99 Girdles on the Wall : a memoir // by Elena Louise Richmond

"For her estate sale, I nailed my mother’s twenty seven girdles to the wall of her bedroom. 

Girdles, instruments of torture that impede the breath, and imprison joy were emblematic of her repressive influence. Even when she lay dying, she had the energy to tell me to put my knees together."
Sometimes a sense of the absurd was all she had, but finally the elastic was no longer binding.  It had taken 35 years to extricate herself from a repressive fundamentalist upbringing, an emotionally disturbed mother and an alcoholic father. In her late forties, Elena finally fell in love with her own life. The influence of an exotic aunt,  a Buddhist singing teacher, a psychoanalyst as stubborn as she was, the wisdom of her music students, and the pilot light of her own spirit, hidden for decades under depression, helped her find her way.