Miller is perhaps vulnerable to Dr. Cohen's attentiveness because of the emptiness in her own family. Throughout the text, in poignant fashion, Miller points out what she lacked in her family of origin. "That our family was a shell, a beautifully decorated piñata, hollow inside, and in our case, if you broke it open, it would fall empty to the ground." Or "David [Cohen] believed that even as a tiny baby I took care of my mother—cheered her up, entertained her, eased her depression, distracted her, kept her company, helped her avoid the fact that my father was never there and rarely spoke." While Miller points her guns somewhat ambivalently at her former therapist, she hesitates less at highlighting the deficits of a psychiatrist father who was there for his patients but absent from his daughter's life.