Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lost Edens by Jamie Patterson

In Lost Edens , author Jamie Patterson struggles to save her marriage which may or may not be already over. Keeping her attempts a secret from her family, she attempts to mold herself into the wife her husband wants her to be.

And she really, really kept her attempts a secret from her family. Her story is familiar to so many others we read in fiction, watch on Lifetime movies, and hear other Moms talk about at playgrounds. It’s a timeless story told generation after generation. I know that in my family there are women who stayed in unhealthy marriages for a variety of reasons – culture, tradition, generation expectations, children, and financial. Probably in yours too. They become victims of so many things.

But each story has two sides. There is someone in the relationship doing the abuse. And one has to wonder how they got to that point. No one (in their right mind) raises their child to be the one giving the abuse in a relationship. In most cases, this person thinks its ok because they’ve been raised with this relationship modeled. Or because they have a mental illness of some kind that effects their ability to have positive and healthy relationships with significant others.

Traditionally, women are the victims and men the abusers. I don’t have a daughter. But that does not mean I’m off the hook on having certain conversations of what to look for and look out for in a relationship. I still have them with my son. But from a different perspective: as a male and as a person with a disability. My son is diagnosed with Aspergers, Anxiety, and ADHD. All which can lead to a social nightmare, from either end of a relationship. He’s at a higher risk for unhealthy relationships whether it be friends or significant others, and from both sides of a relationship. He’s doing very, very well right now.

But I can’t let my guard down. I never know when a bump in the road will happen, and his bumps can have really bumpy consequences. And more serious consequences the older he gets.

He’s in middle school and has FB and a cell phone. And yes, I do monitor these. He knows I do, but doesn’t see me doing so, so he has no idea how often. But if I see unhealthy conversations, or iffy conversations, we talk about it immediately. He is interested in girls. And I want him to have a healthy relationship with them. I want him to be able to read the nonverbal signals he gets. I want him to engage in a socially acceptable way.

In so many ways, this is a much more important curriculum for him than the core academics he learns in school. What do you do to facilitate healthy relationships that your children have?

As a member of From Left to Write book club, I received a copy of this book for review. You can read other members posts inspired by Lost Edens by Jamie Patterson on book club day,October 27 at **From Left to Write**

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