The Emotional Terrorist by @ArabellaBarbour #bookreview #mentalillness #memoir

the emotional terrorist


Title: The Emotional Terrorist: Growing up with a Borderline Parent

Author: Arabella Barbour

Genre: Memoir, Mental Illness, Non-Fiction


Book Blurb:

The Emotional Terrorist is an extraordinary memoir of resilience and revelation. Traveling the world as corporate gypsies’, Arabella’s parents are a charismatic pair while in private her sadomasochistic mother tortures her with calculated cruelty, yet idolizes her brother. The worst part is no one else sees what is really going on; even her father is spellbound. In fact, the façade her mother has erected for others is so dazzlingly charming and flamboyant a charade, that no one would ever believe she is capable of the unspeakable abuses she commits. In the wake of a near death experience, a revelation rips away the veil and Arabella sees clearly for the first time. Her mother’s intense inexplicable behavior distinctly fits the description of a certain type of personality, or rather personality disorder, known as borderline. “The Emotional Terrorist is important, beautiful, deep, poetic, gripping, and informative.” Sylvia Cary, LMFT, licensed psychotherapist and author, Los Angeles.


My Review:

This book is a very difficult read but it is extremely well written.  You are taken deeply into the traumatic life of the author and if you have any empathy what so ever, you feel every physical and emotional pain she suffered as a little girl – on throughout adulthood.  Writing this had to be cathartic for Barbour, I am certain, and putting out a meaningful story for others to hopefully learn from is a brave endeavour.


That a person’s behaviour can be diagnosed later has little comfort for the little children who suffer the harm from being raised by a parent who appears to be simply evil.  A child is innocent and just a victim in this type of relationship.  A child has no power, no understanding and only acute suffering.  It is why every child must be taught to speak out if someone is abusing them in any way and must be heard.  No one can dismiss claims of abuse simply with ‘But your Mother wouldn’t‘.


This was a very grim read but if this book can help just one child and save someone from this horrible situation, then this book has done an incredible job.  A very well written work that is worthy of a read by every parent or would be parent.


My Rating:  4 stars


Buy it now:





Author Biography:

ARABELLA BARBOUR lives in North Carolina with her neurotic, yet adorable adopted dog husband, Oliver, who loves the ladies, hogs the bed, and snores enthusiastically.


Social Media Links:






Reviewed by: Mr. N


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