secondhand emotions

When I found out
What happened to my mother
I was In grade 4, and heard it from a classmate
Who overheard a conversation
He probably shouldn’t have.

When I found out
What happened to my mother
My world came to a halt,
It was the first time I saw
How well pain can hide.

When I found out
What happened to my mother
I feared my sexuality,
I feared what I could do to others,
I feared what others could do to me.

When I found out
What happened to my mother
It didn’t change my love for her,
But it changed my world;
It was first time I knew
How truly unfair
Life could be.

36 thoughts on “secondhand emotions

  1. I love you Chris! Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Bell network. From: Short Poems and Other NonsenseSent: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 9:49 AMTo: juliamcgeown@sympatico.caReply To: Short Poems and Other NonsenseSubject: [New post] second hand emotions

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    christophermcgeownwriting posted: “When I found out What happened to my mother I was In grade 4, and heard it from a classmate Who overheard a conversation He probably shouldn’t have.

    When I found out What happened to my mother My world came to a halt, It was the first time I saw How well”

    1. She was sexually abused as a child, so this is about me finding this out and trying to reconcile this with what was a pretty naive and sheltered worldview at the time! Of course though I asked her if I should post it before hand and she said she really liked it and that it was okay! It holds no power over her anymore and she is amazingly strong and caring and the best mom I could ask for.

      1. You are brave and strong and I think you got it from your mother. Your mother is an amazing woman. It needs a lot of courage to tell it like it really is and it helps other people who have been victimized. Julia is a perfect example of a braveheart. I am so proud to be connected with you both .

  2. Vicarious trauma is very real. I like your term “Second hand emotions” describes it better.
    You are the sort of son all mothers will love. Pain has to be shared. We can not protect kids from truths. I admire the strength of the poem for “empathy”.

  3. Brilliant work. I picked up “an idea” of what happened to your Mum (but I noticed the comments also) & for that, my sympathy to her. At least, to the “past her,” as you expressed how she’s moved beyond what was done to her. & my sympathy to “past you” as well.

  4. Thank you for sharing. Sometimes we don’t understand why bad things happen to good people. We would find the answer until that day, the day we face to face with Him. But by then, it won’t matter anymore. You said your mom is a strong woman. I hope she had dealt with it and came to accept that it was not her fault and that God loves her no matter what. I hope you are okay also. I don’t it seems easy to say than done. Since I’ve been through a lot, let me say, forgive is a better wait. You could let your heart feel the hurt, the pain, then also feel God’s love and somehow protection, and hopefully, gradually you realize that only forgive will set you free. What happen to the person who wronged your mother? “Vengeance is in me!” said God. I’ve seen it. So I don’t take it to my hand anymore, and let God take care of it. It took 12 years for me to see it. God is gracious, at least let me see it during my life time. Pray for you and your mom.

  5. Powerful words expressing powerful emotions. My children are learning a lot about me from my blog. But not everything. It’s wonderful and shows her strength that she was willing to let you refer to her past while focusing on your emotional reaction (I feel that I said that awkwardly but I hope you know what I mean). Beautiful.
    ps. You can tell you guys have an awesome relationship.

    1. Thank you, lol didn’t sound awkward at all–it was actually what I was a little worried about when I asked her if I could post it, but she is wonderful and I think it shows a perspective that you don’t always get! Hope you had a great weekend Barb and congrats again on being featured:D

      1. Thank you and I want to be your mom’s new best friend. But tell her don’t worry I live too far away and there are too many doorsteps in Canada for me to find hers. I think I have a great relationship with my son and I can tell you guys do as well.

      2. I think you two would definitely get along! She should be passing over your neck of the woods soon, she’s flying to Las Vegas for the week. I loved your entry today about your son, my desk was always super messy too–going to ask my mom if she ever noticed. Cleaning it was always fun like ‘oh I thought I lost that’ lol

      3. Mine is like that at work, too. And thank you for the compliment about today’s post. We are so much alike it’s crazy. So people that love us get double annoyed when we go on vacation without our luggage (I made that up; we aren’t that bad), forget what we were getting, lose everything. My husband will just say omg and walk out of the room. Tell your mom to have the pilot dip his wings over NY so I’ll know she says hi. <3

    1. thank you! It’s about my mom’s sexual abuse when she was very young, i remember when i found out in grade 4 I was told by my friend who overhead my mom talking with his mom, never forget the sinking feeling I had when I heard that.

      1. Oh I am so sorry you had to go through that… Rather, I am so sorry for the child who had to go through that…. I can only hope it wasn’t as difficult to recover as I imagine it must have been…

      2. thank you:) my mom is incredibly strong and has overcome so much, and it really made me view things through a woman’s eyes from an early age which has been a blessing, so many strong women in my life

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