July 22, 2019
Susan Rudnick has been defined by some degree by growing up in New York City as the daughter of refugee parents escaping from Nazi Germany. The greatest influencing force in her life has always been her relationship with her beloved little sister Edna. Susan is an author, a poet and a practicing psychotherapist. She holds an office in the St. James building along with fellow Psychotherapist, Robin Kappy, where they run Flatiron Psychotherapy Associates.
The story of how Susan got to where she is today is beautifully told in her touching memoir, Edna’s Gift: How My Broken Sister Taught Me To Be Whole, which was released in June of this year. Edna was differently-abled, a term that was unknown during the girls’ childhood. In youth, Edna was aware of her limitations, most likely a result of an injury at birth that affected her motor skills and intellect. However, despite not always being able to keep up with her bright and ambitious older sister, Edna did not fret or let these differences define her. As an adult, Edna was able to lead a relatively normal and independent life, never losing her spirit and passion for life. She was a joyful force in the world, and accepted herself and others as they were, always loving unconditionally. Susan recognized and admired these traits, but struggled to learn acceptance, both in respect to Edna and also to herself.
Susan herself has not gone without trials in life, and she credits Edna’s spirit of unconditional acceptance for helping her through them. At the age of 16, Susan was diagnosed with MRKH, a condition in which a woman is born without a uterus. The condition is extremely rare, and due to a lack of knowledge regarding MRKH, Susan felt defective, marginalized and alone for much of her adult life. To read more about how Susan came to terms with her diagnosis, check out her article, “The Power of a Name: My Secret Life with M.R.K.H,” published this past May in The New York Times.
In addition to her MRKH, Susan has struggled with her desire for motherhood, multiple marriages, the complicated legacy of being a first-generation survivor of parents who fled from the Nazis, and in the end, becoming Edna’s caregiver and advocate. Through all of this, Edna is the one who gave Susan the courage to persevere. Through her remarkable sister, Susan came to understand that joy and wisdom can come from unexpected places. More than that, her relationship with Edna sparked a desire in Susan to become a healer. As a result, she has been practicing psychoanalysis and psychotherapy for over 40 years.
Susan is currently on a very successful book tour for Edna’s Gift, and the memoir has been receiving rave reviews. Emily Perl Kingsley, Emmy-winning writer, says, “Rudnick has walked us through every aspect of growing up with a sibling who has a developmental disability…astonishingly candid…It’s a wonderful book. I read it twice.” NY Times best-selling author, Barbara Graham says, “Rudnick’s lovely and moving memoir of her own journey toward fully embracing Edna – and herself – is a gift to us all.”
Congratulations to Susan on her amazing accomplishments this year, and make sure you pick up a copy of Edna’s Gift to read the full story for yourself.
To find out more about Susan and all of the amazing things she’s up to, visit her website: susanrudnick.com