What is the summary for And I Don't Want to Live This Life?

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

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As a parent, I find this book both educational and terrifying.  It is the story of the motherhood of Deborah Spungen, the mom of "Nancy" who seemed to be doomed since birth.

Spungen finally tells her story here:  the story of parenting a child who is severely disturbed.  Spungen tells the story of her daughter Nancy mostly because we were all aware of the headline "Heroine Addict Stabbed to Death at a Hotel in Chelsea."  This heroine addict was Spungen's daughter, Nancy.  The death was a horrible tragedy and a relief for mom.

There was always something wrong in regards to Nancy since her birth.  Nancy never stopped crying when she was a baby.  Nancy would run and dive-bomb people as a toddler.  Nancy would try both drugs and sex in her pre-teens.  By her teenage years, Nancy was fully addicted to all of the "bad things" in life:  violence, sex, drugs, etc.  At this point, her sordid behavior was threatening to break up Spungen's marriage and destroy the family. 

Spungen departs from the sordid details to talk about how and why Nancy was so disturbed.  For some reason, Nancy was unable to hone in on the happiness that can be found in life.  Even with her famous lover, Sid Vicious, she was unable to find happiness.  Sid was unable to find happiness, too.  Nancy was slammed into the rabid world of Rock N' Roll or, perhaps I should say, all of its worst influences.  Of course, Nancy's story ends when she is stabbed in the hotel room.

Any person who reads this and still has doubts in regards to Spungen's parenting, should find respite in the fact that Spungen created an important organization that now helps many:  the Philadelphia chapter of Parents Of Murdered Children (POMC).  Many families are destroyed in the wake of a child's murder, and Spungen wanted to make sure they had a special support group in their time of need. 

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