- Paperback: 156 pages
- Publisher: Plain View Press (1 Oct. 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1891386492
- ISBN-13: 978-1891386497
- Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 0.8 x 23.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,672,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Sitting Swing Paperback – 1 Oct 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
A little girl petrified that God would punish her for not sticking to his ten rules, learning from her parents that when he was angry he could create plagues or even kill people. A little girl who sat and watched as her parents themselves went against these rules, confused and fearful. A little girl who was being abused by her cousins and was led to believe that this was her own doing and nothing else. A little girl who had no need for education as she WOULD live locally and WOULD be a farmers wife.
Then she met her saviour in friend Margie, who made her feel valued and a real person. She began to open up and challenge her mother but she was going against her perfect girl mother and when she tried to run away it was the final straw and brought out a violent side of her mother that she would never forget. In time she escapes by getting a job away from their small hamlet, but doe she really escape?
Left with a lifetime of mental as well as physical abuse, Irene follows her friends hype and enrols into the Avalon Center for a 28 day course on overcoming addictions.Read more ›
The Sitting Swing looks at one woman's life as she seeks to escape these bonds and deal with her pain. This story follows the author as she is checked into an addiction treatment center for a 28 day period. In this account, she openly admits that she couldn't see her addiction. At one point, she states, "I felt sorry for them, but was grateful not to be among their ranks." Moreover, the author shares her initial plan of providing a good show, shedding a few tears, and then continuing her life as normal.
I enjoyed this book for two main reasons. I respected the author's openness and willingness to share her entire story, not just the parts of her experience that might make her look healthy and put together. I believe this aspect of the book will help many people realize that they are not alone in their pain, confusion, and stubbornness.
The second aspect of the book that I really liked was that the book did not really focus on the particulars of the author's addiction. Instead, the story looked at addiction as an underlying behavior that manifests as habitual patterns. One of the characters in this book even notes that we all create unhealthy patterns that we habitually follow believing that we can hide from our pain but that the only true way to release this pain is to feel it.
Nadine Laman, Social Worker & author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This is a memoir which begins at the end, in a recovery center, where Irene Watson has gone to "understand". What, she's not quite sure. After all, she's a highly successful dynamo, with all the accoutrements of the child of immigrants dreams: career, home, family, friends.
Born into a tight-knit, Ukrainian-speaking Northern Canadian community & a family beaten down by guilt, shame & grief over the death of their first born son, Irene's world was smothered by old world immigrant culture & by her mother who kept her close to home, segregated from the new culture, & the target of aggression by male cousins, & scornful townspeople.
THE SITTING SWING is a lively & frank record of one person's adventure into the realm of self-discovery, memories, responsibility for one's own life & the art of taking it back. Taking it back from forgotten childhood events & lessons that unconsciously drive us into deadends, into rages, into obsessions with control, into immoderate use of drugs & drink -- anything to soothe those dreadful pangs of helplessness, insatiability & a boring, troubled & empty future.
While in dire need of a copy editor, THE SITTING SWING is a must read for anyone struggling with bad memories & a hopeless present.
Although this is a memoir, The Sitting Swing reads like quality fiction. I was immediately immersed in Irene's story of her childhood, and her fine story-telling ability and description allowed me to enter with relative ease the alien world of a childhood in a 2-room house in Canada.
Born of immigrant parents, an emotionally unavailable father and an oppressive mother, Irene had none of the advantages most children her age as she entered school and began her journey to adulthood, including the facility of language. She felt like a victim, and she was; and even though she rebelled to some extent, she mostly suppressed her feelings until she had no idea who she was. I think many of us have done that to some degree.
The Sitting Swing tells of Irene's discovery of that missing person, and it tells it with candor and sensitivity. I could relate on every level to her voyage of self-discovery. It was a two-box-of-Kleenex read, but it ends with a message of hope that will stay with the reader long after the book's pages have yellowed with age. I can only hope Irene will turn at least some of her energies to fiction, because what stories she can tell!
Bravo, Irene! You gave us a beautiful book.
The Sitting Swing is an encouraging and inspiring story of one person's experiences of growing up that rings true for most of us who have had similar, if not the same kind of story to tell of the kind of childhood abuse that programmed us to think that we are victims who are powerless and helpless to do anything about our external circumstances.
Being raised by a controlling mother and an absent father, whether it be emotionally absent or physically absent is more common than not. Few of us have been raised or treated like the children we grew up with on television's "Father Knows Best," or the "Donna Reed Show." The difference between Irene and us, however, is that she had the courage to share her reality with the world in this inspiring story, and did it in such a balanced way that both our emotional and intellectual minds can easily relate and comprehend to the kind of damage that can be done to us while growing up.
What I loved the most about The Sitting Swing was that Irene Watson teaches us how we all can take power over our programmed feelings of helplessness, and with love and understanding we too can come to terms with ourselves and go on to lead happy and healthy lives.
If you love a love a good ending, you will love this book!
Judy Azar LeBlanc
Award Winning Author
Many Faces to Many Places
Things My Father Never Taught Me
A job acquired before she graduated from high school gave her an escape route. By 20, she married, trading her mother's management of her life for that of a loving husband.
It was not until she spent a month at "Avalon" that she confronted the demons that kept her in an unhappy state of mind. This book describes her treatment experience in excruciating detail, including the final collapse of her defense mechanisms and the embrace of love as the center of her life.
I recommend this book for anyone interested in improving her/his life journey. Irene Watson identifies the kinds of behaviors and personality characteristics that typically need to be examined in any human growth experience. It's a great read and carries the potential to be very helpful for anyone who wants to live a happier life.
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