Guest: Kyleigh Leddy, author of “The Perfect Other: A Memoir of my Sister”
“I wish my sister gets better” - that became part of our guest's yearly birthday wishes, and more often too.
Our daughters have probably made that same wish - or at least they used to.
In 2019, Kyleigh won the New York Times Modern Love college essay contest for an essay she wrote about grieving her sister, Kait - and now it’s a book.
All Kait Leddy had ever wanted was a little sister. When Kyleigh was born, they were inseparable; Kait would protect her, include her, cuddle and comfort her, and, to Kyleigh, her big sister was her whole world.
As they grew, however, and as Kait entered adolescence, things began to shatter, and Kyleigh could only watch in horror as her perfect sibling’s world collapsed around her. Kait was institutionalized with what would eventually be diagnosed as schizophrenia, leaving Kyleigh and their mother to handle the burden, shame, and guilt alone.
Then, in January 2014, Kait disappeared.
Her sister tells us about the loss, their bond, the story, the stigma - in her latest book.
1- what do you most want people to know from your story, your family story?
2 - tell us what Kait was like before SZ, and as it developed.
Did kait’s concussions cause her SMI?
3 - you and your parents - how are you now?
4 - does Kait leave a legacy ?
5 -is the sibling experience often ignored in SMI? What is unique to sibs?
6 - your writing process etc. and links
Mindy and her book: https://mindygreiling.com/
Randye and her book: https://benbehindhisvoices.com/
Miriam and her book: https://www.miriam-feldman.com/
Randye Kaye - was a morning Radio Personality bringing humor to CT families when her own son was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Now she is still a Broadcaster, Actress, Voice Talent, Speaker, and Author (Ben Behind his Voices, Happier Made Simple)
Miriam Feldman - is an artist, writer, and the mother of an adult son with schizophrenia. Her book, He Came in With It chronicles her family's story and was released to rave reviews on July 21st, 2020.
Mindy Greiling - Mindy Greiling was a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives for twenty years. She helped found the nation's first state mental health caucus, which successfully lobbied for a significant increase in Minnesota's mental health funding Her acclaimed memoir is Fix What You Can.