I am no longer a child without choices.

13 Feb 2018
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It took me 30 years to process the loss of the family farm. As my teenager would say; "delayed response much?"

Growing up in a very abusive and strict german-mennonite home meant not showing your emotions. A display of affection beyond a handshake was considered worldly and unnecessarily. If father took the willow branch to us he demanded silence or the process would continue. Needless to say I learned to stuff my emotions until they boiled over like my mother's pressure canner.

When I was 12 we were ordered off the family farm for debts unpaid and if that wasn't enough of a country song mother went into labor and the hospital as we packed.

I waited for sadness that didn't come. Nor did any other emotion. At twelve I had quite a mastery of escaping feelings and numbing them out.

My brother was born and he proved to be a marvellous distraction from our disrupted lives.

We left the farm, unpacked our meagre possessions into a borrowed home a half mile away and went to visit our new sibling. I thought the little bald wonder in a wrinkled sleeper was the most beautiful creature in the world.

When friends asked if losing our home only to drive by it twice a day bothered me I uttered a very convincing "No."

Years of therapy and counselling later, not only had I forgiven my parents I had drawn some lines in setting cement; "I choose to have a relationship with you..." I told them; "but do note that I am no longer a child without choices. If this relationship takes on the nature of the past I am out of here."

For the most part things have been good. I have cut them off twice for 6 months when same old same old reared its ugliness and we have resolved our issues.

A month or so ago I was watching a movie; "The Promised Land," and there came a line; "We still have our barn." A damn inside jerked loose and I cried three decades worth of pain. We lost our barn and almost everything else. There had been an auction previous to the move. How good it felt to grieve what I had convinced myself did not matter.

Delayed response indeed. And although I have covered a great distance in most aspects of processing emotions and life events my critical inner voice says; "Do not become a paramedic. No-one has that kind of time." And that is okay. I am more of a tortured writer, author and musician anyway. We tend to lose track of the ticking clock.

Bailey

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

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Comments

Jane SG

Feb. 13, 2018, 7:04 a.m.

Wow, what an incredibly moving story. Thank you for sharing this Bailey. I've recently been letting go of old, unhelpful behaviours and as a result found a mass of untapped pain. Horrid but necessary to feel to start to move forward. Sending you good wishes, I hope you have a good day.

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Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope

Feb. 13, 2018, 6:45 p.m.

Thank you. Blessings

Orangeblossom

Feb. 13, 2018, 7:42 a.m.

Hi Bailey thanks for the gripping blog. I am glad that you are able to assert your choices and that your pent up emotions have been released. The **** having been burst, I hope that the fresh start continues on a good track.

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Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope

Feb. 13, 2018, 6:45 p.m.

Thank you

Anonymous

Feb. 13, 2018, 8:10 a.m.

Hello Bailey. Your powerful and poignant writing demonstrates remarkable resilience. I can only imagine your distress growing up but the moral of your story, "I am no longer a child without choices", is so helpful. Thank you. My parents' maxim that "blood is thicker than water" exonerated them from any difficult, emotional issues I experienced and your manner of coping with your suffering makes huge sense now. Were you responsible for selecting the apposite quote underneath your blog too? Again, many thanks and go well.

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Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope

Feb. 13, 2018, 6:45 p.m.

The quote was not mine but thank you.

Lex

Feb. 13, 2018, 8:21 a.m.

Hi Bailey, you really ARE a writer, aren't you? Powerful storytelling as you share the truth of your own journey and pain. Thank you for sharing. Your affirmation is phenomenally powerful and will help so many of us: "I am no longer a child without choices." Time to make some new choices...

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Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope

Feb. 13, 2018, 6:46 p.m.

Thank you so much. I still struggle with victim mentality sometimes, and someone told me that a victim is a :"Very Insecure Child Trapped In Muck." Well good bye victimhood!

Jul

Feb. 13, 2018, 8:42 a.m.

Yes powerful writing Bailey. Am I right in thinking you'd like to be a paramedic? Weren't you a carer at one stage? I am sure you could be lots of things so why not go for it? I am so glad you found a good therapist. As adults, we should be able to make choices. Your parents did! Pretty bad ones.Now it's your turn to make choices (or probably has been for a few years now). I'm away for two weeks at the moment and trying to stay away from my computer. However I read Moodscope most days and had a little time this morning to reply to your evocative blog. Isn't it sad the way some parents treat their children. Unforgivable. Be strong Bailey. Julxx

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Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope

Feb. 13, 2018, 6:46 p.m.

Thank you. Sometimes I think we have to let our higher power do the forgiving for us. I have had to. Blessings, Bailey

Dolphin

Feb. 13, 2018, 8:47 a.m.

Wow - what a magnificent blog - on all levels. PLEASE write a novel (and let us know)! xx

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Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope

Feb. 13, 2018, 6:46 p.m.

Thank you. I am writing a book about my life in third person as a fiction-based true story that is almost ready to hit kindle. It's called;"Growing Up Mennonite."

Sal

Feb. 13, 2018, 9:42 a.m.

Bailey, yours is such a powerful story, I am lost for words. Thank you for writing it. You conveyed such a lot in such a short piece. Wishing you the very best of luck with your writing - and hopefully, getting published, if that's what you would like, and with your paramedic training, if you decide to do it. Sal xx

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Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope

Feb. 13, 2018, 6:47 p.m.

Thank you so much.

Valerie

Feb. 13, 2018, 9:56 a.m.

One of the best blogs I have read on Moodscope.I can relate so much to "no longer a child without choices".I chose to be estranged from both my parents,and I have not regretted it.I could not stay silent when they chose to rewrite the past,and the ensuing screaming matches did neither them or myself any good.You have handled things very well.I admire you.Great writing,more please !

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Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope

Feb. 13, 2018, 6:47 p.m.

Thank you so much.

dancing hippo

Feb. 13, 2018, 10:52 a.m.

Bailey , you have touched a raw nerve somewhere so deep inside of me that lifetime of counselling never came even close to . What is amazing is that my childhood trauma that drove me all my life ( thank you for this insight ) seems insignificant now and still remains like a poisonous thorn deep deep hurting and driving my choices . Really powerful writing .

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Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope

Feb. 13, 2018, 6:47 p.m.

Thank you for sharing that. Blessings

Penny

Feb. 13, 2018, 3:08 p.m.

Dear Bailey, you are not alone... it’s bloomin difficult but try to chase the memories and pain away with positive and happy memories, good things that are in your life NOW. Like Valerie I also chose to extricate myself entirely from my parents, that was about six years ago. I was lucky as I had an excellent NHS councillor and a series of understanding Doctors. Do what’s best for you. You come first and know you are not alone, there are loads of us there that have had similar experiences and getting through the pain. We will one day hopefully be happier and more resilient.... Penny a Moodscope member

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Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope

Feb. 13, 2018, 6:47 p.m.

Thank you

Alisha

Feb. 13, 2018, 4:47 p.m.

Dear Bailey, I often wish I could go back to the child I was and give them a big hug but I can't. I have to confess to being one of the people who go around ( in private ) talking to myself, if someone or something has upset me! It makes me feel better. I think you could do whatever you set your mind too do. Your blog was an inspiration. I wish you well in what you decide to do but please write again for us! Sending you and anyone else who would like one, big Huggles x

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Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope

Feb. 13, 2018, 6:44 p.m.

Thank you so much.

Sally

Feb. 14, 2018, 8:30 a.m.

Alisha, I like that! I too would like to go back to the child I was and tell them it’ll be ok. And give them a big hug!

dancing hippo

Feb. 14, 2018, 1:22 p.m.

Alisha and Sally , it is possible . There is a special name for this type of therapy and it works . The name for it escapes my memory but it is not rebirthing maybe .. regression ? not sure. One needs an experienced practitioner for it .

Sally

Feb. 16, 2018, 7:46 a.m.

Thanks dancing hippo.

dancing hippo

Feb. 16, 2018, 5:31 p.m.

Dear Sally . You may find more on this website . This doctor is excellent . I heard a lecture by her and she is very knowledgable on the subject.

dancing hippo

Feb. 16, 2018, 5:31 p.m.

https://www.nikigratrix.com/healing-emotions-dealing-with-emotional-detox-reactions/

Ach UK

Feb. 13, 2018, 5:07 p.m.

Hi Bailey, Thank you for sharing your story. It is most inspiring. As Dancing Hippo observed, tho we can find an understanding of how some of our problems arose and go on and manage we never forget and often they leave a permanent legacy. :)) still they have made us the persons we are and sometimes I can rejoice in the actions of the person I have become. Hugs if you do them. XX Ach.

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Sally

Feb. 14, 2018, 8:28 a.m.

Bailey, thought I’d posted yesterday , but evidently not! Powerful blog, very interesting, poor you at the time! Your title resonates hugely with me, as I still struggle due to an abusive past, family-related. You write so well, lots to think about. Go well.

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