Books and Resources for Adult Children of Alcoholics, Mentally Ill and Homeless Parents

Books and Resources I’ve found helpful in these catagories: Psychology / Mental Illness, Psychology / Psychopathology / Schizophrenia, Religion / Inspirational Self-Help / Personal Growth / Self-Esteem. I will be adding more to this, so check back often!

The Memory Palace by Mira Bartok (2011) Free Press. As a means of self-preservation as adults, Bartok and her sister ran from their violent, schizophrenic-mother, changed their names, and dared only keep contact with her through P.O. Box set up by a friend. When they discover their mother was dying, the sisters came to her bed side, kept vigil and investigated the last few years of her homelessness by sorting through her storage unit filled with family artifacts, journals, and artwork.

A Legacy of Madness: Recovering My Family From Generations of Mental Illness by Tom Davis (2011) Hazelden. Davis traces mental illness back through several generations in his family through his mother’s mental illness and early death. His journey leads him to ensure that the fifth generation–he and his siblings—survive their own mental health disorders and go further by getting the help they need to lead healthy, balanced lives.

Strand of Pearls: One Woman’s Journey to Light and Peace by Deborah Livingston (2012) Balboa Press. Livingston tells her journey from childhood abuse to her addiction in her forties. She experiences spiritual transformation through an intensive 12-Step program and is able to see her misfortunes in her early in life as the “pearls” as she embraces hope, faith, and gratitude in her life.

Mother, Stranger by Cris Beam (2012), ebook. Published this past winter on, Beam’s ebook is a tragic narrative written by a 36-year-old woman about the mentally ill mother she fled from when she was 14 and the burden of guilt she carried into her adulthood. After learning her mother had died, the author found the courage to learn more about her by contacting relatives and her mother’s friends.

The Outsider:

Swallow the Ocean by Laura Flynn (2008) Counterpoint

Wrestling with our Inner Angels: Faith, Mental Illness and the Journey to Wholeness by Nancy Kehoe (2009), Jossey-Bass-A Wiley Imprint.

Another Bullshit Night in Suck City by Nick Flynn

The Complete ACOA Sourcebook: Adult Children of Alcoholics at Home, at Work, and in Love by Janet Geringer Woititz, Ed. D. 2002, Health Communications, Inc.

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