Author Mary Ellen Stepanich, with tongue firmly in cheek, answers the question, How do you turn a rmal, happy-go-lucky, poor, small-town girl of the Midwest into a push-me-pull-me, multi-married, mass-of-inner-conflicts schizophrenic? In her memoir, she shares the personal (and mostly true) story of her family's dysfunction. The eldest daughter of the family, she started out as an average, happy, and incent little girl. Her voice was soon crushed, however, by disastrous value programming--the tacit and implicit lessons taught by parents, teachers, peers, relatives, and even the geographical and cultural environment. These learned values can become immutable unless the person receiving them can finally recognize that these behaviors do t benefit their lives--and then boldly choose to igre them. All Mary Ellen has wanted out of life was someone to listen to her, and w her voice is finally heard. Her tale, one of systematic abuse and silence, is told with refreshing honesty and humor. She was one of a generation born on the cusp between the Great Depression and the New Deal, and as a result she was programmed to become anything but the confident, assertive adult she has fought to create. In her story, there is hope.