The Lonely Gerontologist

Kelly Yokum's Adventures in Gerontology

Age, Identity, and the Broken Vase

with 2 comments

So, it’s late, I’m tired…but, I had to share, and of course comment. My friend Liss, Executve Director of Take Root, an organization created by and for survivors of parental abduction (http://takeroot.org/) posted to her blog today and I really connected and wanted to make a point about why what  happened to me (and has to many others)  36 years ago is still so relevant today. Identity. Liss really hit on someting important in her blog post. Who are we? How does our identity form? and what happens when that process is ruptured? When our self, who we are or who think we are, is dislocated? And, for me as a gerontologist, I wonder what does it all mean for our future selves?

From a life course perspective the abduction experience and the related dislocation of self and identity rupture are extremely intriguing. Planting my feet firmly on the ground for any period of time is extermely difficult for me. Part of who I am is rooted in that early experience of my dislocation of self, that identity rupture that occured and never came fully back together. Like a broken vase, glued back together, but never again that perfect fit, never again able to find that smooth edge where there used to be one full piece of glass. There is instead, a rough edge, a damaged edge, a side that can be hidden but, no matter which way you turn it, no matter how beautiful the flowers that fill it,  it’s still there. That’s my point. And, what it means for our future selves remains to be seen.

http://blog.takeroot.org/?p=135

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Written by The Lonely Gerontologist

April 10, 2013 at 3:07 am

2 Responses

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  1. […] One final point of observation about the concept of Identity Rupture is that it has been central to Take Root’s ongoing internal discussions about the definition of abduction itself. Abduction seems, on the surface, like a simple term we all understand in the same way. Yet like an onion, the moment you remove the skin, multiple layers emerge…but that’s a subject for another post. For now I will leave you with this exquisite observation from Take Root founding member Kelly Yokum. She wrote in her blog, The Lonely Gerontologist: […]

    • I agree with the description of “multiple layers of an onion” emerging. I am 47 years old now. I was abducted by my mother at 3 1/2 years old. I never figured out what happened, until I found my deceased father’s families and articles written on my dad searching for us before he died, and a letter my step-father (part of the abuse) kept in storage for me for over 20 years. My name was changed from Michelle Lynn to Shelley Ann.

      I made a bold step to go back to where I was raised as a teenager and see some of my old friends…. It was the time for it for me.. They had such kind word, which helped me to see that I wasn’t the “bad kid” I thought I was. But now after a surgery gone wrong, and I am in constant severe pain, I find myself struggling with my identity on a whole other lever… another layer.

      Michelle Lynn Britney

      September 18, 2013 at 7:37 pm


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