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I'll Give You Something to Cry About: A memoir of a daughter's struggle to survive a mother with paranoia, schizophrenia, and manic depression

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In I'll Give You Something to Cry About, Elizabeth Acker gives a stunning account of growing up under the abusive control of an emotionally and mentally ill mother. Elizabeth is forced to become estranged from her father and struggles alone to create hope and meaning for her life while serving her mother like a slave. This book is a true account of a daughter's struggle to In I'll Give You Something to Cry About, Elizabeth Acker gives a stunning account of growing up under the abusive control of an emotionally and mentally ill mother. Elizabeth is forced to become estranged from her father and struggles alone to create hope and meaning for her life while serving her mother like a slave. This book is a true account of a daughter's struggle to survive a mother with paranoia, schizophrenia, and manic depression.


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In I'll Give You Something to Cry About, Elizabeth Acker gives a stunning account of growing up under the abusive control of an emotionally and mentally ill mother. Elizabeth is forced to become estranged from her father and struggles alone to create hope and meaning for her life while serving her mother like a slave. This book is a true account of a daughter's struggle to In I'll Give You Something to Cry About, Elizabeth Acker gives a stunning account of growing up under the abusive control of an emotionally and mentally ill mother. Elizabeth is forced to become estranged from her father and struggles alone to create hope and meaning for her life while serving her mother like a slave. This book is a true account of a daughter's struggle to survive a mother with paranoia, schizophrenia, and manic depression.

30 review for I'll Give You Something to Cry About: A memoir of a daughter's struggle to survive a mother with paranoia, schizophrenia, and manic depression

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra Columban

    A candid and heartbreaking account of a child who had to mature too soon and suffered abuse at the hands of her own mother. With great authenticity and vivid dialogues, Elizabeth depicts all those around her who failed to see reality, leaving her to deal with her mother alone, and documents her coming of age and transformation into a self-made woman. Highly recommended to all lovers of memoirs!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    An amazing story that let you breathless. It is written in an easy reading style fitting non English native readers, I was totally absorbed. I'm not a writer thus I'll make it short and just add that I highly recommend this novel and look forward to reading the next book of this author. Rob An amazing story that let you breathless. It is written in an easy reading style fitting non English native readers, I was totally absorbed. I'm not a writer thus I'll make it short and just add that I highly recommend this novel and look forward to reading the next book of this author. Rob

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Louise

    A difficult read As someone with mental health illnesses, after reading this, I know I did the right thing not having children. So glad Beth found her way. Maybe she could have educated herself more about her mothers conditions.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Trea

    This is an excellent example of triumph over adversity. The author relived many horrible moments of her childhood. I was relieved when she escaped and that her story has a happy ending. I’ll never understand why it is acceptable to abuse someone you love. Especially a child who cannot fight back. Other adults who have survived child abuse may find this book therapeutic. It may help you realize you are not alone. You are worthy of love and being loved.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Ann

    I'm the sister in this book but I'm completely in shock that my sister would have published such a thing. Several things my sister left out of the book. Lets go back to that conversation where our suppose "father" tells us about us being adopted. First of all she failed to mention that our mother recorded that conversation. Our soon to be father asked his permission to adopt us. Our biological father (if you really want to call him that) said, "I'll allow it if I no longer have to pay child sup I'm the sister in this book but I'm completely in shock that my sister would have published such a thing. Several things my sister left out of the book. Lets go back to that conversation where our suppose "father" tells us about us being adopted. First of all she failed to mention that our mother recorded that conversation. Our soon to be father asked his permission to adopt us. Our biological father (if you really want to call him that) said, "I'll allow it if I no longer have to pay child support." Our Biological Father basically SOLD us to a man he never met. At 18 I was curious.....yes......but soon realized that he really didn't care. Let's see about this whole Paranoia, Schizophrenia, and Manic Depression......that information she got was from our so called biological father. Of course, he's not going to say a kind word about our mother because they got a divorce. Why did they get a divorce? Would you stay in a marriage where the man held a gun to your head and ask if you were going to live the next day? I think not. So I truly feel this was a book not written by her but by the same man who SOLD us. So before anyone goes bashing my mother better know exactly the REAL story. My sister is out for money.......she dumped a guy over another man who had more money, she divorced a man who got a vasectomy because she told him she didn't want children. If she's going to blast our mother out there maybe you should know what type of Author she really is in real life. My sister refuses to talk to me because I'm in contact with our mother. She has told people our mother is dead when she is alive. Our mother suffered bacterial meningitis and was on life support, our mother after that had 3 strokes one right after another, our mother almost lost her life. She no longer can walk, she is completely deaf. And when my mom commented to one of her post about how she hopes she's doing well in her travels.....my sister sent her the link to this book. Forgiveness should be the key here but my sister constantly continues to punish our mother. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH BETH!!!!!!! I'm so tired of my sister putting our mother down and now this? Seriously? I Love our mother with all my heart! She's been amazingly wonderful and it's sad of the many times my mother tried to reach out to Beth. The time I had a fever she had me in a bathtub desperately trying to bring my fever down. You sure didn't try to bring my fever down.....she did. Or the time we went to your boyfriends house and a strange dog was there how mom rushed me to the ER because I had run into a barb wire fence. Where is the good in what she did? I can count many times of the good things she has done for us that you probably failed to put in your book. This book only screamed I need attention look at how horrible my life was. Bet she didn't put in there about the limo my mother got her for prom. Or how my Father drove out to rescue my sister because she got scared thinking a strange man was following her. Or the many cookouts or amusement parks they treated us. You chose to eliminate us out of your life. My youngest son has 2 little boys and my daughter has one on the way. They don't know their Aunt Beth cause she chooses to stay out of our lives. So we are all punished because of her hate for our mother. The biological father......he favors her but continues not to have contact with me......I'm fine with that because guess what I have an AMAZING FATHER who loved me more than words could say. My father doesn't have to throw his money around to gain my love unlike my biological father who swore I was using him for his money. So Beth this was about the lowest you could have possibly gone. The only thing I gained out of this book was an AMAZING PICTURE! The rest of the dang thing can burn!!!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    This book captured my attention the first page I read. I found it very hard to put down. Yes it was raw, emotional, and deep. It help me to understand what other's have lived through, to have compassion, and empathy for all those involved. I also read this book as a healing process, and would encourage other's that have lived this life to come to term's on their own journey. Janet Booth This book captured my attention the first page I read. I found it very hard to put down. Yes it was raw, emotional, and deep. It help me to understand what other's have lived through, to have compassion, and empathy for all those involved. I also read this book as a healing process, and would encourage other's that have lived this life to come to term's on their own journey. Janet Booth

  7. 4 out of 5

    sarah

    Very slow long winded took alot to getinto this book i wont reccomend it to any one else Very slow and repetitive took a lot to get into book as its quite boring slow and long winded I

  8. 5 out of 5

    T. Rose

    Therapeutic for the author and for this reader... I had a relationship with my mother and father that mirrors that of the author's family. The book was hard for me to read - at times I had to put it down and walk away for a few days at a time in order to read the entire book. I must say Elizabeth Acker is a hero to write about her life. I know there are many of us who have lived this difficult life with mothers who just weren't right in the head or heart. This book can help with healing when you Therapeutic for the author and for this reader... I had a relationship with my mother and father that mirrors that of the author's family. The book was hard for me to read - at times I had to put it down and walk away for a few days at a time in order to read the entire book. I must say Elizabeth Acker is a hero to write about her life. I know there are many of us who have lived this difficult life with mothers who just weren't right in the head or heart. This book can help with healing when you are ready to follow that well-earned path. Hugs to all of us who have chosen happier lives as hard as that may be! 💜

  9. 4 out of 5

    Victor Ramirez

    This is a powerful and personal account of living a parent who suffers from several serious mental disorders. Reading this story I felt I was with the room witnessing how the mental drama unravels and impacts two innocent lives. It is an intimate experience to share with the author passages of her life that are hard to imagine otherwise.

  10. 4 out of 5

    julia lowe

    Good read This is a book that once i started to read I couldn't put down well-done to the author for surviving and showing life is what you make of it . Good read This is a book that once i started to read I couldn't put down well-done to the author for surviving and showing life is what you make of it .

  11. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Ozmer Diaz

    After reading I'll Give You Something to Cry About, I wish I could go back and be a mother of young children again. I, in no way was a mother like Karen but I would love another chance to do better at building adults by raising children with the knowledge I have now. What a "crazy" mother Beth, Sarah, Matthew and Michael had. I felt sadness, anger, fear and confusion while reading this book. I am so proud that Beth wrote this book if only to help herself to recover from such a emotional and phys After reading I'll Give You Something to Cry About, I wish I could go back and be a mother of young children again. I, in no way was a mother like Karen but I would love another chance to do better at building adults by raising children with the knowledge I have now. What a "crazy" mother Beth, Sarah, Matthew and Michael had. I felt sadness, anger, fear and confusion while reading this book. I am so proud that Beth wrote this book if only to help herself to recover from such a emotional and physically abusive mother. I cheered her on throughout the whole book. I really great read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Dunnem

    Some definite triggers for some of us but she is a great story teller. Would love if she did a second book from where the 1st one left off

  13. 4 out of 5

    rachel robbins

    Page Turner This book was an emotional roller coaster. It was disturbing and evil but I couldn't stop reading it. I needed to know what would happen next. I'm glad that the writer was able to have a happy ending and finally do something for herself and live her life. Great read. Definitely recommend. Page Turner This book was an emotional roller coaster. It was disturbing and evil but I couldn't stop reading it. I needed to know what would happen next. I'm glad that the writer was able to have a happy ending and finally do something for herself and live her life. Great read. Definitely recommend.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    Wonderful read . Beth is one brave girl . She puts up with so much and manages to make a life fot herself . Very brave and strong . A must read ..i could not put this book down . Gripped from cover to cover . Amazing . Really great book cant recommend enough . Beth is a very brave person . She goes through so much but never gives up

  15. 5 out of 5

    Aaron California

    Reader Comments This book is recommended to people that survived living with a parent who was mentally ill and was negatively affected by the experience. Having survived living with a mentally ill parent I can say that reading this book has helped me to heal.

  16. 5 out of 5

    malani Ricky

    This was awful My book evidently didn't download properly, it ended at 34%. This was awful My book evidently didn't download properly, it ended at 34%.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Gayle

    Absolutely Fanastic read, Would definitely recommend this book, I ended up reading in 2 days as found it really hard to put this book down on my kindle.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Marie

    A fabulous read Can't commend Elizabeth enough,her mother is plainly a nutjob narcissistic vile evil person,I won't call her a woman or a lady as she doesn't deserve that title.What i read yes she may have mental health issues but I would say these were underlying and the way Elizabeth was treat was purely jealousy on her mother's half,the other children were not treat with utter contempt,made to feel worthless,ugly,fat,stupid,and basically a slave,so her mother can't blame it on her mental healt A fabulous read Can't commend Elizabeth enough,her mother is plainly a nutjob narcissistic vile evil person,I won't call her a woman or a lady as she doesn't deserve that title.What i read yes she may have mental health issues but I would say these were underlying and the way Elizabeth was treat was purely jealousy on her mother's half,the other children were not treat with utter contempt,made to feel worthless,ugly,fat,stupid,and basically a slave,so her mother can't blame it on her mental health.I suffer with mental health and would not dream of treating my child like garbage, Beth was so close to her natural father and her mother could not stand it ,jealously to me reading this book was a major factor. Well done Beth on overcoming the torment you endured and finally taking a stand against your mother,I hope in time you get to see your half brothers and that,that evil woman has not poisoned them against you,you basically nurtured them from them being born.,I read what your sister commented and It was like reading something your mother would have wrote,if your mother was so fabulous why did she live at grandma's,does she forget when you had meningitis and your mother was just going to give you aspirin,or when school had the police and social services involved.it was her that contacted your father,obviously that didn't work out for her ,reading her comment it is hypocritical and seems rehearsed, It was lovely to read you reunited with your real father and building a new relationship with him,stay strong and it would be lovely to read how life is now for you not the travelling etc but a book on your life in general your relationship with your father,if you now have children etc.,I'm so glad you have reverted back to Acker.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Echelberger

    I found the subject matter fascinating and some of the events are devastating to read about. I would have liked a little more detail into the emotions rather than just conversations and events. For example, what was the marriage like between the step-father and her mother? They stayed married all those years, was she horrible to him? Did he ever talk to the kids about their mother's illness? What does a child think when their mother is hospitalized for months? Also, this book needed serious edit I found the subject matter fascinating and some of the events are devastating to read about. I would have liked a little more detail into the emotions rather than just conversations and events. For example, what was the marriage like between the step-father and her mother? They stayed married all those years, was she horrible to him? Did he ever talk to the kids about their mother's illness? What does a child think when their mother is hospitalized for months? Also, this book needed serious editing- I found typos, weird sentences, and a lack of structure. It does make for an interesting read if you want to know one child's perspective of having an abusive parent, just don't expect a deep emotional experience. A much better account of being raised by a mentally ill mother is Mary Karr's "The Liar's Club".

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cass.xhotmail.com

    Dnf’d Found this difficult to read, hearing all the stuff the mum did and said really frustrated me. As someone with bipolar and schizophrenia I worry that people who read this think that that is how a lot of us act... we don’t.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Deborah

    Mother from He'll! I cannot conceive of a mother treating her 2 daughters the way she did. The author conveyed her feelings about her mother so well and I found myself hating her too. Hers is a story of not letting a horrible parent ruin your life and outlook. Mother from He'll! I cannot conceive of a mother treating her 2 daughters the way she did. The author conveyed her feelings about her mother so well and I found myself hating her too. Hers is a story of not letting a horrible parent ruin your life and outlook.

  22. 4 out of 5

    trish petersen

    Tyrant for a mother Congratulations for having the strength to live your own life. A childhood filled with babysitting and running a household while a mother spat venom at you constantly.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Asha Greye

    I could feel young Beth's hatred for her mother from young childhood. It's hard to believe she really called her mother so many crazy female dogs under her breath and frankly if that was her attitude then I'm not surprised they didn't get along too well. For most of her childhood her mother came off as very strict but not exactly abusive seeing as there's nothing illegal about taking a belt or paddle to your child's backside if they don't mind. She talks about being "brutally beaten" with a frig I could feel young Beth's hatred for her mother from young childhood. It's hard to believe she really called her mother so many crazy female dogs under her breath and frankly if that was her attitude then I'm not surprised they didn't get along too well. For most of her childhood her mother came off as very strict but not exactly abusive seeing as there's nothing illegal about taking a belt or paddle to your child's backside if they don't mind. She talks about being "brutally beaten" with a friggin ping pong paddle that probably wouldn't have hurt a flea, but the way she carried on you'd have thought her tailbone was broken or something. When she claims her mother tried to kill her with a mixture of bleach and ammonia.....well her mother didn't mix up the chemicals nor did she force Beth to fill a bucket with the chemicals either then shut herself up in an unventilated space like she had a death wish. Part of me wonders if she didn't take that incident straight out of 'A Child Called It'. When Beth claimed her mother grabbed her hair and threw her down some stairs, the incident was investigated and as she hoped her mother got a lot less physical after being threatened with loss of custody, no more physical discipline, so what exactly was the problem? In any case Beth's stepfather/adoptive father seemed to be a very caring and sincere man who wouldn't have let his wife seriously harm let alone kill any of the four children. He was a military man and I know that the LAST THING an enlisted person needs or wants for the sake of career and reputation is family problems especially the kind that bring the police to their doorstep. Maybe there was something I missed, but I didn't read anything about sexual molestation, starvation, or battery to the point of broken bones which is what one could rightfully consider extreme. Her mother might or might not have mental health issues, but still her mother seemed quite sane albeit somewhat overbearing to me. There was nothing to tug at my heart and convince me that this was anything other than a revenge memoir by a bitter middle aged woman who decided to make a quick buck. I mean the author doesn't give her mother or her stepfather one lick of credit for anything such as the clothes on her back and shoes on her feet, food on the table, or roof over her head. Let her tell it she never even played with toys. She insists that her family cruelly disowned her, but if I had a daughter or sister who was this malicious and vengeful I'd say good riddance! Skip this one if you don't want to trudge through a 400 page whine fest and be a spectator to toxic decades long family drama.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Devin Savage

    I could not stop reading this book. The author brings you into her life as a member of a dysfunctional family. As a kid growing up one could easily get the idea that every family is dysfunctional in some way and to some degree. However, Elizabeth Acker survived an amazingly screwed up home life and turned what could have been a no-win childhood into her pillar of strength. It's a story of a toxic personality, parental neglect, betrayal, desperation, resentment and finally triumph. I could not stop reading this book. The author brings you into her life as a member of a dysfunctional family. As a kid growing up one could easily get the idea that every family is dysfunctional in some way and to some degree. However, Elizabeth Acker survived an amazingly screwed up home life and turned what could have been a no-win childhood into her pillar of strength. It's a story of a toxic personality, parental neglect, betrayal, desperation, resentment and finally triumph.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Maria

  26. 4 out of 5

    joanne

  27. 4 out of 5

    kate

  28. 4 out of 5

    Linda Solvason

  29. 4 out of 5

    Diana Eastman crook

  30. 4 out of 5

    Keeley Sinfield

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