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Suzanne Manser, PhD

Licensed Psychologist

MY BOOKS!

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I Hate You (A Love Letter to My Mother):
Healing Paper Cuts, Mother Wounds, and Intergenerational Pain

My book is a memoir mixed with a psychological how-to on healing from a painful
relationship with your parent. I’m calling it a personal transformation memoir.

I’ve also created a companion guided journal to help readers explore the impact of their family’s intergenerational pain and create their own profound transformations:

I Hate You (A Love Letter to My Mother):
A Journal for Healing Your Mother Wound and Transforming Your Life

They’re both available in print and Kindle versions.

I can’t wait for you to read them!

 
 
 
 

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An important book for everyone!

Through an interweaving of personal stories and psychological analyses, Dr. Manser deftly addresses a topic that often is whispered behind closed doors yet rarely is uttered in public: the hatred of one’s parent. However, this book – and its accompanying guided journal – do not wallow in hate. As the subtitle alludes, this book truly conveys a love story – several love stories, actually. A complicated love for a mother who both suffers and inflicts suffering, a nostalgic love for a father who shared the joy of ice cream, an appreciative love for a sister who is very different from her, a deeply grateful love for the family she and her husband created other, an evolving love of self that stemmed from facing and examining emotional pain, and a validating love to her readers whom she wants to feel less alone. If you have a complicated relationship with anyone in your life (and who doesn’t?), or if you’ve felt unseen (and who hasn’t?), then this is a book for you (in other words, for all of us).

Amazon Reviews

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Beautifully constructed narrative into trauma and its many presentations.
 

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Beautifully written!

One of the books you wish was longer because sinking into is so easy. A wonderful focus on the difficulty of familial relationships. The workbook is a great companion with thoughtful, approachable questions.

 

 

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Control, judgment, denial and disregard
 
She had me at: “I’m a psychologist, for crying out loud, and I couldn’t figure out how to stop hating my mom.” From the first page to the end of the book, the author captures the impact of a blaming, shaming, invalidating mother — whose own, early pain is escaped through a defense system that blinds her and protects her. Although some of the details weren’t identical to my childhood experience, the processes were spot on. Chronic invalidation may be unintentional but the impact on a daughter (or son) can be lifelong. I hope that reading this book can truncate that line of pain for readers.

More About ….

The Personal Transformation Memoir

(my story)

I Hate You (A Love Letter to My Mother):
Healing Paper Cuts, Mother Wounds, and Intergenerational Pain

by Suzanne Manser, PhD

Through the dual lenses of the child who lived it and the therapist healing from it, this intimate memoir traces the devastating impact of intergenerational trauma, ultimately showing us how to transcend our own lineages and transform our lives.

Suzanne spent most of her life hating her mother and trying not to. When her mom died, she expected to feel relief. Instead, she was flooded with grief for the mom she never had. As she journaled her pain, Suzanne discovered the brute— and brutal—power of the mother wound. She uncovered her mother’s hidden inner fortress, built to protect her mom from her own childhood, and she finally understood why she had never been enough. Their shared lineage of pain had robbed her of the mom she needed, and it nearly robbed her of herself.

Now a Harvard-trained psychologist, Suzanne grew up desperate to be seen, taken seriously, and chosen over her mother’s next drink. Every day felt like a battle for her existence, and she always lost. Each loss was a paper cut, painful and invisible. The cuts evolved into a festering wound that engulfed her and ultimately shaped who she became.

Trying to be worthy enough, hiding all of her shame, Suzanne ended up lost behind her pasted-on, people-pleasing smile. Her perfect veneer hid bullying, sexual abuse, a violent boyfriend, and most of herself. And then she made a decision that changed everything. Slowly, she stopped hiding and learned how to create a life centered on her, not on the pain of being her mother’s child.

Suzanne’s story bears witness to the children who were disregarded and had to be their parents’ emotional caretakers. Her experience-based description of the mother wound validates not only her pain, but ours. The psychological wisdom she weaves throughout her story shows us how our parents wound us, how those wounds shape us, and how we can shape ourselves. This is so much more than a memoir – it’s a guidebook to becoming an active creator in your life, living with less pain and much, much more fulfillment.

I Hate You (A Love Letter to My Mother) is a love letter to all of us. It was written for anyone on their own journey of understanding and changing their relationships with their parents and themselves. 

ATTENTION BOOK CLUBS!

Consider I Hate You (A Love Letter to My Mother) for your next book club selection!

The themes of challenging mothers, parenting, shame, feeling disregarded, intergenerational trauma, alcoholism, and how we become who we become are all explored in a relatable and non-boring way. 

Book Club Questions and Discussion Points:

  • Numerous times throughout the book, something significant (and usually scary) happens in Suzanne’s world, but it is “never spoken of again.” What role did silence play in Suzanne’s childhood? How did it impact what she believed about herself and the world?
 
  • What role did her search for belonging play in Suzanne’s choices growing up? How did a sense of belonging (or lack thereof) impact her sense of self as she evolved?
  • Suzanne describes physically hiding herself after “shameful” or scary moments. Consider the connection between physically hiding yourself and creating internal walls to hide behind, as you watch Suzanne react to her mom, and eventually to herself. Does she learn this (to hide herself) from anyone? What could have helped her in those moments?
 
 
  • Suzanne talks about the profound importance of small moments of validation, including her teacher’s acknowledgment of her mom’s alcoholism and her new friend Annie’s validation of her painful childhood. Where else did you see moments of validation? How did these small moments contribute to Suzanne’s internal remodel?
 
 
  • Suzanne’s goal in her writing was to understand her mom better, so that she could love her more. She talks about the necessity of being seen before one can truly be loved. How do you feel about that idea? Do you agree with it?
 
 
  • How do you feel about the premise that we are better off understanding hate than dismissing it? Do you think hate is a valid feeling? How do you feel about the concept of someone hating their mom, especially if their mom wasn’t physically abusive?
 
 
  • Are there any parts of Suzanne’s journey that you relate to? Were there any concepts that felt useful to understand for your own growth or healing?

 

The Guided Journal

(Your Story)

I Hate You (A Love Letter to My Mother):
A Journal for Healing Your Mother Wound and Transforming Your Life

by Suzanne Manser, PhD

This guided journal is a companion to I Hate You (A Love Letter to My Mother): Healing Paper Cuts, Mother Wounds, and Intergenerational Pain. Suzanne created this supportive, structured space for anyone who, like her, has been deeply hurt by their parent and is ready to gain powerful insight and heal.

A seasoned therapist, Suzanne skillfully leads you through a psychological examination of your childhood relationship with your parents. Through a series of thought-provoking prompts and questions, you will learn how your parents’ attempts to protect themselves became their method of wounding you, and you will see how those wounds impacted who you became.

You will explore your family’s specific lineage of pain, including the messages that subconsciously influenced how your parents were treated, how they treated you, and how you have treated yourself. Once you understand the pattern of generational pain, you can end it.


Suzanne also teaches you how to use six personal transformation tools that have made a profound difference in her own ongoing healing and growth. With these tools, you will be able to take the insights you’ve gained and make meaningful changes. As you work through this journal, you will learn how to transcend your inherited pain and actively create an authentic, fulfilling life.

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