Sitting Swing: Finding Wisdom to Know the Difference

Sitting Swing: Finding Wisdom to Know the Difference

4.6 18
by Irene Watson

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Irene Watson's pretentious life could go no further until she faced her past. Her moving and inspiring memoir begins at the end, in a recovery center, where she has gone to understand a childhood fraught with abuse, guilt, and uncertainty.

Two distinct parts of the book look at abusive child rearing and the process of recovery years later. This story shows


Irene Watson's pretentious life could go no further until she faced her past. Her moving and inspiring memoir begins at the end, in a recovery center, where she has gone to understand a childhood fraught with abuse, guilt, and uncertainty.

Two distinct parts of the book look at abusive child rearing and the process of recovery years later. This story shows change, growth, and forgiveness are possible.
It gives hope and freedom to those accepting the past and re-writing life scripts that have been passed down for generations. It's never too late to change your life, never too late to heal.

Praise for The Sitting Swing

"Watson's memoir recounts her fearful, highly sheltered years as she uncovers the childhood wounds leading to her personality crisis. This is an earnest memoir, well structured." -PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

"The Sitting Swing is the poignant story of the author's successful journey to transcend the patterns sculpted by her parents and childhood experiences.

"As a teacher of transformational principles for self-discovery and the treatment of addictions, reading The Sitting Swing inspired me to a richer new voice,
infusing my lectures with a deeper level of meaning. Irene's personal story of transformation will add to the experience, strength, and hope we share with our clients and to anyone who is on a path of personal transformation. "

Author info at

Book #6 in the Spiritual Dimensions Series from Loving Healing Press

Editorial Reviews

Rebecca Brown
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.

"The Sitting Swing" is a must read for anyone struggling with bad memories and a hopeless present.
Jill Mayfield
"The Sitting Swing" is an insightful story. Ms. Watson lets you look inside her mind as she faces her childhood demons and adult struggles. With an honest voice she goes through the healing process and shows us all that it is never too late to change and never too late to heal. A well-written book that will appeal to just about anyone.
Robin Marvel
"The Sitting Swing" is an amazing story that I fell deeply in love with, reading the entire book in one day!! Watson presents the obstacles throughout her journey in a way that is relatable to all. The Sitting Swing inspires, motivates and creates determination towards self love,rising above the victim roles so many take on never to move forward into their full potential.
RebeccasReads - Rebecca Brown
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.

"The Sitting Swing" is a must read for anyone struggling with bad memories and a hopeless present.
Mayfield - Jill Mayfield
"The Sitting Swing" is an insightful story. Ms. Watson lets you look inside her mind as she faces her childhood demons and adult struggles. With an honest voice she goes through the healing process and shows us all that it is never too late to change and never too late to heal. A well-written book that will appeal to just about anyone.
Marvel - Robin Marvel
"The Sitting Swing" is an amazing story that I fell deeply in love with, reading the entire book in one day!! Watson presents the obstacles throughout her journey in a way that is relatable to all. The Sitting Swing inspires, motivates and creates determination towards self love,rising above the victim roles so many take on never to move forward into their full potential.

Product Details

Loving Healing Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.52(d)

Meet the Author

Author of "The Sitting Swing: Finding Wisdom to Know the Difference" and editor of "The Story That Must be Told", Irene Watson is the Managing editor of Reader Views (www.readerviews com) and Reader Views Kids ( She is a host on “Inside Scoop Live” ( and AuthorsAccess (
Learn more Irene and her work at

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Sitting Swing: Finding Wisdom to Know the Difference 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
JodeeK More than 1 year ago
The Sitting Swing is no longer motionless With good intentions, Irene Watson, a certified therapist enters the world of Avalon, a recovery and treatment center with the desire to help her clients build skills and grow into healthier and more stable lives. And maybe, just maybe she can take this time to do some reflective thinking about her marriage—should she stay committed or should she start a new life? Her book opens in a childhood controlled by a mother who fears for her safety. Irene was born after the death of an older brother and her parents desire to keep her protected is stifling. As expected when independence comes she begins her life out of the area. She marries, settles down and develops a competent practice to help others struggling with the challenges of life. Always seeking advancement for herself and her clients, she is introduced to the wonders of Avalon by friends, clients and an odd duck named, Jean. Curious, she signs up for a 28-day stay hoping to learn something. And that is the beginning of a tumble down, fall out, you got to be kidding beginning of, “What did these people see in this? How can this help me or anyone else?” Irene is armed with education, life wisdom and a secure profession. And even it her marriage might be on the rocks, she has high self-esteem and capabilities to survive disaster. She is a self-made, compassionate woman. Stripped of her basic self, she is annihilated to begin searching for a deeper sense of life, love and personhood. And soul bared she finds a gift of rebirth she never expected. Watson takes each reader on a journey into our inner being and like Dr. Mate Gabor author of In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction (2009) she exposes hidden additions. And by lighting the darkness she offers healing.
beckvalleybooks More than 1 year ago
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.
scarletRP More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite true to life story book. It's about Irene Watson's roller coaster life where she manage to handle her life ups and down. I certainly admire her for keeping her strength from battling her dark past and offer forgiveness. Honestly, I can see myself to her, we both experienced abuse in our life but in different ways. There's a similarity when it comes to dealing with people we trust most, yet they are the one who badly mistreated us. I wish someday I can write a book like this and share the whole world my roller coaster life.
Chelleinmo65584 More than 1 year ago
We are introduced to Irene Watson as she's voluntarily checking herself into the Avalon recovery center. Irene, of course, isn't a true addict like some of the other people checking into Avalon. Rather, her circle of friends have spent their 28 days in Avalon and raved about how much it helped them. Wanting to fit in with her friends constant "Avalon" talk, Irene has decided to half-heartily face her "addictions." So begins Irene's journey of insight in The Sitting Swing: Finding Wisdom to Know the Difference. As she works through her "addictions", she faces the after-math of her childhood. Irene's mother was wracked with guilt over the death of her son, Alexander, who died two short months into his life. Alexander wasn't a healthy baby and Irene's mom believed she was at fault for having been only seventeen when he was born. The impact of young Alexander's death, four years before her own birth, set the course for Irene's childhood. Irene endures abuse from her mother, cousins, and school mates during her childhood. Her father, while in the home, allows her mother to be the parent who raises Irene as she sees fits. As Irene starts to become older, she begins to openly question her mom's authority. Irene's attempts to find her voice against her mother brings on the physical abuse. Irene recalls the first time her mother unleashes her anger, fury and fear at Irene's attempt to run away: "She was screaming as I'd never heard her scream before. I was screaming as I'd never heard myself scream before. And the beating went on and on until I could no longer stand and she could no longer hold me up." Through her childhood and abuse, Irene adapts her personality to fit what she believes the actions of others are telling her about herself. She has a difficult time standing up for herself, finding her own voice to shout out who she really is behind the damaged little girl, and has a hard time trusting women long enough to build friendships. Irene doesn't share her story in a victim mentality or in a manner of preaching as "holier than thou." Instead, she balances the voice and memories of a child along with the voice and insight of an adult who started the process of healing. There aren't fantastic bells and whistles to pull you in and try to convince you of magical things to come your way. She remains real, truthful, and fair as she recalls her childhood. If you're facing the challenge of rewriting your life script, I recommend reading Irene's book. You will be able to relate to the emotional aspects of her experiences and gain some wonderful insight. Irene has also included a study guide to help with your script as well as some suggested reading and resources.
CJField More than 1 year ago
Anyone who has ever struggled with who they are, who they want to be and what's occurred in their past needs to read this book. As the author shares her own journey, it's impossible to NOT relate her experiences to your own. In opening up and sharing her struggles and what she's learned from them, she enables her readers to do the same. This book is easy to relate to and wonderfully written. It has been a long time since I've learned this much, about myself, from a book!
Tjbugnet More than 1 year ago
Not many of us can honestly say that we didn't have issues with our parents. I have several suitcases of baggage from my own childhood and upbringing. However, there is always a big difference between being brought up with love and respect while being strict or stern and being brought up callously and forwarding on the parents' fears and ignorances. Reading Irene Watson's memoir The Sitting Swing was difficult for me at times. This story walks us through Irene's upbringing set in Northern Alberta, Canada with two Russian immigrant parents fairly new to a Canadian lifestyle. With Irene being born after her brother's tragic death early in infancy, Irene's mother becomes hypervigilant and controlling. Irene's childhood soon becomes something of a tragedy between her mother's constant disapproval and mental, emotional, and physical abuse. In Irene's world she can always feel the overwhelming presence of her first-born sibling through the abuses she suffers at the hands of her mother. Irene's father would make sure to almost always be working. He was much happier working than being at home dealing with his wife and daughter and any of their issues. This memoir takes us through Irene's troubling childhood and painful experiences and also through the adult recovery phase. I found this book to be very revealing for me. In reading Irene's childhood experiences and abusive upbringing I could see that I still have a long way to go in my own recovery. I'm so glad to have been able to read The Sitting Swing because I now realize I have much to do in order to let go of the trangressions against me growing up. Ms. Watson's writing takes us on a painful journey through her personal transformation from a background of abuse through to a life of forgiveness and self-awareness. From deep scars and wounds can come transcendence and clarity. Irene Watson has done a marvelous job in writing this memorable book. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who, like myself, has life experiences that have left them scarred and seeking change. The Sitting Swing will change your view on parenting and the process of recovering from parental transgressions.
Prosperitygal More than 1 year ago
Growing up with fears, resentments and frustrations is more a common place than we would like to admit in out lives and our worlds. Finding a story that allows you to connect with that journey, opening your own doors of forgiveness can be a tricky feat. A feat that Irene helps illuminate in The Sitting Swing through sharing in a time sequenced story line, giving you the ability to absorb the message, lesson and explore how it relates for your own journey to recovery. The Sitting Swing helps you to be able to pull back the layers of pain and find that forgiveness cushions as the salve from the friction of our life’s lessons, gives us the opportunity to rewrite our stories and heal in spite of our original limiting beliefs of these experiences. If you want to make sense of what oftentimes appears set in stone, situations like birth order and who receives love or discipline in the family, you will enjoy how Irene shows you another path to peace and acceptance. This book not only delivers you the story and the experience, it also shows you how to use this book as a study guide for yourself or a healing group.
Taralovesbooks More than 1 year ago
When I fist saw mention of this book, what drew me to it was that I myself was a child of abuse and know firsthand the lasting effects this can have on one's life. Plus I learned that while she doesn't live here now, Irene Watson is originally from Alberta, Canada in a small community. Living in Canada myself, I thought this was pretty neat. Irene's book tells her stories from her childhood in a matter of fact way with real life advice and examples of strength on overcoming one's past to make the most of your future. I love how she was not overly negative in the book, she simply told how things happened and how they shaped her as a person. The major event in this book that resonated with me was the mental image created of The books name, The Sitting Swing. At one point Irene describes how she was allowed to play outside on the swing her dad had hung in view of the window so her mom could watch her. Her mom's words "Careful now. Don't swing too high," struck a chord as you picture a child sitting on a swing with a rosebush planted directly behind it. The placement of the swing was not intentional for torture, it was done more so her mother could keep a close eye on her. This theme overshadows the story in the book and is a masterful metaphor for so many elements in Irene's story. The words "Don't swing too high" were always in the back of my mind as I read through this book and imagined the dynamic between mother and child. Imaginee a child growing up in a small town, overshadowed by her brother's death living with an overprotective mother and distant father. This book starts off with Irene entering a treatment Centre (Avalon), for which she is not sure at first why she is there. Through some interesting adventures, Irene takes you on a journey of self discovery that results in her learning about herself and why she has struggled throughout her life, marriage and continues to do so. While recounting stories from her childhood Irene gives a touching account of how everything from her parents culture, upbringing, and challenges they faced formed her into the person she became and sent her on a certain path. Irene goes on to offer her readers faith in being able to re-write your path through her experiences at Avalon.
MrsKandCaptainJ More than 1 year ago
This may very well be the best memoir I've read to date. Irene Watson's story begins to unfold as she tells her dark and sometimes uncomfortable recollection of her homelife. There were so many points that hit home for me in this book that I'm just not sure where to start. I suppose I'll start with the one that was truest for me- "There's not a person in this world who can keep his own, personal ambitions and still give his will over to God. Not one person. If God has ambitions for you, that's fine. But let them be God's ambitions." The Sitting Swing tells the powerful story of a child turned adult who endured a rough upbringing. Her early influences in life shaped her into a person she didn't seem to want to be, one that landed her in a somewhat controlling marriage. As a child, Irene grew up in a small town, the second (but only surviving) child to her parents. Her mother kept a close, judgemental eye on her from the very beginning which began to seep into everything Irene knew and understood about life. The book discusses her difficult childhood, going into details of the abuse she suffered and the guilt she carried with her over the years. Then, Irene seeks treatment and the books takes a different path. The reader is put into the shoes of an older Irene who is dealing with the process of therapy and hoping for a way out of the crisis her life has become. The best aspect of the book is the emphasis of something that I've studied most of my adult life- the ability to change despite poor circumstance, age, or adversity.
Shibuya More than 1 year ago
I meant to post this almost a week ago, but it took me longer to get the holidays sorted out than I thought it would – you can thank my mother and her ever-looming presence for that, as well as my disorganized life which is getting in the way more than I can stand at this point. At the moment I’m in the midst of re-reading chapter twelve of The Sitting Swing, a fantastic biopic novel by Irene Watson. She talks in the book about her childhood, a very sheltered and even scary time that eventually led to severe problems later in life that landed her on a journey of, what I think can be called, rehabilitation. I was really drawn to the concept of this novel, having been a child of abuse myself I understand how it can lead to a mess of personality and psychological problems later in life. I wasn’t in the same boat – cut her 5 miles to school in half and place me in Utah and it becomes obvious that my problems were different. My parents weren’t over protective, I wasn’t sheltered – they were hands-on abusive with my stepfather being so violent that he’d happily turn an oak dresser over on a child because they had a messy room, a room which they then had to clean or they weren’t fed ( no bathroom, no water and no sounds of any kind) until it was done. The author writes at length about everyday worries and the urge for freedom from an oppressive and sheltering family. Stories about feuds with her mother over friends, school and everything in between and her relationship with religion. Irene recounts the urge to flee, the hanging on for dear life of a single friend (Margie) and the undeserved vilification of that friend, the put downs and beatings. I over identify with so much of it. Of course, unlike Irene’s mother my stepfather wasn’t worried about whether my sister Laota and I were being poisoned against my parents by a friend, they were far more obsessed with whether or not we’d tell the police what was happening. As crazy as it sounds, we were always too afraid to. Looking back on it, now, I wish we had. I didn’t understand at the time that it couldn’t get worse by involving child welfare. In The Sitting Swing, Irene also talks about her inspiring road to recovery and the somewhat normal life and easier relationships that people like us strive for. Throughout the story you come to empathize with Irene. It’s so well and simply written, the story is so easy to immerse yourself in. Her story is very inspiring, I hope you check it out – I can’t recommend this book enough!
Amy-CountingMyKisses More than 1 year ago
Irene Watson's memoir The Sitting Swing: Finding Wisdom to Know the Difference is a heart-wrenching novel about digging into your past to make the most of your future. Irene's story begins at Avalon Center, a rehabilitation facility in Quebec. Her reasons for being there are vague: she doesn't have an addiction, but wants to be able to speak the Avalon language with many friends who have spent time at the center. Irene plans to use the 28 days as a personal retreat, reflecting on her life and making a difference on her own. For me, the most interesting part of the book-- although the most heartbreaking to read-- was when Irene recounted her childhood. The only daughter of an overprotective mother and largely standoff-ish father, Irene's childhood consisted of a very small world. She grew up in Alberta, Canada, suffering from emotional and physical abuse from both family and acquaintances. There were times when this book was difficult to read-- my heart actually hurt for Irene and the pain & misunderstanding she endured as a child. It also opened my eyes a little bit to the effects of a mother who won't let her child out of her sight. Granted, my children are small and still need to be in my sight for the time being, but it still gave me pause to read that section of the book. Without giving away the ending, I will say that Irene's time at Avalon ended up being productive and ultimately, very rewarding. She was able to reconcile with her past in order to make clear decisions about her future-- something which we all, I'm sure, could learn from. I really liked the book and I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys memoirs and stories of redemption.
JustUsGirls More than 1 year ago
I have a great respect for the faith and belief systems of others. I also have a great respect for those so willing to layout their life story and aspire to reach for their life¿s ambitions. That is essentially what this story is about. Personally, I wasn¿t inspired so much by the story or the miracle of Avalon. While I can appreciate the soul put into writing this book, I can¿t in good conscious, say that I was inspired. ~Bobbi~ Just Us Girls
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
hockeygal4ever More than 1 year ago
The Sitting Swing's cover leads one to believe in the freedom of the swing, the feeling of light hearted flight & carefree sunny days. Those are my first thoughts as I look at the cover, but as I slowly delve into the meat and potatoes of the book itself I realize that a swing can portray so much more to someone else. This is her story. This is her way to relinquish the heavy burdens put upon her from childhood and she does a wonderful job of bringing life back into the idea of swinging freely to her readers. As you begin the journey with her you move from the absolute depths of a childhood prison to the breaking out moment of Irene Watson's life at Avalon. The book begins with a brief encounter with a place called Avalon. While some may know of the place, I feel safe to guess that the average person is clueless what this place is or anything about; self included. Avalon is a "recovery" place, not meant just for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts but for truly anyone in the world, as we all face addictions of some type. The book takes a break from the 28 days at Avalon to delve into the childhood of the author and never before in my life have I read anything that will so quickly make you take a step back and wonder how anyone could raise a child like this and feel it's "normal", yet the more you read and ache with this child the more you realize that the parents truly think what they are doing is "best" for the child. It's an amazing story of how a mother literally captured the childhood of her daughter and never let her grow. To be honest I was at a loss for words for the review because the only thing I could keep saying after reading the book was "wow". I literally had to take a day to let it all sink in and think about it, in order to figure out how to accurately give this book justice with my words because only one word is truly applicable and that word is "wow". This is a book that would serve well for so many reasons. It's obviously a book that would serve a purpose to anyone in the psychology industry or to anyone who has dealt with any type of addiction or abuse in their life in any way, shape or form. But above the obvious surface of psychological purpose, this book honestly brings one to a point of stepping back and asking a lot of questions about life itself. You start to realize, as it's pointed out at Avalon, that everyone has an addiction; the only difference is that not everyone is addicted to drugs or alcohol, there is so much more in this world that can truly hinder your ability to live life to the fullest and simply accept the things that hold you down. I won't explain the idea of the "the sitting swing" itself but suffice it to say that when you think of a child and a swing you will never look at it the same way again. Swings are meant to breathe life and happiness into a simple, innocent child and not to hold that child prisoner. Irene Watson has brought an amazing story and an amazing recovery to her readers. It's a must read for anyone human because we all need to learn how to never be captured on our own sitting swing in life. Five star material and honestly a book that I'd recommend to anyone and everyone. This one will stay in my permanent library for sure!
YvonnePerry More than 1 year ago
Were you raised by overprotective parents? Is there someone in your life who tries to manipulate you by not allowing you to be who you are and find your own path in life? It's amazing how much influence our parents and other people have over our lives even after we are adults. Breaking that bond can be painful, but very liberating. As a recovering codependent and former therapist, Irene Watson knows this quite well. She's authored this book to share her life story and help others find their path to healing. Codependency teaches a person that they have no rights or decision making power. Many times the person ends up being mistreated by others because they won't or can't take up for themselves for fear of getting in trouble. We all struggle for freedom from time to time whether it is in a situation, a relationship, or internally disentangling from a limited, fear-based belief. How do we learn to speak up for ourselves without exploding when we can take it no longer? How can we set boundaries without hurting someone's feelings or should we love ourselves enough not to care what others think? Where is the balance? If you are in a situation where your emotional life is being snuffed out, The Sitting Swing will help you begin your path to healing and being the person you truly want to be!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Childhood trauma. Honesty about one¿s personal faults. A dramatic recovery program. These elements all add up to make Irene Watson¿s ¿The Sitting Swing: Finding the Wisdom to Know the Difference¿ an eventful, meaningful, and poignant tale of one woman¿s struggle to overcome her repressive family background, the anger that arises from her treatment in childhood, and her own deepest inner faults, so she can become whole, successful, positive, and ultimately a resource of help to others. The story begins when the author, Irene Watson, attends Avalon, a recovery center. As a practicing therapist, Irene goes to Avalon to learn more about addictions and codependency. She wants to help her clients, but she has no idea how the experience will help her personally. When she arrives at the center, she soon realizes she will be spied upon by cameras, the counselors are aggressive and in her face, and she has issues she did not want to admit before. This unexpected situation causes her to question why she has come at all. The narrative then flashes back to Irene¿s memories of her childhood to explain what ultimately brought her to Avalon. Irene begins telling her story by detailing her family background. Her parents and grandparents were Ukrainian immigrants to early nineteenth century Canada. Their culture and language make Irene isolated when she begins to attend an English speaking school. She tries to melt into the crowd by befriending the other children, but her family continually stands in her way when she tries to have a ¿normal¿ childhood. Irene¿s biggest struggle is with her over-protective and irrational mother. Irene¿s brother, Alexander, died before she was born. The loss of this child and her mother¿s sense of guilt over his death cause Irene to live a protected life. The memoir¿s title refers to the swing Irene could barely move because of the rose bushes surrounding it. This forced confinement is a metaphor for her life with a mother who denies her playing with other children or even allowing her to be herself. As Irene reaches her teenage years, the narrative becomes quite frightening since the very real possibility exists that Irene could have become a juvenile delinquent, and some of the angry actions she contemplates taking toward the narrow-minded people of her town could have had irrecoverable consequences. Fortunately, Irene had one friend, Margie, to confide in and who helps her see the irrationality of some of her proposed actions. I found this section painfully honest because it suggests how badly children need attention and role models and the consequences to a society that mistreats its children. Eventually, Irene finds the strength to stand up to her mother when she falls in love and gets married. However, even when she has moved out of her parents¿ house, the trauma of her childhood continues to haunt her. Irene¿s experiences at the Avalon Center are told with equal frankness. She finds herself forced to confront her deepest shortcomings, realize she must forgive her mother, and take responsibility for herself, rather than blaming her past. She also finds the courage to make changes to her marriage. The final chapter of the book is not a warm and fuzzy conclusion but rather a very honest and realistic summary of how she has grown from the frightened and repressed little girl she was into a mature woman. ¿The Sitting Swing¿ is an inspiring story. Readers will empathize with Irene, and they will be motivated to begin their own spiritual journeys of recovery. While the path is not easy, Irene is proof that serenity is achievable. More than anything, readers will be impressed with Irene Watson¿s honest voice and her straightforward colloquial writing style that makes us realize we are a lot like her, and consequently, if she could recover from her past, then anything is
Guest More than 1 year ago
Paperback: 248 pages Publisher: Loving Healing Press 'July 16, 2008' Language: English ISBN-10: 1932690670 ISBN-13: 978-1932690675 Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.6 inches Book Synopsis: Irene Watson's pretentious life could go no further until she faced her past. Her moving and inspiring memoir begins at the end, in a recovery center, whe she has gone to understand a childhood fraught with abuse, guilt, and uncertainty. Two distinct parts of the book look at abusive child rearing and the process of recovery years later. This story shows change, growth, and forgiveness are possible. It gives hope and freedom to those accepting the past and re-writing life scripts that have been passed down for generations. It's never too late to change your life, never too late to heal. This book was truly an eye opener. Upon hearing of Irene's upbringing, I got tears in my eyes. My mother is not a whole lot older than Irene, and yet she had clothing bought for her and plumbing and electricity her entire life! She was the oldest of 6 children, but never felt neglected 'maybe the first born syndrome was in play...even then'. My heart broke for young Irene, constantly living in the shadow of a brother she never knew, and was never spoken of. She could do nothing right, yet had no freedom as both of her parents were afraid of what might happen to their daughter. Their fear may have led to their inability to show her the love she so desparately craved, and led to her seeking to find any way out of a miserable exsistence. This books starts out with Irene enrolling in Avalon, a treatment facility recommended by her friends. She is leary from the very beginning as she looks up at the corner of the room and sees a video camera. There is no way she is going to consent to being videotaped, who do these people think they are? After dealing with Gilles for the first two weeks, she is ready to throw in the towel. She is not sure she believes anything that he is 'preaching', it is the same old, same old and he is harsh and demeaning in his delivery. After the first two weeks his wife Liliane takes over the sessions and it is a different world. Gone is the harsh and demeaning lessons, and the love and support that Irene felt so lacking in the beginning of her stay comes shining through...that is until she has to do a scripted session about a conversation she envisions with her husband. Liliane has words with Irene, words that shock Irene but in the end lead her to the breakthrough she needed all along. There were so many parts of this book that I could relate to. I have some people in my family that struggle with alcohol, and it is heartbreaking to watch. It also is the reason that I don't drink, something that Irene and I share. Don't get me wrong, I will have an occasional glass of wine, but do not enjoy being around people that have had too much to drink. I also can relate to the overprotective aspect of mothering...but I am the culprit. I don't seclude my daughters, but I do have a daughter with heart defects and there isn't a day that passes that I don't try to protect her just a little bit more than you might a 'regular' child. I think the part that I could relate to the most was the Needs section from her stay at Avalon. After reading that I knew that this was my type of woman - it was exactly the way I thought of things. This was an excellent book, and one I would recommend highly. Great job Irene, and I look forward to more from you in the future! About the author: Irene Watson holds a Masters Degree in Psychology, with honors, from Regis University in Denver, CO. Her life has taken her on many paths, with breakthrough results and exemplar growth, to find her authentic and true self. She lives with her husband in Austin, Texas.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow! Irene Watson you must have been living in my house! A truly tremendous memoir of being raised by immigrant parents in an era where the ¿eye¿ gave you the discipline rules. Irene takes us through her life from childhood to adulthood being raised by the ¿old rules.¿ In a life that didn¿t include saying ¿I love you¿ or hugs, kisses and resulted in a woman who was ruled by taking care of others. I the reader lived the same life being brought up by a mother from England- my mom, as Irene¿s didn¿t have to say a word- she showed it through body language. We were to be perfect- dad was the breadwinner and didn¿t participate in parenting. Irene¿s thoughts about how she would always show she was perfect led with much disappointment by her critical parents. Struggling for their lifestyle- moving around and never being able to develop those social skills- oh- what a life we led. As an adult, Irene struggled with who she was and whom she was going to rescue. Co-dependency in all of us. We always strive to save others before ourselves. She finally went to a treatment center, which most of us in the helping field attended. They built you up and tore you down. I had vivid memories of my own time in treatment as a developing counselor when I read this account. You think you are helping and then you ended up questioning your own existence. Unlike Irene I wasn¿t married at the time, but I have questioned my marriage as she did- how much can we do? As a psychologist and college professor this is a book I have recommended to all for their library- we think we are infallible but we all have hidden ghosts- even as therapists. Irene you could be my sister- you have truly given me the ability to see how my childhood not only directed my profession- but also made me really look at who I am. I have read, cried, vowed to change and feel completely at peace after reading this. You are my angel.