Rex's Resource List Print E-mail
Written by Rex Dickens   

Offspring and Sibling Resources

Compiled by This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

For those interested in reading about the experience of other offspring and siblings, I am presenting a partial listing of books that I have found of interest.

For other books with annotations, I refer you to the appendix of the book, Troubled Journey (out of print and available through libraries) or How to Cope with Mental Illness in Your Family (in print and available through a library or bookstore). Additional books, articles, and movies can be found in Anguished Voices listed in the two mentioned books.

Offspring (Personal accounts)

Daughter of the Queen of Sheiba (1997) Lyden
He was Still my Daddy (1994) Olson
The Outsider (2000) Lachenmeyer
Searching for Mercy Street (1994) Sexton
The Liars Club (1995) Karr
Johnny's Girl (1993) Rich
Rain or Shine (1986) McFadden
My Mother’s Keeper (1997) Holly
Millicent (1993) Collingsworth
Sweet Mystery (1996) Paterson
A Hole in the World (1990) Rhodes
Stormy (1986) Omartain
Mommie Dearest (1978) Crawford
Space (1998) Kercheval
By Her Own Hand (1991) Hammer

Siblings (Personal accounts)

Mad House (1998) Simon
Angelhead (2000) Bottoms
My Sister’s Keeper (1992) Moorman
Imagining Robert (1997) Neugeboren
The Four of Us (1991) Swados
Wake Me Up When It’s Over (1989) Blakely
The Tender Land (2000) Finnerman
I Know This Much is True (1998) Lamb
Haywire (1977) Hayward
If You Knew Me (1993) Roiphe

Offspring and Siblings (General)

Troubled Journey (1997) Marsh and Dickens
When Madness Comes Home (1998) Secunda
How To Cope With Mental Illness in Your Family (paperback version of Troubled Journey) (1997) Marsh and Dickens
The Skipping Stone (1995) Wasow
When Someone You Love Has a Mental Illness (1992) Woolis
My Parent’s Keeper (1989) Brown
The Invulnerable Child (1987) Anthony

Young Readers:

My Sister From the Black Lagoon (1998) Fox
My Father the Nut Case (1992) Caseley
The Girl With the Crazy Brother (1987) Hyland
Annie’s Monster (1990) Corcoran
Crazy Quilt (1984) Riley
Only My Mouth is Smiling (1982) Riley
Anna and the Cat Lady (1992) Joosse
Don't Blame the Music (1986) Cooney
The Shell Lady’s Daughter (1983) Adler
The Keeper (1986) Naylor
The Falling-Apart Winner (1982) Smith

Youngest Readers (Picture Books)

My Sister, Then and Now (1992) Kroll
Tell Me a Story, Paint Me the Sun (1991) Chaplan
What About Me? When Brothers and Sisters Get Sick (1992) Peterkin
Please Don’t Cry, Mom (1994) Den Boer
Sad Days, Glad Days (1995) Hamilton
What Happened to Mommy (1994) Fran
Mommy One, Momma Two (1982) MacLachlan

There are quite a lot of books for teenagers and small children. I lapsed looking about 1997-98 and, no doubt, a number have been written since then. Some may be quite good. One would search a library catalog under: Mental Illness, Juvenile Fiction.

There are some movies about offspring and siblings. The best for offspring would begin with Twist and Shout (1986, Denmark) and for siblings, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) or Rain Man (1988).

I have more information., articles, and resources on the offspring and sibling experience for anyone with the interest and energy to format and post.
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Rex Dickens, coauthor of Troubled Journey (hard copy) or How to Cope With Mental Illness in Your Family (paperback version) as well as the monograph, Anguished Voices (1994), published by Boston University.

In addition to the highly recommended Anguished Voices (an 83 page monograph rather than a book), I would be remiss not to mention the Offspring Issue (1996) and Sibling Issue (1992) of The Journal published by NAMI of California.

Since I have recommended and made reference to the monograph, Anguished Voices, I will simplify, for those wishing to obtain a copy, how you may do so. Send a check or purchase order made payable to Boston University for $10.00 per copy plus $2.00 shipping/handling (international air shipping $5.00) to: Reprint Service, Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, 730 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215. Phone 617-353-3549 Fax: 617-353-7700.


Jarvis Walker     Arlec

You can help NNAAMI by purchasing one of the products below:

© 2001 National Network of Adult and Adolescent Children who have a Mentally Ill Parent
Tax Deductable Reg Charity. Inc.Vic. AOO33733N ABN 41 286 047 141

N.B. All items on this site remain the property of NNAAMI. Permission is granted to duplicate and distribute any items on this site for school student purposes only provided you acknowledge the source. However, written permission is required for any reproduction or for reproduction in public forums / conferences presentations.


Contact Us


You can help NNAAMI by giving a dontation.


Featured Articles

The 'Forgotten People'

by Anna Malbon from the Progress Press October 22, 1996

WHEN nine-year-old "Tom" was asked to draw a picture of himself with his mother be drew her trying to strangle him.

Tom entered the world of adults too early. If he was ever immune to the complications and pain of life that adults try to shelter from children, he says he can't remember.

Bulletin Board

I had to struggle extra hard

Her doctors did not bother to enquire about my father and I.

They only listened to her stories ”

“ I grew up thinking - Nobody wanted to help. Nobody wanted to know.”

Hi, I had a mentally ill mother. She passed away last year. I literally grew up hanging around mental hospitals because my Mom's condition was a cycle that always ends in a mental hospital. When I was younger, there was a long period when I cried my eyes out every time I was separated from my mentally ill mother because she had to stay in a mental hospital. After I grew older, my Mom's mental illness became impossible for me to bear.

Literally, my Mom's mental illness ruined my life. I think. I had to struggle extra hard for everything because of my big handicap at home. There was no support at all from anyone other than my father. Nobody else wanted to know about it. My mother's own cousin even said to my father not to bring my Mom to their place. I grew up thinking - Nobody wanted to help. Nobody wanted to know. My mother's own sister has been complaining since 2000 and her last complain was on 5 July 2014. This particular aunt keeps complaining about the same thing. That she had to take my Mom for her weekly injections and complained that my father and I was not around to do it. Then, she goes on to say that she saw my Mom beat me up with a cane. When she said that, I asked my Aunt, you saw my Mom beat me up with a cane? She said yes and than, she walked away.

I feel very sore with this aunt. Number one, the period she was complaining about was when I was still schooling and my father's and my mental health had deteriorated so badly that we had to leave the state for our own sanity. Before joining my father, I had to live alone with my Mom and my baby sister for almost a year. My aunt who lived a few minutes drive away did nothing when my Mom beat me up every day for months until my father managed to cut the red tape to remove me. My body was full of bruises and I was terrified to go home after school. Nobody helped. Not the neighbours who can hear all my mom's shouting at me, nor my aunt, nor my grandparents, nor my school's teachers. Someone should had intervened for a 12+ little girl. No adult helped. My father was trying his best to get me away to stay with him. Nobody helped him.

On XXXXXXXXXXXX, my Mom's sister let slip she saw my Mom beat me with a cane. And yet she did nothing! My aunt even had the cheek to say that my Mom beat me up because I said I wanted to go live with my father. The way my aunt said it was like the beatings were wholly my fault. What is wrong with the picture? You have a 12+ girl being beaten up daily, you are an aunt who knows something is going on and did nothing. Yet for years later you complain about having to take your own blood sister for her injections. And, I do not think she did it for longer than my own experiences. Probably only a few times because my father and I had to travel frequently to see to my mother. Due to the cyclic nature of her illness.

I have been going with my father when he took my mother for her weekly injections as a little girl, knee high, ever since I can remember. My own aunt is so calculative. There was a nurse that visits my Mom to give her her injections. But, the problem is my Mom will not let the nurse into her house that is why the intervention is needed. I have lost count on the number of times I had to go with my Mom for her injections as a little girl.

Her doctors did not bother to enquire about my father and I. They only listened to her stories and full stop. I think my Mom's doctors are the most heartless people I have ever met in my life. Until today, I do not like anyone who officially practices psychology because those doctors etc... contributed to my life being ruined. That is how I feel. I have been scolded by my Mom's medical team and they even dumped my Mom on me after I just turn 18 and there was no other adult around. And, they knew the situation. I was terrified because my Mom was a very violent. My Mom has pitched me, beaten me up, she has biten me with her teeth, she has smashed my head against the table and threatened to beat me with a piece of hard wood. I experienced all these as a little girl at the tender age of 12+ I had to learn karate to protect myself from her violent ways. And, when my Mom was home, I would lock my room's door and place a chair against it. I was that terrified of her.

All our belongings can go missing because my Mom is good at that sort of thing. You never know what is what with my Mom. It is like having a criminal live under the same roof as you.

My aunt kept repeating to me that on my mother's death anniversary I will have go visit her cemetery. I live in a different state from where my mother's cemetery is located. And, my aunt knows that very well. However she repeated her question to me until I said yes. I hate being forced to do something against my will because I have been forced to do things against my will my whole life.

My life is in ruins because of my mother's mental illness and people like my aunt is perpetuating the troubles for me after my mother's death. When I was 12+, my mother's mother said to me that it is my father's job to take care of my mother. In other words, my father's job and mine. And, they never lifted a finger to help. Just helping a little, my aunt has been complaining about the same thing for more than a decade. Unbelievable. Shameful.

Even though my father and I lived in a different state from my mother, we had to travel up and down every weekend because that is demanded of my mother. Sometimes, we had to travel after school and upon our arrival, she won't let us in and we had to travel all the way back. And, my father will not let me sleep at home as it is a school day, I had to go to school. My education was very important to my father. My mother could not be bothered if I succeeded or not.

I have seen more than any of my Mom's relatives have seen with regards her mental illness but people whom I just met behave like I have no idea about my Mom like they are the authority on her behaviour and her illness. Goodness gracious.

Despite this huge handicap in my life I persevered with my studies. My Mom did not give me any moral or emotional support at all. In fact her mental illness cycle will peak just or during my important exams. In other words, I had to deal with my exams and on top of them a mentally ill mother. By my final year in university, I could not take the pressure of exams and a mentally ill mother's break downs anymore.

When I was in my teenage years and early adult years, I was suicidal. I had to call Befrienders a lot. Thank God for Befrienders.

Before XXXXXXXXXXdate, I do not wish my experience to be experienced by anyone else because it is torture. However, after feeling how hard hearted my aunt is. A so called holy person, a church goer, rich person who has successful kids and grand kids. And, she can talk like it is my fault that my Mom beat me up and she (my aunt) had to take her (her own sister) for her injections when I was a kid. I really wish that my aunt must reincarnate as my father (a few lifes) so that she can eat her own words. If my aunt reincarnates and is put in my father's shoes, she would really deserve it. Hope she learns compassion through it all.

Why can't the world give children of the mentally ill a break? I am so fed up with all this troubles that stem from my mother's sister's attitude towards my father and I. After all shel lives a great lives. Rich live. What is wrong with these people? I really cannot stand them. This is my story.

After I wrote the above - I am more myself now, and I totally forgive my aunt and everybody who did nothing to help my father and I. And, everybody else who were heartless towards my father and I. However, I still think that by living a few life times as my father (my aunt) - would do her some good. But, knowing her character, she might become a psychopath and pose a threat to humanity. My father is a very, very kind soul. My aunt is a hard hearted, prejudiced, narrow minded, one tracked mind person.

How I cope? Trying my best to keep out of their way, and hang out with positive people. There are plenty of great people out there. Nnaami is included :)


South East Asia