Elevate Difference

How We Got Barb Back: The Story of My Sister’s Reawakening After 30 Years of Schizophrenia

“There is a truism in the mental health community that says that troubled families focus on the sickest member, even welcoming the sickness, to avoid dealing with other problems,” writes Margaret Hawkins on page 77. By this time, I had been fully introduced to her family and was struck by the truth of this statement.

Margy’s family story began as so many others did in the mid-twentieth century. Dad is a professional, Mom stays home with the children, three children live in a safe suburb, walk to school, argue with each other, and clamor for more freedom. From the outside, perhaps the most boundary-stretching part of their lives was the fact that the age gap between Margy and her older siblings was so large. Barb, the oldest, was eleven, and Tom was eight when she was born, so by the time Margaret was old enough to form any lasting impression of her sister, Barb was graduating from high school. It was during this time that Barb began slowly slipping into schizophrenia.

There were so many strikes against Barb at this point that it seems almost understandable that she fell through the cracks. She was leaving home to live on her own at college, her parents were suspicious of doctors, and mental illness was severely stigmatized in the 1950s and early 1960s. Somehow, Barb managed to graduate college, get married, and move to the Middle East with her husband for two years before her disability became unavoidable.

The story really gets going upon Barb’s return from Iraq when she moves back in with her parents and succumbs to the voices in her head. Her parents make very little attempt to get help for their eldest daughter, instead accommodating her need for isolation and ensuring that she never has to leave the house. This goes on until both parents are dead, nearly thirty years later.

Margy instantly springs into action, proving herself uncannily able to dig up resources to help Barb in the form of home visits from social workers and psychiatrists. She patiently but tenaciously continues to push her sister’s boundaries and is rewarded with an amazing realization that there is more of Barb inside than anyone ever realized.

This story is a testament to the power of love and persistence, patience, and compassion, and will leave you wondering if you just might be selling someone you know a little short because it makes life a little simpler.

Written by: Kari O’Driscoll, December 2nd 2010

What a beautiful tribute of love, compassion, and really dedication. Despite the fact that Barb had the inner resources to heal, she could not have succeeded without the unconditional love and work of her sister. They went together through the up and down of Barb's journey back to health. There is also an element of curiosity in your review that make you want to discover what is really behind Barb's story. I will read this book. -Isabelle

What a great review, Kari. I'll definitely be adding this book to my list.

Great review! I'm adding this book to my "must read" list.

Hello, you used to write great, but the last few posts have been kinda boring I miss your tremendous writings. Past few posts are just a bit out of track! come on! Billige Nike Air Max shop http://allisonsfinefoods.com/sales/nike.asp?id=item_94531807.html

Your mode of telling the whole thing in this paragraph is truly nice, every one be capable of simply understand it, Thanks a lot. ナイキ スニーカー ゴールド http://www.c-klubben.dk/pp/?id=234560.html

You could definitely see your expertise in the paintings you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to mention how they believe. Always follow your heart. billige nike jordan ones all white http://wedinbali.com/item_62057341.html

I think this is one of the most important info for me. And i am glad reading your article. But wanna remark on some general things, The website style is wonderful, the articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers ナイキ sb 通販 http://www.fdfnibe.dk/ne/?id=179230.html

Itˇs really a cool and helpful piece of information. I am glad that you simply shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing. billige air jordan 23 low http://thefireplacerestaurant.com/jd/?s=item_91465302.html

Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is great blog. A fantastic read. I'll certainly be back. ナイキ リトル コルテッツ http://www.ealm.ca/shop_74953620.html

you're in point of fact a excellent webmaster. The site loading pace is incredible. It sort of feels that you are doing any distinctive trick. Furthermore, The contents are masterpiece. you have performed a great process on this topic! billige jordan belfort jakarta http://www.beinstall.com/shop_53071492.html

What's up, after reading this remarkable paragraph i am also delighted to share my experience here with mates. ナイキ ランニングシューズ クッション http://www.sabinamckenna.com/shop_72681930.html

I am really pleased to glance at this blog posts which includes tons of helpful information, thanks for providing such information. ナイキ ゴルフウェア http://fors.com.br/shop_19456032.html

Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing some research on that. And he just bought me lunch since I found it for him smile Therefore let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch! ナイキ 靴下 メンズ http://www.fdfnibe.dk/ne/?id=856497.html

This modern 鈥榟ut鈥?gets its name from the commonly known profile of a sloping roof supported by a truss and a simple lifestyle. lampshade http://www.forooshlaw.com/Articles.cfm?A=0_lampshade

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.