John Elliot Bradshaw's reach for the stars didn't exceed his talented grasp--he touched them, twirled them sparkling on his fingertips, experiencing chest-thrust-out, high-stepping, champagne uncorked, confetti in-your-hair world-wide satiate success.
TV star, author, psychologist, theologian, American pop culture icon.
Fortune, fame, acclaim, enduring career.
Comparatively, King Midas was an also ran.
Bradshaw even achieved the immortality of creating language; forever inscribing "inner child" and "dysfunctional family" into America's national vocabulary.
Five non-fiction books on The New York Times bestseller list for weeks and weeks. One, Homecoming, listed as #1, translated into 42 languages. Host of five multi-part television series aired on Public Broadcasting for a 30-year period. John Bradshaw, alcoholic son of an alcoholic, transported himself as he phrases it "from the nuthouse to the penthouse."
In Bradshaw's upward life journey from "a stretcher in a state hospital at the tail end of alcoholism," he grappled privately with the same perplexing family concerns about which he wrote publicly.
Estrangement from blood relatives floated off-stage as shadows drifting near the klieg-light edges of his happiness.
"I never had a member of my family call me and congratulate me about being on the New York Times best-seller list with five books. When one of my books first was No. 1 on the New York Times list, my mother didn't call me. That hurt me the most because my mother subscribed to the New York Times. So she saw the list. I understood that my mother, brother and sister bragged about me to others, but they said nothing to me."
"Of course, no other relatives said anything to me about it.
"I think that was about jealousy and even a kind of competition: you've done better than us. By becoming successful, I created an estrangement," Bradshaw explained in an interview for Strangers.
Read full text of John Bradshaw's interview with Janice Law in Strangers in Blood, Distanced Lives. See To Order.