She's researched, written and "practiced" family estrangement. Ten years ago she cut off all contact with her mother and Brown's life improved significantly.
Writing in the Washington Post, Brown explains that "after decades of bitter fights and lukewarm reconciliations, I finally got the courage to cut off my mother completely. Our relationship brought me nothing but nuclear-level angst. After even the smallest interaction — an email or text message — I’d have panic attacks that lasted weeks. I’d stop sleeping, eat too much, fall through a wormhole into utter self-loathing."
Of course, other friends and family members put pressure on Brown to reconcile saying things like: " “You only get one mother,” they said. “What if she dies and you’re still estranged? How will you feel?” Brown writes out her response: "My mother died three years after our official estrangement, and my only regret is that I didn’t do it earlier. Much, much earlier."
As a result of disconnecting from her toxic mother, Brown says that holidays moved from being tolerable to pleasant. "no one stalked from the table in a huff or went home crying. My husband and I, my 86-year-old father, our younger daughter, home from grad school, and another couple shared a lovely and low-key dinner. And we have family estrangement to thank for that."
Read her story at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/i-cut-off-all-contact-with-my-mother-it-made-my-life-much-better/2019/01/18/cc454e9e-1529-11e9-90a8-136fa44b80ba_story.html?utm_term=.e7287d99c434