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15-year old Amy is an honors student, a high achiever and an innocent “girl scout,” but her parents are aggressively adversarial towards her: there are blowout fights and screaming arguments on an unpredictable schedule, and often threats to kick Amy out of the house, put her in foster care, or commit her to a mental institution. One day, Amy’s parents make good on that last threat, and convince Amy’s therapist to lock her up in a “tough love”-style adolescent psych residence for six months. Amy is devastated to be ambushed and locked away in a place she doesn’t belong. When she finally gets a weekend home pass, the kindness of her friends reassures her that she still has radiance and worth.
1980s, adolescence, dysfunctional family, emotional abuse, honors student, institution, Jewish, Live, Madison, mental health, Milwaukee, overachiever, parental abuse, psych ward, suicidal ideation, suicide, teenagers, thespian, tough love, treatment center
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