Bill McBean always had a knack for journalism, but he had to retire before he began to think about his own family’s painfully stark mental disorders. Bill’s father, Peter McBean, was a
lieutenant in World War II, and he, like many other soldiers at the
time, came home with crippling PTSD. Although
unhinged, Peter never revealed his mental disability to anyone, as he went on to become an attorney in New
York, little knowing that the
effects of his ailment and increasing alcoholism would affect his daughters and
son. As Bill comes across his father’s letters from the battlefield describing the horrifyingly gory
details of war, he soon
realizes why his family has been the way it is. This book features the author’s
compelling exploration of the effects of trauma on a family, in a style that is
inimitable and unwonted honesty.
Trauma Family: A
Memoir of PTSD's Collateral Damage by Bill McBean covers the secondary
effects of PTSD and alcoholism on the families of retired soldiers. Objective
Defiance Disorder [ODD], anxiety, depression, drug/alcohol abuse, and inability
to learn are amongst some of the powerful themes that are elaborately explored
in this book. The book discusses these conditions in great detail in an effort to understand psyche.
Bill McBean’s story is an
enlightening read for
future families of soldiers and those who have an enervating mental illness.
His recovery and conflicts with the ruthless realities of life will have an
emotional grip on the readers. The
author shares every part of the troubling life that he’d lived alongside his sisters in a toxic environment rampant with atrocious behaviors with
ingenuity and unwonted clarity. This book will take you to the battlefields of
Europe and its consequences and
bring you back home to the unnerving reality of the effects of war.
It’s a mind-numbingly chilling story with useful insights for generations to come. One of the
best books I have read about war and the damage it leaves to individuals,
families, and the society.