Northeastern University Press, 2001, 244 pp.
As a child, Ms. Hebald had no allies once her father died, but even he, on his deathbed, “abused” her when she was five. Others from her mom to her baby-sitter to her lovers to her doctors made her feel that life is miserable. For instance, as a teen a psychiatrist acclaimed she was a sure shot suicide. A series of hospitals and a bunch of losers with psychiatrist degree provided Ms. Hebald little solace, plenty of unhelpful advice and turned her stomach into a chemical processing plant. Finally at forty-four, she decided it was time to recycle her life starting with dumping her drug paraphernalia into the ocean.
Readers should understand this is not an easy memoir to follow as Carol Hebald goes deep inside her brain to explain four decades of mental illness highlighted by several suicide attempts. The author is all over the place with the influences in her life turning her autobio somewhat into a NYC rush hour train. Though it is difficult to follow her narrative, the audience will find it worth the time for anyone dealing with mental illness or a family member because overall this is a powerful condemnation warning for the buyer to beware.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner