment of the mental health profession that was happy to dope her up on her mom's word that she needed drugs. It's an indictment of those same child welfare professionals that never once followed up when she begged them to just come look at her mom's house. It's an indictment of the system that kept trying to send her back home. It's an indictment of higher education, of scholarships handed out by right wing organizations that allow them to brush off the millions crushed by the system. It's an indictment of her parents and everybody else that let her believe she was problem growing up, and that she could make her life better by changing her attitude. It's an indictment of you and I for letting this shit happen over and over and over again.

If it's not clear, this is a positive review. Even though I knew going in she graduated from Harvard and had worked at both Facebook and Google, I was still tense as hell through the entire book. I didn't even hit most of the high points above. She saw some shit, and survived to tell the story.

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