The story is all about an older sister with a diagnosed mental illness that affects her family and

all of the people around her. Her name is Chrissy. She was diagnosed with mental illness since she was a child and mostly switches moods in a snap, hearing stuffs and her head. Her illness also affects her family and families friends, so they decided to put Chrissy on a mental hospital and put on a long term medical care. The family also keeps the disorder a secret to their friends. Judy also tried to become perfect in order to banish suspicion in others (and in herself) that she herself might be mentally unstable; and, finally, fleeing from the family home in Virginia to live and work in New York. Judy dreaded what would happen when their mother died, and she helped her mother set up a trust fund for Chrissy's future needs. When Chrissy was 47 and Judy 39, their mother did die; the nightmarish year that followed realized all of Judy's worst fears as she was forced to shuttle back and forth to Virginia to ensure that Chrissy did not self-destruct. The trust-fund money allowed Judy to hire a private social worker and the services of an agency for the mentally ill; this helped but, not enough to keep Judy from being driven to exhaustion and despair. Finally, Judy found a self-help group for siblings of the mentally ill, and they and Peggy's therapist helped her to begin to get on with her own life. The memoir ends on a happy, cautiously hopeful note, with Chrissy stabilized and Judy married and a mother. She tells her family's story with courage, honesty, and generosity. Those close to people with mental illness should find insight and gentle guidance here.

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