Interestingly I note that the sections of my life have song themes attached to them.  In Part One I embedded You Tube clips. In part two, I gave you the rhyme from a children’s story. This week as I continue Jane’s story: Learning truth, I give you an old Janis Ian song ‘At Seventeen’.

Janis sings the line ‘I learned the truth at seventeen’. For me, I learned a lot of truth at 17, but not all.

Some very significant truths were to be with held a few more years yet.

But at 17 I folded up emotionally, collapsed physically and suffered a full-blown episode of depression. Too much sorrow, too much illness, far to many years of too many secrets. Things kept from me yet sensed. My poetry became autobiographical. I slept during the day, I stopped speaking. I seriously withdrew from the world.

A few years earlier in yet another upward step we – that is my family and I – migrated to a larger country, a larger city and a larger life. This life produced more material possessions, grander homes, a yachting lifestyle and a fast growing chasm between what I had and what I wanted, indeed needed.

at 14, a rare photo, for many reasons.

By 15 I was on sleeping tablets and encouraged to develop ‘a thick skin’ about life. Yes, really!

I left school early – due to health issues – and began an endlessly repeated pattern of work and illness. I could only sustain a few months of employment when I would be ground to a halt by my continuing undiagnosed sickness. Chastised and teased about being weak pathetic and even lazy I would try again. Remember I mentioned negative patterns. It wasn’t good.

At 17 everything caught up. Janis Ian sings ‘It isn’t all it seems at seventeen’ And quite frankly it didn’t seem very much. At all.

Learning truth for me began as I tried to march to the beat of my own drum, to find my own direction.  I found the defeats of previous years had eroded my self-esteem and confidence so badly that I was in many ways handicapped. I don’t mean the old word for disabled, I mean handicapped, like a horse in a race. The weight in the saddle bags of my life was too much for me to carry. My attempts to make my own life were perceived as rebellion. And I suppose they were. However, in my brave attempts at freedom I took with me my damaged heart.


By the way Tammy, one of our Team writers is moving East. She needs a little help, as we all do from time to time.

Getting a fresh start 

©Jane:Editor A String of Pearls.  Thinking of you, ♥ As always ~ Jane

front page image source

Most of the lyrics do not fit me or my life. But the two key lines spoke to me, when I happened across this.