Bipolar Parent by Anna Burley
|Bipolar Parent by Anna Burley|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: The story of how domestic violence and her father's mental problems affected one child's life. Heartbreaking. Anna Burley was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 116||Date: May 2011|
Anna Burley keeps telling herself that she is a responsible adult now and works on the idea that most people would see her as a normal, well-grounded person. What people don't see is the story of her childhood. She wrote it down to get rid of it, to get it out her system and rid herself of those pockets of pain which live under her skin. She's decided that she's not going to run from it all any longer. Bipolar Parent is the story of her childhood and the parent who had such an influence in making her into what she is today.
She knows that it didn't start with her father, or even her mother and father, but went back to their parents , their childhoods and the particular circumstances which brought them together – the one seemingly confident and moneyed, the other needy, almost expecting that life would not treat her well. At first it seemed that life might be looking up for her but gradually it sank to the level of her expectations and the abuse began. Anna's father never seemed to be short of money, although where it came from might well have been questionable (large houses are not usually bought with bags of cash), but money and large houses don't make for happiness as Anna was to find out.
Anna grew up a frightened child. She believes that her father was bipolar, but whatever the diagnosis he definitely had anger management issues. It took very little to provoke him to violence particularly against Anna's mother. Blame always fell upon someone else and never on her father. You can only try so much to be good, particularly when something which isn't your fault – such as an attack of mumps – has such dreadful ramifications. When you're frightened at home it makes your behaviour elsewhere unnatural and Anna seemed to have 'victim' stamped on her forehead. She attracted bullying and violence at school and received little support from those who should have seen what was going on.
The story is heartfelt and heart-breaking and echoes Anna's worries that the mental problems suffered by her father will emerge in her own children and the consequent sense of watchfulness which this brings. The book is a relatively quick if not an easy read – for obvious reasons. It would perhaps have benefited from some rigorous editing to give the story a better sense of hanging together and eliminate grammatical errors, but Anna is to be applauded for her bravery in making the decision to publish her story.
I'd like to thank the author for sending a copy of the book to Bookbag.
Domestic violence is not a pleasant subject and it takes a lot of courage to speak out about it. We were also impressed by Disfigured: A Saudi Woman's Story of Triumph over Violence by Rania Al-Baz.
You can read more book reviews or buy Bipolar Parent by Anna Burley at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Bipolar Parent by Anna Burley at Amazon.com.
Anna Burley was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.
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