I thought I was pretty good at teaching myself and moving forward until I read Educated a memoir by Tara Westover describing her growing up on a beautiful mountain in Idaho and in a narrow world created by her father’s mindset of fear and control. The book details her journey to rise above and venture out into the wider world and explore options for herself.
Her family did not believe in going to doctors, to school or even using seatbelts in a car, as Tara’s father was terrified of government establishments. Tara reflects on her father throughout the book, noting how his behavior was clearly that of someone who was mentally unstable and how this affected the family. His paranoia about the world ending caused Tara’s childhood to be tainted with worry and fear, to the point where she couldn’t even join a dance class without her father exploding with anger.
It’s amazing to read how Tara overcame her past, succeeding in getting a doctorate from Cambridge University, breaking the norms, her fierce loyalty and closeness with her family to self-differentiate from her parents and choose the life she desired for herself.