Broken or Choice? Adults “Can” Choose… I Do.

Authors considering attachment in non-western ...

Authors considering attachment in non-western cultures have noted the connection of attachment theory with Western family and child care patterns characteristic of Bowlby's time. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So you come from a broken family that endured some hardships. You grow up and learn how not to dance in the way of the herd. But you want to still love them and be loved by them. Why? Because they are the only herd you have for family.

You can change your friends but you cannot change your family.

So, when you have grown past all the brokenness and want healthy interaction from the rest of the herd, prepare yourself for a shock. You will be outcast, tossed to the wolves. Because you spoke out.

You spoke out of turn.

You spoke out of time.

You spoke out of health.

You spoke out of healing.

You spoke out.

And they are not there yet. They will not engage in the health you wish to live and walk, the love you want to share and care, because they cannot. They are incapable.  Incapable does not mean they are helpless victims either. They are incapable of making healthy choices. Instead, they will make another unhealthy, uninformed choice and deem you/your family wrong for it all.

Happen that some people could just say “I love you” once in a while and that might be enough. But when they are all busy honeying up each other and constantly leaving you out of the loop as if you don’t exist, eventually you don’t.

Because you don’t want meagre crumbs. You want them to be as “on the table” as you are about the past and stop choosing the “paint it pretty” mode of denial or blame. “Pretending” something did not happen is a surefire way to ensure that it keeps arising again and again and again in some form or other, in some pattern or other played out with others you may not even be related to.  I wore enough blame for 10 armies and I shall never wear it again.

At age 9, I took a licken’ as it was called, a bad one for a missing brother who was a tot. My older sister told  me she felt so sorry for me, my legs were raw and it wasn’t even my fault, I was only 9 and he didn’t go missing on me, he went missing on Mom but Mom was just so pissed off she wouldn’t stop beating me.

Camping trips were ruined by big fights between our parents. They both took judo so that didn’t help. Once when we were given a deer roast (which I would never normally eat, couldn’t bear the thought of it) but hunger changes you, our parents got in a fight and Mom threw the roaster and all at Dad’s head. I had been trying to calm the four little ones who were crying and upset as always when our parents fought.

Don’t worry, I’d say, they’ll stop and they’ll go out after that. They usually did. But that day I was doubly panicked. The dog was going for the roast and we were all so hungry, I dove out in the middle of their fight and got the roast before the dog did, put it back in the roaster and took it in the room where we waited until our parents were exhausted, went quiet and went out. Then I made dinner for all five of us. I was 12.

At thirteen I was beaten with a broom because my father left for my stepmother. Other adults knew long before I accidentally found out when I went to the mainland to spend the weekend with my father who worked there and came home on weekends. But it was me who was blamed, even slapped once at age 17 when visiting, still, for something I had no control over and did not do. Mom said if I’d have told her sooner, she could’ve stopped it. But she couldn’t stop it anymore than she could stop the woman dad had before we drove from Ontario all the way to BC just to get rid of her.

The brokenness didn’t start happening just because we moved to the West Coast. That didn’t help, of course, but I also remember fights and blood galore from the Townline, even Pickering before that and then Blackstock either in the house or on the driveway. Going to school with friends who lived in quiet, stable homes I longed to live in and sleepovers were so exciting because not only was everything clean, quiet and safe from strange drunks pawing you from your parents parties but there was food and we were encouraged to have fun, be kids and actually play without worry of making too much noise, mess or being an inconvenience to anyone.

After grade five, we left Blackstock and in grade six we were living in a one bedroom duplex on Celina Street with the five of us kids sharing a bed, being pissed on nightly by those who weren’t yet potty trained.  After that we lived on High Street in Whitby. What a high street it was.

Drug addicts, drunks and cockroaches as big as grasshoppers scurrying along the dark, dank halls with us to our two bedroom apartment with two windows. I remember being there with the four “little ones” and nothing to feed them. I went downstairs to Bo or upstairs to Georgina’s mom to ask for food.  If they had it, they gave it. Once, some drunks forgot a bucket of KFC on the hood of their car and we kids saw it and stole it. I used to get mad at my parents and yell at them. “Why did you even have us?” “How come you have money to go to the bar and we don’t have any food?” I was 11 then.

Once when Dad was choking me on the floor on High Street, Granny, his mom, jumped on his back and beat him about the head with a wet dishcloth. I tried to kill myself after that. I was still 11. It didn’t work. I was sick for two days, everything was fuzzy and then I got some new boots and a coat to wear to school. They tried but my parents really had no clue. Of course, I liked the coat and boots but it didn’t fix the problems I was coping with at all.

I was just starting grade 7 in Ontario when we moved to BC. Two years later, I tried to kill myself again. I was thirteen by then. I just could never see a way out. If this was life, I didn’t want it.

Now I see a way out. Writing it out, writing it away, getting all of it out of me once and for all so that I can never be lassoed back into the corral of dysfunctional relationships.

A way out.

A way.


Hello, book, I think it’s time to start writing you again… I was writing my mother’s life before she even fell ill in 2009, she kept asking, when are you gon’ta git that book done. We lost her in 2010. I had only 15 pages and every time I tried to write, I cried my guts out and simply couldn’t carry on.

Now, Mom. Now.

Now, I think I’m gon’ta git it done.

Blame is a way of staying a victim or keeping others victim. In choice lies freedom. I choose to walk freely, write freely, talk freely.

Much love everyone, life may be unfair but we don’t have to be.

Just Janice JAM(c)2April2012

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46 thoughts on “Broken or Choice? Adults “Can” Choose… I Do.

  1. Oh Janice … BRAVO!!!!!!!

    I absolute love this line: “Blame is a way of staying a victim or keeping others victim. In choice lies freedom. I choose to walk freely, write freely, talk freely.”

    You are the CRAZY CHICK OF THE WEEK. Yes I’m starting it today. Tweeting this now.


  3. Very nice post. Family can screw you up and screw you over. Sometimes I may write a post specifically on my family but they are so Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, I’m not sure it would make sense. Plus, no one really saw the “other” side which is common in dysfunctional families. I too am writing a book, off and on, maybe I’ll go back on again. :)

    • Yes that is common that many don’t see or some don’t want to. That’s the nature of the whole dancing around the big blue elephant in the living room, secrets, secrets, secrets. So glad you are getting back into writing your book! :) Thank you for the visit and you compliments :)

  4. –Janice,
    this honest, raw, amazing piece of writing blew my freaking socks off.

    It is powerful & potent.

    It is real.

    Your best work, Janice. Yes. Your VERY best work.

    Thank you for sharing this most bitter, heartbreaking part of your childhood.

    You are incredible.
    You are a survivor.

    Love. xxxx

    • Holy. I’m pretty darn close to tears here, Kimmy, feeling so humble and grateful for your words. Thank you so much for visiting and for sharing your thoughts. It’s crazy, I didn’t do a draft or edit or anything, it just blew out of me. Maybe that’s how I need to write from now on. Let it fly. Thank you for your generous comments and compliments. It was the childhood that led me to accept the abusive marriage/relationships. Would not have happened otherwise because I would have known better. Now I do. Thank you for having my back on my journey, love you, girl xo

    • And I thank you as I did Yotaki and send much love back to you (though mine is more of a paper lunch bag type of carrier, lol, no bike anymore, gave it away) Thanks, Marie, see your pages soon :)

      • Something is happening to me. I used to write privately more often but since starting this blog just over a year ago, I am writing more freely than ever before in my life. The fear of what others think is gone. I have finally realized, through personal growth and learning, that I have absolutely no control over what others assume, think or choose to believe of me or of what I write. Nor do I care to. My choice is simply to be me. The best me I can be. And writing is me, always has been, always will be. I live for little else. That and love.

    • Now THAT is the damn truth and nothing but the whole damn truth. The ones who actually work on it when it’s all so broken and fragmented get to know the true meaning of love. Thanks for swinging by, soul sister xo

  5. So many references that I could relate to in this story, Aurora.
    You wrote this so well. I was mesmerized and could not stop
    reading. I know what you mean about writing a memoir. It can get to be overwhelming when you have to look back and revisit moments that were very painful. But, I think your book would be outstanding. I hope you do get to finish it. I’ll be first on the list to receive my signed copy.
    Namaste ….

  6. This is premium, Janice. Turn off your inner editor and just let the words and emotions pour forth. It is a powerful voice is what it is. As you do, the pages will fill and multiply.

    I am so very glad you did not succeed at 11 and 13. You are a gem.

  7. Yay Aurora. Getting it all out is so healing for you. My family was bad, but not as violent as yours but I understand the pain.

    I am so glad that you did not go through with your suicides. The world would have been deprived of a beautiful woman with a beautiful, sweet soul.

    Thank you for sharing.

    • Thanks so much for your comments. I’m really doing well now that I have the healthy supports all in place and learning and growing exponentially in terms of relationships and what constitutes rudeness, unfairness or unkindness that we simply do not have to tolerate from anyone. It’s amazing what you will tolerate in the name of love only to find that it was actually in the name of losing yourself to the point that others go right along helping you, deeming you of no value whatsoever. Then, when you pipe up and say, wait, I have needs and nobody is listening, they deem you hysterical. Why? Because they can and have and will because they are not healthy. Walking in health only. Sharing is part of that walk, cleansing, purging, not being afraid to share. The funny thing is, I wasn’t even planning to do much of this on here, only in my book but I have been prompted by unhealthy/rude/unkind family members whose cliques are making this not just possible but even easier than I thought because I was nervous about sharing my past so openly. No more fear. Health only. I didn’t do all this work all these years for nothing and I’m glad to share if it helps even one person realize that you can get past it. ALL OF IT. It does not have to define you forever in abusive relationships with partners and/or others ever again.

      • You are right. Learning self-love is step one. Then you get to the point where relative or not, you deserve better and will not settle for less.

        Keep on working on that book. Even if you don’t ever publish, it will be healing.

      • Thanks kindly for the voice of encouragement. I don’t think I could stop if I wanted to. You are right, it will be healing. It is book number five but I never tried having the first four published… yet… :)

      • Getting it out is the main thing. Sharing aloud is also healing for some who feel we walk alone until another voice shouts out our tune. The courage to write, as Ralph Keyes so aptly named his book. The courage to accept reality. Lovingly.

    • I love both of my parents and always will. Always have. No matter what. When we know better, we do better. People do the best they know how. At least, that is what I believe. Resentment is like self-hatred that keeps you up at night, harming your psyche or yourself… a horrible waste of time and energy. Loving people anyway is the brightest path. I think we can all love people past their flaws as I do and hope others do me and mine :)

  8. Wow. That is really powerful. I am so happy you’ve come to recognize that life does not have to be like that. Where you come from does not dictate where you are going, and you don’t have to define yourself in terms of your past. You deserve to be happy. Never let anyone tell you different.

  9. Pingback: Stuck in the Middle « Honestgoodadvice's Blog

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