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Barbara Kent Lawrence

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Bitter Ice: a memoir of love, food, and obsession
by Barbara Kent Lawrence   

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Books by Barbara Kent Lawrence
· Islands of Time
· The Hungry i: A workbook for partners of men with eating disorders
                >> View all



Publisher:  Wm. Morrow, Inc., Rob Weisbach Books ISBN-10:  0688162150 Type: 


Copyright:  1999

"An intimate, revealing, and refreshingly frank memoir, 'Bitter Ice' tells the story of a wife's search for independence and identity while living in the shadow of her husband's battle with anorexia."


 Eating disorders are not for women only.  When Tom asked his psychiatrist if he had anorexia, the doctor confidently replied, "No, only women have anorexia."  That misdiagnosis becomes a barrier to understanding the cause of Tom's increasingly strange and destructive behavior.  One of the first books about eating disorders in men, Bitter Ice is unfortunately still necessary and current as the number of men affected by eating disorders has exploded in the decade since it was published.


I don't remember exactly when he - my husband, Tom - started eating ice. At first I didn't really notice it because it was infrequent, but gradually it became constant and the crunching grated on my nerves. Ice was a substitute for food, and frozen water gave tom the illusion both that he was eating and that he wasn't drinking the liquid he feared would make him bloat. At the office we shared, I urned around at my desk while he was sitting across the room from me at his desk. I tried to avert my eyes, but I always saw him slip the melting ice, wrapped in a ragged dishtowel, into his top drawer. While I was working, while I was on the phone, all day long he would pull ice cubes out and such and crunch. I hears the crunching constantly, like an ice cutting cutting through the frozen Arctic, a thousand cicadas underfoot, squeezing Styrofoam - a sound like suicide as he substituted frozen water for food.

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