- Category : 1955-births
- Type : PSE
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Refinement 1
American noted family, daughter of American poet, Anne Sexton.
In 1954, Anne Sexton (1928-74) began struggling with recurring depression and began seeking counseling. During the time of her counseling she and husband, Kayo had their second child, Joyce Ladd Sexton, whom they nicknamed Joy. Anne wasn't ready for the additional burden of an infant in addition to an energetic two-year old, Linda, and a husband; her anger and depression deepened.
Anne went to the hospital again in March 1956. Linda went to stay with Anne's parents, and Joyce went to Kayo's parents. Anne returned home after a few months and so did Linda, but Joyce ended up staying at her grandparents' house for three years. In the summer of 1958 she returned to her parents' house for good. She grew up to be everybody's little sister and needed minding. A jaunty adventurous child, she repeatedly terrorized her adult minders by walking on the narrow train trestle that crossed a nearby river.
At age ten she began psychotherapy treatment (like the rest of the family except Linda) because she was failing at school, unable to multiply or write cursive script. In her early teens she was a rebel; a pot-smoking truant. In 1970 the independent Joy had her own horse to ride, but one day in the same year discovered her mother comatose from an overdose of sleeping pills. Her mother would survive that suicide attempt.
By 15 Joy was a long-legged buxom lass, hanging out with the 'fast crowd.' She spent more time at her father's apartment towards the end of her mother's life, finishing boarding school, then enrolling at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, eventually earning a nursing degree at Simmons College. Of Anne Sexton's illness, she has said, "Mother was like wallpaper. She plastered herself all other the walls." Joy was however forgiving of her mother, "What she couldn't give me, she made sure I got from someone else. I also think of Mother as a survivor, a fighter. She wasn't self-sufficient--I departed from her in that. It's because of her that I've taught myself how to plumb and wire a house, how to fix things. But she taught my soul about books. And she was an emotional survivor, and so am I."