A beautiful heartfelt book describing a little girls life as she grows up under the dominance of a mother who lived in a bubble of how her life and that of her perfect daughters life would be. Starting from fear of loosing her child, her mother protected Irene to the highest degree, constantly being with her, implanting her thoughts and beliefs and even speaking for her, making her believe that she was not to speak her mind at all. Irene was left to feel worthless and that people were not interested in her input in life at all.
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. Extremely skeptical and believing it all to be a waste of time, she carries on believing at least it would help her when working with her therapy clients, hearing that addiction is only a symptom of the real underlying pain. Until one day close to the end of the course she finally gets it, a light bulb moment which positively changed Irene's life forever.
Although covering sad points in Irene's life I found myself fascinated reading about her day to day family life and the area around them. The author has written with a truly open and honest hand, even with a little humor at times. Very easy to read, you can feel the desperate emotion and pain felt at the time by the author and you may also find some possible answers to life's problems yourself.
I must admit when reading I love books with short chapters, the only problem with The Sitting Swing was that I kept saying to myself just one more, then another and another, it was very hard to actually put the book down. An inspiring memoir that will empower you to look within yourself with understanding and spirituality. Extremely recommended reading.