Customer Review

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, really inspiring, 27 Mar 2008
By 
This review is from: The Butterfly Girl (Hardcover)
My Sister gave me this book to read and said I would enjoy it. She was right. I couldn't put it down. I thought the butterfly girl is so real and I really cared what happened to her in her poor life as a young girl. I think we can all identify with this girl one way or another. This young girl makes you realise how fragile life can make you. It really stays in my mind and I'm sure I'll read it again and again. A lovely book.

This book is a gem! It is a wonderful, easy read well worth reading!

Jo
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 3 May 2008 18:09:29 BDT
Last edited by the author on 12 May 2008 17:53:09 BDT
Suzy Clements says:
Fantastic! True Story.

I found this book a real treat to myself. I do not suffer from any type of mental illness, but reading this book taught me something about life in general.
It has been written from the heart with true accounts of Body Dysmorphic Disorder attacks and you cant get better then that!

It seems, from what I can tell, that there are some commenters
that really do not understand this illness, but then to be fair, neither did I till reading this book. Fantastic read! Well worth every penny spent and truly inspirational.

This book has certainly got a long shelf life!

Only true and genuine BDD story I have read

Posted on 9 May 2008 15:00:36 BDT
To Suzy- this is not actually the only true genuine BDD story. There are two others which have been written before. I am surprised you missed out on them.

Posted on 10 May 2008 11:31:51 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 12 May 2008 08:32:58 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 11 May 2008 21:41:39 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 13 May 2008 08:53:56 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Sep 2008 22:24:46 BDT
Last edited by the author on 1 Oct 2008 13:53:34 BDT
Customer says:
I found this on a facebook group:

FROM A MOTHERS POINT OF VIEW

My daughter taught me that you could learn to live with a mental illness. Having suffered from my own valium addiction, I had to confront my illness head on, take whatever treatment and medications I needed, and begin to understand and trust how the "new me" thought and felt.
My daughter is `truly' my guardian angel - she survived a problematic disorder, so that I could finally take care of her in her own struggle.

People may not see her turnaround as a big deal.... But I know' `that she has been fighting the demons in her head for years' with very little proper medical attention. As a mother who worked in a drug center, I denied my daughter prescribed drugs. There were no lab tests, CAT scans, X-rays, or ultrasounds that could tell me what was wrong with my daughter. So, to my mind if it could not be measured, then it had to be my fault'.

I have kept quietly in the background and watched how she fought on daily bases with this `unknown' illness. Which at that time was unheard of in the UK.

Only by chance of a TV chat show did I finally get a name for this illness (BDD)... A darling lady called Chris Saville was the only support that I had to help me understand this unkind deliberating - life-threatening disorder.

Chris gave me the strength to keep pushing Racheal out there till more about BDD could be known. She explained how hard she had tried after her own son's death. I gave her my word that if I had any strength left, I would not give up, also... for the sake of her beautiful son. (RIP).

Chris had been all over the world trying so hard to get people to recognise this illness, but she grew very tried and I guess now that Racheal had come forward, and with the media taking over. Maybe, she thought all her hard work could be put to rest for a little while. In my head I believed that if there is a god, then he is giving us a chance, but for poor Chris it was to late.... I will always be so grateful to that one lovely lady. My only support.

Whilst working at the drug centre as a support worker, my manager was concerned about me, so he took me into his office and said, let me have a look on the internet for you. He opened up a search engine and typed in BDD to our surprise one page showed up, so he printed it for me to take home. As it was the only page on the whole of the Internet I hung onto it with my life.

When I got home I made myself a cup of tea and sat down and read this one page. The page was put together by a Doctor called Katherine Phillips. This doctor had written a book called the Broken Mirror. I was so happy and relieved to have found something to help me understand this unknown illness in the UK. I then went to my local bookshop, but they said had never heard of this book. So I telephoned the head office of WH Smith and they told me that it had to be ordered in, from America and would take three to four weeks to arrive. I ordered it at our local store and waited for about six to eight weeks. After I read the book. I gave it to my GP to read. Giving her the opportunity to help understand this hidden disorder.

In my quest to understand more about BDD. I tried to do as much research as I could with my friends, family and media helping me. But just recently I had some links sent to me by other's, to online forums. Where people, who have never met my daughter, were criticising her for spelling mistakes on her website. (She left school early because of her illness) so the last thing on our mind was her spelling... nobody is perfect with spelling anyway. Also they were saying that she is not a good role model to others' because she runs a ` model agency'? I knew that if Racheal got any inclination, about the talk on these forums, plus after all the hard work throughout the last 10 years it could have had detrimental effect on her. One good thing is that Racheal assures me, that she is stronger then ever now - but as a mother her natural instinct is to protect her children. So I discussed this with her father and we both made a decision, not to let Racheal know.

Yes I was very concerned for Rachael's welfare; I had to witness my daughters' tears and distress after the bullying she received many years ago, so I was not about to let it happen again!
I recognised one of the people's names on the forum and contacted their workplace, which was to do with the mental health. I spoke to a very understanding person and pleaded with them to ask this person to stop! They assured me that they would alert the person straight away.

It did stop for a little while. But again on Rachael's book page, on Amazon, attracted them and their family members to show their face again, by attacking Racheal with their negative and unfounded reviews. It got to a point everywhere Racheal was on the Internet, they seemed to appear. Somewhat like stalking her. She kept getting weird telephone calls and emails with insulting questions - After having worked so hard over the years to build my daughters confidence. I was extremely fearful of these people putting my daughter back into that dark place again!

What really upsets me, as a mother, is that when Racheal had one of her really bad BDD day's, it was myself and our family that witnessed her suffering, we didn't even know at that time she had an illness. So when I had to leave my daughters food outside her bedroom door, watching her self- harming and the pain she was putting herself through. Seeing her leaving the bedroom wearing a mask. I really did not know what to do? I used to hear her crying in her bedroom for hours on end, hurling things around the room, and shouting. I wanted to help her so much...! But each time I tried to get to her she would push me away, telling us that she only felt at peace on her own!

I just wanted her to understand that we would never judge her, we are her family! - To me my daughter is beautiful just like every mother's child. So I was determined to do everything possible to help her. And hoping that one day she would see what I see when I look at her.

My only question to those people would be... why do they think that you have to be a good role model? Especially when you have a mental illness? - What is a good role model anyway - we all have a different idea of what we wish to aspire to.... But we do forgive those people as well! Everyone has the right to have an opinion

My daughter faced panic-stricken anxiety witnessed by the media/myself and others. Before any media interviews could happen we had to be very cautious on most occasions. The last thing on her mind was exposure for herself! `I' pushed and pushed her. Not, without strict criticism from my own family. As a mother watching her daughter cutting her wrist on a daily basis. Starving herself, vomiting and, attempting suicide as an ongoing pattern. It was not an easy time for the family and myself. Racheal was forced by me because I rather that she fought with me and was alive then dead! I knew that the media were kind and understanding about this unknown illness, they were very willing to do as much as possible themselves help raise more awareness and save people's lives. So to me the media are not all bad...

The Samaritans was my only Savior in helping save Rachael's life.

Racheal was predicted to get high grades in her GCSEs, had she taken them. But her illness took over her education. Racheal knew that she had to get some sort of a career, to see her forward in life. That's when she and I thought it would be an good idea to start her own modeling agency, she was getting a lot of lovely models contacting her on a regular basis, with BDD type symptoms. Racheal thought positively and decided that if she owned her own modeling agency, maybe then she could help to raise awareness to how important it is for girls to understand that healthy size is more normal. That's when True Model Media was born.

I can understand that for others looking at Racheal it is hard to accept that she could suffer from this deliberating illness, we have to remember that what we see is something very different to what Racheal sees this was hard even for me to accept. But over the years I have learnt to understand that my daughter sees something disfigured when she looks at herself. This illness is now a proven chemical defect within the brain. When someone has a visual disability, we can relate to that person and show some sympathy. But when we look at someone like Racheal inevitably we can not help but wonder how someone so beautiful, could ever see themselves as physically deformed. The irony is that many BDD sufferers are completely normal or some extremely striking to other peoples eyes ... so today I finally have learnt to understand that what she sees is very real to her.... The only way that I can imagine what it must be like for her is to look into a fair ground mirror or a magnifying glass. I suppose if you try to tell a man what it is like for women give birth to a baby. It would be difficult for him to imagine.

The moment this was reinforced to me was, when meeting a tall blonde, very handsome young man called Stephen Ellis on Richard & Judy (This Morning Show) in 1999. Stephen was a fellow BDD sufferer who had tried to give himself a DIY facelift! - His bone structure was remarkable. I wondered how such a striking boy could hate himself so much! It was then; I realised that my daughter's illness was very real! Stephen and Racheal found a lot of comfort with each other and got on for sometime till they both lost contacts because of their illness. If anyone out there knows of Stephen Ellis then please tell him I would love to hear from him, I hope like Racheal he has been able to regain control over his life.... (Stephen if you read this please get in touch with us we would love to hear from you)

I may have made mistakes with my daughter, and I am the first to hold my hands up and admit that I am not perfect. But there is no manual on mothering skills and at least now, I know one thing... somehow everything I did do, made Racheal who she is today. A talented young lady who is stronger than ever!

Many people have alienated Racheal because of ignorance! I would like to take this opportunity to thank the abundance of people, who email Racheal on a daily basis along with the Samaritans help, BDD Central, Press / Media, Friends, Family and our local doctors Surgery. These people are the ones that give Racheal the strength to carry on... And have been the ONLY people who have looked beyond her exterior to see her beauty within...

THANK YOU ALL
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