Riptide: Struggling with and Resurfacing from a Daughters Eating Disorder
Hale-Seubert tells the story of a mother's worst nightmare—a daughter's struggle against and ultimate defeat by anorexia and bulimia. The author, a practicing psychotherapist, candidly recounts daughter Erin's slow death at age 23 from the ravages of self-induced starvation. When Erin was 13, a simple school assignment in her Life Skills class became a jarring moment.
Erin was asked to list what she had eaten that day, and the author was startled by Erin's answer: Her condition worsened to include bulimia, resulting in many hospitalizations and treatments during the next decade.
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Erin lied, stole and even spent the night in jail, all so she could buy food to eat and purge. Hale-Seubert lays bare her guilt and frustrations as a mother, admitting to feeling detached, even relieved at times, and her humanity is on display here as she agonizes over the possible causes of her daughter's disease. Any mother who has teenagers or above it is a must read. The author's courageous delivery of the struggle to remain a caring mother, a developing psycotherapist, and travel with her daughter the devastating effects of the daughter's eating disorder.
I identified with most of the author's thoughts, feelings, anxieties etc. It was a relief to find I wasn't the only mother who doubted herself, felt guilts for perceived failings, and desperately looking for help for her daughter. Again, a courageous story. For every parent who has felt the helplessness of losing a child. This author has given a great gift of self, heart-rending experience, and hope to all who have faced the loss of a child. More specifically, Barbara shares facing this loss with the knowledge of her own inability to change the outcome, along with the ever-present possibility of losing herself along with her child, Barbara shares from her diaries, her experience as a skillful therapist, and her love for Erin, even as her daughter challenged every aspect of Barbara's ability to love and "stay the course," with her daughter.
The pain is raw and packs a big "punch" for the reader.
Barbara Hale-Seubert – Out of Bounds Radio Show
Yet, in the end, Barbara builds understanding for this struggle with Erin's eating disorder and, as reader, I found joy in Barbara's own resurfacing from such a devastating loss. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. This book is so insightful yet well written with love and compassion at it's base. I cannot imagine the pain or love it took to write such a book.
It concentrates on her daughter and her love in a way that gives the reader a hughe amount to chew on. Even if you do not have a daughter with an eating disorder the book still speaks to the troubles many of us have relating to the daughter we have lostl.
This heartbreaking story allows us into the author's struggle with maintaining her love and relationship with her terminally sick, eating disordered daughter. Her story is raw and profound and I could not stop reading.
- Barbara Hale-Seubert.
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While we know how the story ends, reading about Barbara's ups and downs while enduring this ten year battle will expose and led to further enlightenment on dealing with severe mental illness in families. Barbara Hale-Seubert should be applauded for her courageous and well written account of the nightmare she lived through while witnessing her daughter suffer from an eating disorder. The book is frightfully sad to readers who have never dealt with this disease, but at the same time surprisingly hopeful and inspirational to all parents dealing with psychological problems of their children.
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The grief you feel for this compassionate, understanding, and determined mother strengthens the reader's ability to understand that a parent can not solve all of their children's problems nor should they feel guilty for being unable to do so. This book is invaluable for anyone who has a loved one suffering from this demon as well as for the parents and friends of children struggling with mental illness. One person found this helpful. The experience of reading the book is an intense journey through the author's struggle with her daughter's anorexia. Barbara Hale-Seubert did an excellent job writing this soul searching account of her daughter's struggle, the best I could imagine anyone doing.
I had trouble putting the book down to do other things. However, the scope of this book is much larger than a mother and daughter's struggle with an eating disorder. Most importantly this book speaks to the heart of living life. With grace Riptide brings the reader to the honest struggle of staying with love, pain, disappointment, and hope in the face of what life brings and the influence we have and the influence we don't have over what happens to us and those we love. I think this book is a gift to those of us who read it because it opens the way to look at our own lives with some of the same honesty and wisdom that Hale-Seubert brought to hers.
Finally, I believe this book is truly a tribute to Erin's life struggle and to all those who loved and struggled with her.
Tag: Nonfiction: Biography - Eating Disorders
Not just to her daughter, but to all mothers. I highly recommend this book to mothers of daughters faced with any kind of mental illness or addiction. Barbara provides as much as you can handle of the raw pain. As the mother of a daughter with the dual challenges of bulimia and substance abuse, reading this book was both terrifying and comforting. It was like having a sherpa with me on the dark side of the mountain telling me she knows how hard the journey is, but that I can really make it to the bright side.
Sometimes, it's easy to forget. See all 28 reviews. Most recent customer reviews. By reading this book, you will soon know. It is a must read for any professional working with clients diagnosed with eating disorders and highly recommended for those bearing the diagnoses and their families; a cautionary tale and a light on a darkened and tangled path. Those who have witnessed the suffering of loved ones, will certainly understand that juxtaposition.
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Some of the most poignant insights came from Erin; this young woman who left the planet far too early. So much promise, accompanied by the even stronger pull of fear. In the end, love remains, solid, full bodied. Just returned from a lovely evening at the home of my friends Deva and Stan Troy.