“White Flag” Memoir Shares Family Struggle with Addiction – KATU-TV – AM Northwest

Raising the white flag is a universal symbol of surrender, a symbol of the hope that our vulnerability will be shielded from further harm and we can finally lay down our burden. What separates those who summon the inner strength to ask for help from those who can never unfurl their banner? Judy Mandel, author of “White Flag,” joined us to share her searingly honest memoir about loss and addiction.

When Mandel discovers her sensitive, funny, bookworm niece, Cheryl, in jail, she recalls the deathbed promise she made to Cheryl’s mother to look after her girls. She hopes and prays that this might be a second chance to help Cheryl kick her addiction and reclaim her life.

But lying is second nature to addicts and Cheryl hides layers of deception as Mandel tries to help her toward safety, recovery and survival. However, no amount of love or good will can topple the mountain of secrets as sexual abuse, pregnancy and prostitution are added to the tally of horrors hiding beneath Cheryl’s addiction.

The experience forces Mandel to question everything she has ever known. How much of this trauma could be blamed on the tragic circumstances depicted in Replacement Child? Was she helping or enabling Cheryl? Can a person be forced into rehabilitation to save their life? To find answers, Mandel delves into intensive research on brain chemistry, addiction, epigenetics and transgenerational trauma.