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The Opposite of Everyone
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How much of who Paula is today is a response to her childhood?

Created: 11/19/16

Replies: 17

Posted Nov. 19, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

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How much of who Paula is today is a response to her childhood?

Paula Vauss is a tough-as-nails divorce attorney who doesn't place much stock in personal relationships. She describes her upbringing as "a Frankenstein's monster made of stolen parts..." What do you think she meant by that, and do you think the description is accurate? How much of who Paula is today is a response to her childhood?


Posted Nov. 28, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 163

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RE: How much of who Paula is today is a response to her childhood?

A bunch. She replicates many of her mother's behaviors in her relationships with men and alcohol. Her "fighting spirit" seems related at least in part to her felt need to defend herself as a child. Her guilt over her behavior toward her mother triggers one of her better qualities - a sense of compassion and a willingness to stand by those in difficult times (like Birdwine's battle with alcoholism). It is not surprising, though. that she relies almost totally on herself and asks for little from others.


Posted Nov. 28, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
millicentg

Join Date: 03/10/15

Posts: 5

RE: How much of who Paula is today is a response to her childhood?

We all carry our childhood with us throughout our life...some things are buried deeply...some things we take out to remember frequently...Paula was a survivor, a chameleon...she learned to create new personas that fit the changing circumstances of her life by watching her mother react to life...I thought the author did an excellent job of contrasting Paula and Julian in light of their very different childhood experiences...Paula was a closed up prickly cactus...a dessert survivor... all hard, sharp edges that protected the true inner core of her...Julian was an open succulent...soft, sensitive to his nurturing environment...accepting and giving... like plants and animals, human beings adapt to their environment and when are we most open to learning?...as young children...we are sponges in childhood ... for both positive and negative life lessons...


Posted Nov. 29, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
teachlz

Join Date: 07/28/16

Posts: 9

RE: How much of who Paula is today is a response to her childhood?

I think that who Paula is today is a response to her childhood happy memories, and traumatic memories when she was in a group home, when her mother was incarcerated. Paula is a fighter and determined as can be witnessed by her career and the legal cases she chooses. Paula also displays negative, dysfunctional behavior in relationships. Her panic attacks are a result of many things that happened in her childhood, and Paula feels extremely guilty at some of the choices she made.


Posted Dec. 02, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
irisf

Join Date: 01/16/12

Posts: 89

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RE: How much of who Paula is today is a response to her childhood?

We are all the products of our environment. We don't evolve from a vacuum as our experiences and the people around us influence who and what we become. In some cases we mirror what we see and experience. In Some cases we are determined to not be what we grew up with.


Posted Dec. 02, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beac

Join Date: 08/23/11

Posts: 70

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RE: How much of who Paula is today is a response to her childhood?

I think her whole being is a response to her childhood. She had to be tough and smart to survive the group home and she learned independence from moving around and not having relationships to count on. She is a total realist.


Posted Dec. 02, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
karenrn

Join Date: 08/29/13

Posts: 68

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RE: How much of who Paula is today is a response to her childhood?

I think she is very much a product of her childhood. She actually turned out well considering her childhood. She was tough but she still had a tender side.


Posted Dec. 04, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cynthiaa

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 77

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RE: How much of who Paula is today is a response to her childhood?

We're all a product of our childhood. So is Paula


Posted Dec. 04, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
julianna

Join Date: 10/10/13

Posts: 29

RE: How much of who Paula is today is a response to her childhood?

Everything she does is connected to her childhood. She describes people like her as 'jagged ends from families that hadn't worked.....the world..full of leftovers and leavers, the bereaved and the broken'. Amazing she was able to become and continue to grow into a good person.


Posted Dec. 04, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Suzanne

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 223

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RE: How much of who Paula is today is a response to her childhood?

Not much more can be said than has already been by those responding to this question. To me it seems every answer hits the nail on the head.


Posted Dec. 05, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nanl

Join Date: 09/28/15

Posts: 23

RE: How much of who Paula is today is a response to her childhood?

She is very much a product of her childhood, and her memories of and reactions to her childhood are always with her.


Posted Dec. 05, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
tracyd

Join Date: 05/31/15

Posts: 30

RE: How much of who Paula is today is a response to her childhood?

I agree with everyone. She is very much a product of her childhood.


Posted Dec. 05, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nancyh

Join Date: 06/25/13

Posts: 147

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RE: How much of who Paula is today is a response to her childhood?

I believe Paula is very effected my her childhood. Her life with her Mother was certainly not normal. The moving all the time, Paula had no time to develop relationships. The men came and went from Mother's life, so it was hard to learn what a normal family was like. The guilt she felt because she turned her Mother over to the police stayed with her. It is sad she had no help with this. The experiences in her foster home were no help. All of this added up to not knowing how to act in adult personal relationships. It is amazing she did as well she did.


Posted Dec. 07, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cm28015

Join Date: 11/01/15

Posts: 26

RE: How much of who Paula is today is a response to her childhood?

Probably a lot, but the nature vs nurture impact on an individual is astounding and hard to separate. She obviously learned a lifestyle and approach to relationships from her early years that she applied to as conventional adult life as she could. Her "grit" enabled her to learn and use that learning as an adult. It also enabled her to help others in a small way until meeting Julian and Hana. She found family and was able to.move into the next level of adulthood


Posted Dec. 07, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lorrainep

Join Date: 07/13/16

Posts: 26

RE: How much of who Paula is today is a response to her childhood?

I think until her brother arrived she was stuck in her 911 past. She could not forgive herself for what she had done and she kept self inflicting pain on herself. Slowly her brother helped her finally let go of the past so she could find happiness in the future


Posted Dec. 07, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianem

Join Date: 10/25/12

Posts: 65

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RE: How much of who Paula is today is a response to her childhood?

I think Paula life today is so much of a response to her childhood. While she is trying to bury it, she can never escape it.


Posted Dec. 09, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 183

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RE: How much of who Paula is today is a response to her childhood?

We all agree on this one. Paula was a product of her mother's mothering (or lack of) skills.


Posted Dec. 12, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
PiperUp

Join Date: 10/27/15

Posts: 62

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RE: How much of who Paula is today is a response to her childhood?

Paula is 100% a result of her childhood. Almost every choice she made was a direct result of what had occurred in her childhood. I also think that she will change & become a slightly different person as a result of having Hana & Julian in her life, but mostly Hana. Paula will become a mother figure to Hana...and being a mom usually changes who you are...unless you're selfish or have mental issues like Kai.


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