Skip navigation

Lucy Maud suffered 'unbearable psychological pain'

From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

But there's 'a much wider context for understanding' final note found on bedside table of Anne's creator, biographer says ...Read the full article

This conversation is closed

  1. Karen Yung from Canada writes: If Lucy Maud were treated for multiple sclerosis, she may have lived.
    Nobody in the twenty-first century should need to suffer, with Universal
    Health Care. How many functional MRI machines are in Canada today?
  2. Tracy Bracy from toronto, Canada writes: Thats not a mental illness that is medical incompetence.
  3. Rain Couver from Canada writes: A sad end to a sad life.
  4. Margaret Gunning from british columbia, Canada writes: Having read Rubio's brilliant book, I can't agree with those who claim LMM's life was entirely wretched. Nor was her marriage: though it was more companionate than passionate, Ewan did contribute to family stability when he was well (which he was, for long periods), and gave her the children she longed for. I really think the truth about LMM is more complex, which is why I thought Rubio's book was so well done. It examined all angles of her struggles, as well as her strengths and her real enjoyment of many aspects of her life (even being a minister's wife!). I think she was a creature of wild extremes: in other words, an artist, a bird in a gilded cage, so to speak (even if it was a cage largely of her own making). Both she and Ewan obviously had a physiological imbalance which was impossible to treat then. "Bromides" and other primitive drugs only made matters worse. Considering her cyclic periods of truly crippling depression, LMM was a phenomenal writer, speaker, organizer, friend, mother, and wife. Her hypersensitivity caused extreme suffering when her disturbed son Chester went off the rails (and isn't it mysterious that his problems were so intractible, when her other son Stuart was sunny and well-adjusted? This seems to be yet more evidence that genetics is a cruel lottery.) Rubio's book, which I highly recommend for anyone interetsed in LMM and her work, paints a complex portrait of a woman who suffered from mental illness, but did not "become" that illness until the very end of her life, when she seemed to be swamped by inertia and despair. Are things any better today? Well, if they were, we wouldn't have headings like "Breakdown" for articles on mental health, mostly dwelling on worst-case scenarios, horror stories and "stigma" rather than on the many cases in which a person functions well for a great majority of the time, and manages to cope the rest of the time with support. Get with it, media! There's another story here that is waiting to be told.
  5. Irene Doyle from Campbellton, Canada writes: I agree after reading the 5 volumes of LMM's Diaries that she sort of brought her misfortunes on herself as what seems to be an "extreme everything" character of hers. Of course it is difficult for us to put ourself in her place, in those days maybe a seperation and having Chester in an affair was something to be soooooooo ashamed of as she was. Maybe there was no way to diagnose Ewan's "melancholia" was there no Dr that could help? Because she was paying for her son's studies maybe? did she have to be sooooo worried about the outcome? Did it have to make her so ashamed when others spoke of the success of their sons? Ewan's "maladie" was a weird one indeed and today a wife with such a "burden" on her hands would probably leave instead of remaining in such marriage. She never did say she loved Ewan did she? The loss of Frede seemed like way exagerated although she was a good friend so was the loss of "Lucky" after all he was a cat and all the other cats she had never replaced him. Yes LMM was a very different person, she seemed to be extra intelligent, with the gift to write among others. I have collected all her books and could read them over and over but reading her diaries, I have to deduct for myself what she was like, not take what others have deducted from reading them.

Comments are closed

Thanks for your interest in commenting on this article, however we are no longer accepting submissions. If you would like, you may send a letter to the editor.

Report an abusive comment to our editorial staff

close

Alert us about this comment

Please let us know if this reader’s comment breaks the editor's rules and is obscene, abusive, threatening, unlawful, harassing, defamatory, profane or racially offensive by selecting the appropriate option to describe the problem.

Do not use this to complain about comments that don’t break the rules, for example those comments that you disagree with or contain spelling errors or multiple postings.

Back to top