Call Me Crazy

Call Me Crazy

by Anne Heche

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A beautifully written and evocative memoir of pain and redemption, of hurt and healing, from an actress whose private life and personal choices have made her a household name.
"My life is a life movies are made of," wrote Anne Heche in the proposal for her memoir. Yet what is truly surprising about Heche is that the most publicized event of her past -- her romance with Ellen DeGeneres -- is only one development in a fascinating and difficult life that has included more than its share of heartache and tragedy.
Heche's memoir reveals the woman behind the headlines, one who has conquered overwhelming odds. Far from a celebrity memoir, this is an empowering and thought-provoking book guaranteed to surprise and inspire.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780743229135
Publisher: Scribner
Publication date: 09/04/2001
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 1,104,223
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Anne Heche stars in the films Psycho, Six Days Seven Nights, Return to Paradise, Wag the Dog, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Donnie Brasco, Walking and Talking, and The Juror. Her television appearances include Subway Stories, Kingfish: A Story of Huey P. Long, Ellen, Murphy Brown, and Another World.

Read an Excerpt

From Chapter 2: Centuries of Memories

We were members of the country club and of the church — just like other normal working families. Abi and Nathan were members of the swim team and won ribbons at all of the meets, where they would chug pink Jell-O sugar before they dove into the frosty waters. I was jealous. I wanted to do everything my older siblings did. They dove off the high dive at the pool and had friends that would give them the equivalent of high fives when they won. I really don't know if people gave high fives back then. It's a trend now that's so silly I can't believe we all do it, but we do. Whenever someone does something good it's "High five!" And we smack hands. Hilarious.

(Human behavior is so intriguing. I find myself giving thumbs-up signs all the time. I know I look like an absolute dork, but I do it anyway. I want to get a trend going where we're giving each other thumbs-up signs for just being alive and walking down the street. Sometimes life is so hard and we judge people rather than realizing that it's an accomplishment to simply get up in the morning. So...thumbs-up! You're awake.)

I was so anxious to learn what Abi and Nate were doing that one day I climbed to the top of the high dive. Once there, I realized that I was scared out of my mind. For some reason, my father was there, which was a rare occasion. He climbed up behind me and pushed me off — no warning. This was the subtlety of my father. Maybe he was right. After that I don't remember being scared of anything, at least not anything that I would admit publicly or in front of him. Someone at the club must have taken notice because soon after that I was asked to be a replacement on the swim team, and I was happily winning ribbons too. But the swim team didn't last.

I don't remember what happened first or last in the series of events that follow. The truth is I don't remember a whole lot about this time in my life or the years to come. My memories have come back sketchy to say the least — somehow our bodies and minds protect us from the whole truth — but I'll tell you what I know.

I remember getting a weird feeling when we were at the country club restaurant one night. We rarely went out to dinner, but we were there and Dad was talking to the maître d'. Talking turned to arguing and the next thing I knew, Dad was pocketing the wonderful-tasting butter mints that were sitting on the counter near the exit. I don't mean a couple of mints either — I'm talking the entire dish of mints. And then we were gone. Not only from the restaurant, but from the club altogether. We never swam in the pool or ate in the restaurant again.

I was in the middle of second grade by this point and Dad was disappearing rapidly from our lives. He was supposedly going to New York on business. His trips were getting more and more frequent the longer we stayed in the house. It was very curious to me, seeing that the only thing I had ever known my father to do was go out to the garage and look at the fabric samples he had collected. Yes, fabric samples. He had tons of them piled high in the garage out back. You know those books that you can flip through when you're trying to decide how to redecorate? Well, those books were littered by the hundreds all over the floor along with some carpet samples. Certainly this was strange for a man who didn't have a job, but his excuse was that he wanted to go into interior design and he knew some women who were helping him do just that. Well, Mom didn't say much to Dad about anything, but whenever he brought up those women or the whole interior decorating thing, you could tell she was upset. If I didn't know Christians better, I might have thought she hated those women.

Dad had dropped out of medical school when they were in college and Mom was pregnant with Susan, and although it wasn't mentioned often, you could hear her disappointment hidden in sentences like "Donald!" (Oh, yeah, that was his name.) "If you had only stayed in school and become a doctor we would have food to put on the table! How long do you think I can feed these children on five dollars a week!?"

Mom rarely spoke to my father that way. He would purse his lips like a prissy old woman with no sugar in her tea and stomp away with a condescending "Good Christian women respect their husbands! Don't ever say that to me again, Naaannncyyyy!!!"

Nancy was her name, and when he said it like that she shut up. I guess five dollars a week was what he got for playing piano on Sundays at our new church. That was the only job he seemed to keep. That and choir directing. He loved choir directing. He would sway his arms in the air like a fairy and everyone loved it, including my mother. He was good at music. Music and fabric samples. So when Dad told Mom that he was going to New York on business and the business was gas and oil, you can imagine her surprise.

Gas and oil, that's what I said. Now how on earth could a choir director from Aurora, Ohio, who doesn't have any skills other than knowing what shade of pink complements what shade of black and which notes are played in the key of G find himself in the business of selling gas and oil? No one could figure. Especially not my mother. But this was a perfect time to exercise the number-one rule. No questions asked was also a rule my mother had to abide by, and it was followed quickly by her number-two rule: Good Christian women believe anything that their husbands tell them no matter how absurd it may sound. This worked out well for my father. God knows it was absurd! My mother was stuck with a houseful of kids on a few dollars a week while Dad went off to New York City on whose tab no one knew, to develop a business in gas and oil, which he knew nothing about and had never mentioned before in his life. We kids, of course, were kept in the dark about all of it. We dutifully did everything we were told and didn't question when Dad was out of town on business for weeks at a time, because we didn't want to get beaten with a spoon.

We also didn't question anything when we stepped outside to be driven to school one day and the car was gone. Just gone. No sign of it anywhere and nothing to be said about it. Dad was out of town, so we knew he hadn't run off with it, but it was all excused with Mom's cheery "I'm sure it's just some sort of mix-up."

Like good children we nodded our heads in agreement. "Sure it is, Mom. Just a little mixer-upper. No worries."

We trudged back inside and made bread. Homemade bread always made everyone feel better, and it was food that was cheap. We sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on the buttered stuff and we had sandwiches for a whole week. Who knows how we got along without a car, that part escapes me.

When Dad didn't show up for three weeks, claiming that he was snowed in and the airports wouldn't let any planes out, I think my mother started to get suspicious. The weeks that he had been home the previous months, he would fly in on a Saturday night, tell the kids that they were singing in church the next morning for the congregation's entertainment, and fly out on Sunday night. He couldn't rehearse the choir he used to love so much, spending as little time at home as he did, so we had become the choir. Dad had taught us to sing on key and we looked cute up on stage in our homemade clothes, so...why not? We sang the same songs over and over, our version of a hymn in three-part (our fourth was off to college by now) harmony. And like a good Christian congregation, no one said a word. They, like good wives and good children, kept their mouths shut and looked like they were enjoying each phrase we sang as if it were the first time they had heard it. Like the story of Jesus turning water into wine, Christians can listen to anything over and over again and seem to stay interested.

When I mistakenly asked about this phenomenon one Sunday after church, I was given the lovely speech my mother so often gave as I pulled up my dress to expose my young rump: "You know I don't want to be doing this, honey." Then she smacked me raw and sent me upstairs, hoping I would once and for all learn the number-one rule.

"What will it take to get the question mark out of that child's brain?" she must have thought — never questioning that she too was questioning, and even though she didn't want me to see it, I saw it in her eyes.

Copyright © 2001 by Celestia Films, Inc.

Table of Contents





1. The Great Escape

2. Centuries of Memories

3. Movin' Up

4. Heaven on the Seventh

5. The House That Jack Built

6. The Merry Macs

7. Home at Haagar

8. The Belden Stratford



9. Another World

10. Drugs and Other Distractions

11. The Monster and Me

12. Hello, Daddy



13. Twelve Days

14. Volcano

15. The Hero's Journey

Epilogue: Love/The Other Side


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Call Me Crazy 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Shadows of truth, reality, and even shock are entwined in this memoir of Anne Heche. Some people are surprised at the awful, exciting, or mouth-hanging this that have been expierienced by Anne, But each fragment of her life has so much meaning and reality that it makes this book so enjoyable and true.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Anne Heche is a great person, shes a big time survivor, she goes through so much in her life and things that i can relate to myself. I also learnd from her mistakes in life, and shes really inspired me alot to change my life around...Go Anne!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is so good. She talks about her abuse. I cried, I can`t believe her dad did that to her. I`m a Anne Heche fanatic, she`s so cool. I`ll definatly read it again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Heche takes the reader on a whirlwind journey through her abusive past, allowing readers to accompany her on the path to wellness. Forward, honest, and loaded with seemingly unbelieveable events(literally with her 4th dimension character Celestia). Heche leaves the reader feeling like they are her new best friend. If you like to read about the stars, or get a glimpse of their lifestyle; pick this one up. Did you know Heche dated Steve Martin? Me neither...worth a read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading this remarkable book that Ms. Heche has written! I am not a huge and avid book reader, but I could not put this book down!! The words in this book are written with truth and brutal honesty, and yet she is able to make you think about how your own life needs to be surrounded and fulfilled with love and happiness at all times! I LOVED IT!! Oodles of Kudos to Ms. Heche!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Call me crazy but this book is as awesome a book as pure food itself for the body. This was the needed vitamin I so yearned for to wake the Hell up! This touching and inspiring story of a woman overcoming the pains of life is worth the read. I went out and got myself a new brain and heart after reading this book. Anne tells her story brilliantly and I kept wishing she were by my side so I can hug her and say thank you. God be with you Anne in your long journey to love. True love. Your book has made me look at life lovingly and it makes me learn from everything.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've just finished this quick read. It's a compelling true story of a sad and stiffled past. I found it an honest effort and written just as I imagined she would speak if we were sitting in a room together. As with most families, her truth is not apparently shared with her siblings. I found it a brave effort on her part to write this portrayal on her life, thus far. The story is more important than the prose...and I'm glad of that. I recommend this book to those interested in reading true stories about a woman who struggles against odds to be healed of childhood wounds. God bless her for her efforts in this endeavor.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was so great, I am tempted to pick it up and read it again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is written in eloquent prose. Skipping through periods of her life, it all comes together at the end to suggest how Anne Heche has overcome the stinging trauma of childhood abuse. She intersperses her remembrances with witty remarks on her philosophy of 'love is all there is', which are reflective and sincere.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Anne Heche is the finest actress of her generation; a multi-talented chameleon whose performances have ranged from outrageous comedy (Six Days Seven Nights) to heartbreaking tragedy (Return To Paradise). But like so many other great actresses before her, that versatility did not come without a great deal of personal pain and abuse. After 31 years of near 'insanity,' Heche has finally cleared her soul of the childhood traumas that tortured her. From the closeted gay father who raped and beat her repeatedly, to the mother who let it happen and has yet to apologize or face the reality of her psychic damage, Heche's nightmares manifested themselves in a break with reality -- the creation of a second, Jesus-like personality she called Celestia. Fundamentalists Christians are warned to keep away, but the open-minded reader will welcome the revelations offered. A child of abuse who has survived to tell her tale, Heche offers a lucid, well-written autobiography that I read in a single evening. For the empathetic, this is a very tough read -- I fought back tears more than once -- but rest assured the story has a happy ending. I only hope that her new husband and expectant child will continue to enrich her life and give her the freedom and happiness she deserves. Go Annie!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a true insight into a troubled childhood and what can happen if an abused child who isn't believed or protected from their abuser. I enjoyed her honest and frank way of bringing it all to light. I hope Anne writes a sequel to this because she has become a fantastic actor and wife and mother.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GOOD book:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
a_lan More than 1 year ago
Anne Heche's story is an inspiring yet troubling one, about heart ache, abuse, confusion, and success. It tells readers that even if they are brought up in a bad situation they can overcome it just as she did. When Anne was growing up she was sexually mentally and physically abused by her father Don. Anne's mother Nancy never noticed that Anne was being abused along with her other siblings even though when she was a baby Nancy couldn't even dipper her because she had rashes and soars, which later on were diagnosed as herpes. Nathan her brother took the most of the physical abuse while Anne suffered with the sexual abuse she was receiving by a father who eventually died of aids. In Susan's words "He was a closet homosexual." This book is mostly about how Anne overcomes this hardship as she tries to tell her mother all the horrible things her father did; and why she had become so confused about her sexuality and her life due to him. She eventually does and ends up marrying a guy named Coleman Laffoon. Later divorcing him but leaving her with a beautiful son named Homer Heche Laffoon. She became an actress and is currently dating James Tupper who is also an actor. She has another son now with Tupper named Atlas Heche Tupper. In my personal opinion I did not enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. The first one hundred pages or so I really enjoyed but after that it was a struggle to read the rest. I like that the book is organized and doesn't stray from the point. I don't like however that some of the things she is saying doesn't make sense to me. For instance when she says that her father sexually abuses her but later dies from aids, doesn't that mean he was gay? Why on earth would he be molesting her and not his son if this is the case? The major message that Anne is trying to get across is that it doesn't always have to be bad. In her case after years and years of therapy she finally is able to deal with the memories of her father, his impact after dying on her family, and trying to tell her mother more or less that she hates her for never stopping him. Her mother and siblings are all very much a part of the story which makes it seem as if you know her family. This is something I also liked about the book. Although this wasn't my favorite book it is not the worst either. If someone were to read it I would hope that it would give them a bit more encouragement than it gave me. It was inspiring in a way that I did not need but some might, and for that I would recommend it for those who have and want to overcome anything.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I understand she went through a lot of difficulties. In this book, she put all her anger and hateful into it. This is not a book you would like to read if you are looking for a peaceful mind.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
use of the F word.
Guest More than 1 year ago
for me, this was an extremely boring vehicle. i can't imagine it being particularly enjoyable, unless, of course, one's voyeuristic tendencies supersede their intelligence. it makes a great mirror, some fool will just looove the movie of the minute. take it out at the library first.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Annoying is the best way to describe this CD set. Anne Heche has had a tough life, I'll give her that, but that message is hidden with all her self-involved condemnation of the world at large. She makes sweeping generalizations regarding society, comes off as a victim of the 'world', not just her parents. I would say she is a very naive 32 year old. I was almost embarassed listening to this CD. I wonder if she listened to it herself - maybe it would be good therapy. Not recomended!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Anne Heche's autobiography is not a literary memoir. Her language is devoid of poetics. She writes as if she is talking to you, but she is really talking to herself through you, the reader. Basically, the writing itself is not very good. But that is beside the point of the book.

Her writing is immature, junior high-ish in diction. She uses a lot of exclamation points, CAPITAL LETTERS FOR WHOLE PARAGRAPHS, rhetorical questions, and other devices for emphasis. These devices are unnecessary for her book is packed with horrific details that need no emphasis to stand out. Incest, for instance -- oddly she never uses this word, but calls her father's molestations (from the time of her birth, apparently,) 'abuse.' But as I said, Heche is writing to herself, for herself -- it's what she needs to do. Word choices, tact -- not important. But she does need a big audience to hear her, or she would not have published the memoir.

Heche *REALLY* needs to be heard. In that way, the book 'works' for the writing style mimics Heche's distress, her neediness, and her talents for goading and manipulation. All understandable given the toxic environment in which she grew up, all that needs to be put out in the open and let go of. Heche learned her behaviors in order to gain some semblence of love so she could survive. She is a survivor.

I find the book disturbing on a number of levels besides the obvious. For one, Heche reveals that she was 'insane' until she met her current husband with whom she suddenly became sane. Is her 'stablity' just another manifestation of her illness?

Heche claims when she was a gay rights activist and Ellen DeGeneres' (spelling?) partner, she was actually not herself. She was 'Jesus' for her mother and everything she told gay people about how it is 'ok' to be yourself, you gotta be yourself, love yourself, was really a message for herself, for Anne -- to stop trying to fulfill other people's perceived needs and notions of who she 'should' be. So in effect, her moving words to the gay community were not meant for the gay community after all. Where does that leave the gay community? Did Heche just use us like she used her previous lovers?

Heche doesn't seem to get the implications of her revelations for the gay community, for Ellen, and for all of her previous partners who she dumped unceremoniously for that matter. While she claims she is no longer 'insane' and I am glad she is growing to understand herself better (?), but for gay people, it is kind of like a slap in the face when she keeps insisting it was all because of her 'insanity.' For all her charm(s), she comes across as rather dense.

I don't recommend the book for its writing. But it would be a great book to analyze as a project for a psych student. Also, incest and abuse survivors will probably be able to relate to some of Heche's feelings and even I benefited from some of her insights. I am disappointed that it is not more well-written, however I think the intention of her writing is not to dazzle with words, but to tell her story and express her feelings publically. And for this purpose, the book works.

harstan More than 1 year ago
This reviewer limits the number of bright light bios because typically they reveal nothing except blaming others for the negative and taking credit for the positive. For the decadent reasons of hearing her side of the alien stories (take your pick), this reviewer decided to see how clever Anne Heche reheats three day old fast food leftovers....................... Surprisingly Ms. Heche determinedly opens her inner soul to readers revealing an alleged childhood of mostly psychological, but some physical abuse. The actress insists her past led to the tabloid-published accounts of her visiting a stranger ranting that a spaceship was taking her to heaven. Ms. Heche claims her father sexually molested her giving her herpes that went untreated because her mother believed in God¿s cure not modern medicine...................... Following years of intense therapy, she now writes insightfully about her downward emotional dive bordering on the other side of lunacy. This includes the romance with Ellen DeGeneres, though that is somewhat rationalized. Still Ms. Heche turns herself inside out providing a deep poignant look filled with anger yet hope for the end product adult to overcome derogatory raising as a child. This is biography at its rawest yet strongest..................... Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hesitated before reading this, but I thought her descriptions of her insanity would be interesting. Wow... I could barely get through the first 100 pages. Anne is NOT a writer. She should never pick up a pen again. It was hard to follow. She'd get off on tangents about politics and things that had nothing to do with the book itself. She's also a liar. She said she "had herpes" as a child because her father gave them to her. Herpes is not curable... so if she "had" them she still HAS them. It's a virus... no cure. I don't doubt that parts of her story are true... but just based off that one statement her creditability disappeared and I now treat this book as a very poorly written piece of fiction based on a true story. There's a reason this book ended up in the 25 cent bin at the thrift store.