Julie Burchill writes:
The only unconditional love I’ve ever given was to my beloved son Jack, who killed himself last year after many years of struggling with mental health problems – which my unconditional love, I believe, made worse. Every threat he threw at blameless mates of mine, every wodge of cash he conned out of me, every time he refused to take sensible advice to do something with his brilliant brain rather than get wasted, I’d be there with the unconditional love, telling him he was perfect just as he was. My friends, who were used to me being a sparky and self-willed individual, were variously amazed and amused by the way I acted around him – one described me as ‘a cross between a geisha and an ATM.’
If only I’d tried the opposite of unconditional love – that Tough Love thing you hear so much about – from the start, the story might have had a happier ending.