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Necessary Losses - Study Guide Chapters 1-2 Summary & Analysis

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In the first chapter, The High Cost of Separation, Viorst discusses our absolute need for a mother in our early years, and what a challenge it is for children to become distinct individuals, separate from their mothers. Even children who are injured and abused by their parents, still cry for their mothers, who represent safety. Abandonment by mother is inevitable in the natural course of life, when a mother goes back to work or has another child, but extended separation can cause pain and permanent damage. Even grown adults who cannot stand to be alone can trace their feelings of abandonment to childhood separation from mother. Viorst gives examples of adults who have achieved much, but who are emotionally immature due to early separation trauma, which can result from mother's absence and the fear of her absence. Children who are hospitalized, as the...

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