Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Hyperion; 1 edition (February 3, 1999)
Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #2,572,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #38 in Books > Health, Fitness & Dieting > Children's Health > Special Needs Children #4208 in Books > Parenting & Relationships > Special Needs #152529 in Books > Teens
First of all, I really wish that people who have not grown up with a disabled sibling would not write negative reviews of this book because they just don't know what it is like. My sister had polio and her illness and subsequent operations took all of my families' resources both financial and emotional. I grew up thinking that I was unimportant and that maybe if I was sick too, I would get attention. My earliest thoughts were those of wishing that I would just die so I didn't have to feel so bad/guilty all the time. Kids that grow up with disabled siblings often feel that they did something wrong to cause the disability. My middle sister and I both felt that way, yet we weren't even born when it happened.Ms. McHugh has written an incredibly honest book that will be greatly appreciated by anyone else in this situation. We live in a world of silence and isolation, how can you ever complain when you can walk, talk, hear, etc. You would be considered extremely selfish. The life of a sibling of a disabled person is very distorted.Thank you, Ms. McHugh for your courage.
I never knew that other siblings felt this way! After years of dealing with guilt, jealously, and overprotectiveness, I finally realized that I was not alone. Best of all, knowing that other sibs experience the same things, I don't feel the need to justify these feelings anymore. This book is a great starting point for sibs who want to/need to understand how having a "special sibling" has affected their life. FYI: Your special sibling doesn't necessarily have to have a obvious physical special need. I belive that sibs of those who suffer from mental illnesses will also find this book comforting and familiar.
I bought this book because I have a child with a disability, and I wanted to do what I can to be helpful to my three other children. It was a wonderful read! It reassured me, which is something all mothers need a lot of. It also reminded me that vigilance about sibling excesses is in order. After reading it, I reminded my children that they don't have to grow up to be superstars in some kind of effort to compensate for what my one child lacks.I enjoyed the author's willingness to be so honest about her feelings, yet even when revealing negative feelings, she asserted a positive spin by contrasting her feelings with more positive feelings of others. It's clear that much of her difficulty had to do with being raised in a different time -- when there was little help, and when disability was considered shameful and secret. My favorite section of this book is the discussion of the common phenomenon of siblings entering the helping professions as adults. She has a fresh and interesting take on this topic.
I wish my ex-husband would read this book! I would like to think that siblings of families today have a better time of it--but everything Mary said fit in exactly with my ex-husband's family. And the issues begun in childhood carried into adulthood and affected all his relationships! Mary writes very honestly about the ambivalence (which may be too mild a word) of living with a sibling with a disability. The guilt, the anger, the loss of attention....it was all there for him, just as it happened to Mary.
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