"Riptide will benefit anyone who is dealing with a mentally ill or addicted family member. [Hale-Seubert] writes with genuine authenticity, warmth, compassion, and forgiveness certainly for her daughter, and finally, for herself." David Mandelbaum, PhD, family therapist
"Barbara Hale-Seubert has captured something I’ve never seen someone do in writing: the rawness and genuine authenticity of a mother’s pain. In the course of her book, she unlocked that pain and gave mothers permission to acknowledge their own needs and reactions." Carolyn Hodges, CEO, Nutrition Clinic and Sol Stone Center for Eating Disorders
"A compelling, heart-wrenching journey into her family’s fatal ten-year odyssey. Miraculously, Barbara is able to tell her devastating story in a way that provides hope and guidance to others." Doris Smeltzer, author, Andrea's Voice: Silenced by Bulimia
"Barbara Hale-Seubert’s raw honesty opens the door for others to walk through. She gives us a space to feel free of judgment and a place to honor our pain. In doing so she gives us hope. By sharing her and Erin’s journey, she joins us in ours." Mary Ellen Clausen, executive director, Ophelia's Place
"A well-written and searingly honest account of a mother’s journey through loss and grief." Frederic Luskin, PhD, author, Forgive for Good and Forgive for Love
"Hale-Seubert tells the story of a mother's worst nightmarea daughter's struggle against and ultimate defeat by anorexia and bulimia. . . . Readers may find Hale-Seubert's book painful to read, but they will have a hard time turning away from the author's stark, candid, courageous voice." Kirkus Reviews (April 15, 2011)
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: very little. Her condition worsened to include bulimia, resulting in many hospitalizations and treatments during the next decade. 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. Was it her parenting style or negative body image? Her ex-husband's anger? Perhaps it was because Erin suffered from Sydenham's chorea as a child, an illness that has been linked to obsessive disorders. There are no clear-cut answers here, nor should there be.
Readers may find Hale-Seubert's book painful to read, but they will have a hard time turning away from the author's stark, candid, courageous voice.