Arts and Life
Mothers & Daughters
Arts and Life
Articles by Marilyn Murray
What the Soviet Union and Khmer Rouge Share
I toured the Nazi death camps of Dachau in Germany and Terezin in Czechoslovakia in the 1970s and have stood in front of the Lubyanka in Moscow...
Trying to Live Comfortably in a Moscow Shoebox
As I climbed to the fifth floor in an old Moscow building, I wondered if my colleague, Larisa, would be able to navigate these stairs in the next 10...
Childhood Offenses Instill Defensive Mind-Set
In our classes for those who desire to be healthy, balanced people, participants are asked to identify their most powerful emotions.
Russia's Past Psychological Wounds Still Linger
Tatyana was small, blonde and 60 years ago. Her face was impassive as she stood before our class and related: "My parents were born in the 1930s when...
Is Narcissism Always Inevitable in Leadership?
His father was an alcoholic who brutalized him. While his mother smothered him with affection, she also beat him. As a small, sickly child with a damaged...
How to Raise the Standard for Normal Behavior
It was 44 degrees Celsius in the trusty yard of the Arizona State Prison, a miserably hot day to be working with convicted sex offenders.
How Survival Mode Destroyed the Tsarnaevs
The Tsarnaev family, like many in the former Soviet Union, probably has been stuck in survival mode for generations.
Why I Love Russia (Despite Everything)
Despite living in a run-down building, elevators that smell like urine, being kept up all night by noisy, drunk neighbors and being robbed once on the...
It's True About Russia Being a Nation of Readers
When I first arrived in Russia in 2002, I assumed I was a little above average regarding my cultural literacy.
How Soviet System Left People in Survival Mode
As I listened to clients and students over many years, I realized there are essential survival requirements for every human being.
Pain of World War II Is Passed On to Children
Saturday marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the 200-day nightmare of the Battle of Stalingrad in World War II. This horrific battle was one...
When Violence Is So Typical It Becomes Normal
As a specialist in the treatment of trauma, I am often asked about the genesis of violence. Some of the U.S. shootings in recent years have been...
How Stalin Turned Russian Patriots Into Enemies
They arrived early. My hand was nervous as I unlocked my small Moscow apartment. As I opened the door, it framed two elderly men with their daughters...
How Self-Sacrifice Has Shaped the Russian Soul
How have Russians endured after 100 years of intense trauma including two major revolutions, two world wars, a civil war and other military conflicts...
How State Surveillance Turned Into Nurturing
As my niece and I entered the battered little elevator on the eighth floor of their old Stalin-era apartment building, she looked down at her 5-month-old...
Why Lying Has Become a National Pastime
When I first arrived in Moscow, I soon learned that if I asked if something could be done and I received the answer, "OK, no problem," that did not...
Using Shame and Humiliation on Schoolchildren
In any group of people, a mention of childhood always evokes memories of school — some happy and some difficult. This definitely is the case here...
When Hopelessness Becomes a Deadly Tyrant
The hospital waiting room is cold and empty except for members of my family. We all are eagerly awaiting the birth of my new great-grandson. It is...
How the Party Turned Russians Into Traitors
She was the daughter of a Russian government official who attended a Russian school. She was a faithful Pioneer and Komsomol member and lived the life...
When Russian Children Are Allowed to Die
Olga and Sergei sat across from me in deep distress. Sergei's eyes were buried on his shoes as Olga struggled to speak. She shared that their 13-year-old...
My Battle Against Lateness and Chatting in Class
When I was preparing for my first class in Moscow 10 years ago, I was told the schedule would be as follows: We would start at 10 a.m., there would...
You Shouldn't Count on Russian Avos for Success
She sat in the back row of my classroom with a shawl draped over her head and her dark brown hair was in a tight bun that made her look older than...
Why Я Is the Last Letter in the Russian Alphabet
When I asked a Russian friend what he felt were the most important factors for foreigners to understand about Russian people, culture and country...
How Naivety About Drug Addiction Ruins Lives
In the early 1990s, as Russians were climbing out of the wreckage of the Soviet collapse, they were looking at a landscape without the veil of the...
Can Unhealthy Systems Create Healthy Leaders?
She tugged at strands of her stringy hair as she tried to evaporate into the folds of the leather couch. Her anxious eyes kept glancing around the room...
Children Left Alone: A Soviet Legacy Continues
My colleagues and I were enjoying dinner in a Moscow cafe when one of my friends began looking distressed.
Soviet Children's Fear of Being Left Alone
One of the issues that has troubled me most since I began teaching in Russia did not surface in my classes until more than a year had passed.
Violence as a Cultural Norm Must Be Rejected
She was a pretty, bright, articulate young woman who had a graduate degree in social work. She stood near the back of the classroom and her voice...
Choosing Joy Over Sorrow, Triumph Over Fear
When riding the metro or walking the streets in Moscow, one sees a variety of faces: stern and harsh, young and cocky, elegant and beautiful, stoic...
Learning to Live Outside Stalin's House of Silence
I lived in a house of silence. My father worked for the KGB, and he was responsible for deciding the fate of many of the men arrested daily —...
Building an Image of a Superpower in High Heels
Image management is a phenomenon practiced worldwide, but it has been polished to perfection in Russia. Projecting the appropriate image is de rigueur...
How to Turn Kalashnikovs Into Plowshares
A Russian friend handed me his watch with the directive, "Here, time me." His hands flew as the old rifle disintegrated into bits and pieces of metal...
Why Many Russians Feel They Are Nothing
She is a psychologist who works in an orphanage near Moscow. You could hardly hear her voice as she stood in front of the class and described her...
Thanks to Dear Stalin for a Happy Childhood
Multitudes of children raised in the former Soviet Union relate that they do have many happy childhood memories — despite sundry negative circumstances...
Why a Midnight Call Trumps a Morning Class
Eight of us crowded around the small table in the little apartment. It was 2002, during my first trip to Moscow, and I was pleased to be invited...
The Ultimate Survivors of a Century of Trauma
While studying Russian history and listening to more than 2,000 Russian students for a decade, I have been surprised by much of what I have learned...
Left-Brained Americans, Right-Brained Russians
He was a handsome Russian physician, about 45 years old, attending one of my Murray Method classes in early 2003. As he spoke, his face flushed with...