Hi, I’m Kari.
I’m an author, speaker, and the founder of the SELF Project. My work explores the often challenging dynamics of parents and children. My latest book, Truth Has a Different Shape, is a memoir about growing up in the ’70s and ’80s as a caretaker-type in a family torn by divorce and the loss of a child and how that shaped my own parenting, and ultimately my caregiving for my parents in their twilight years. My work has appeared in a variety of places such as Ms. Magazine, Healthline, and The Seattle Times Education Lab Ignite Storytelling event, as well as several anthologies and other books.
Truth Has a Different Shape
Sandwiched between raising their own children and taking on the responsibilities of their aging boomer parents, GenX mothers are often faced with a seemingly impossible emotional juggling act. In a similar vein to Ada Calhoun’s Why We Can’t Sleep: Women’s New Midlife Crisis, Kari O’Driscoll takes a deeply personal, yet often little-explored journey, common to so many GenX women. In her memoir, Truth Has a Different Shape she faces the challenges of being groomed as a caretaker, growing up in the post-first-wave-feminist 70s and 80s, in a family where her need for love is often unmet, and how that shifts her own identity as woman, wife, mother, and child.
In three acts, O’Driscoll excavates her girlhood, young adulthood, and finally motherhood to ultimately come to terms with how her attempts to do it all and be it all for everyone threaten everything she’s ever wanted. In this exploration of how our parents affect us as girls, women, and mothers, as part of the forgotten generation, she comes full circle to heal herself and the most difficult relationships of her life. For any woman who’s ever felt like the one who must hold everything together until she’s about to fall apart, Kari offers a firsthand look at her own path from peacekeeper to self-healer.