Hillbilly Elegy - JD Vance

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Scarecrow
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Joined: Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:52 pm

Hillbilly Elegy - JD Vance

Post by Scarecrow » Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:36 am

Hello - It's been a long time since I've been on the forum. The last months have been difficult and I need to ramp up the healing work again, so hopefully I'll be able to become active and hopefully welcomed.

I wanted to throw in a good - if not unconventional - word in for JD Vance's book "Hillbilly Elegy." I was in tears within the first page and a half. There were so many similarities between his childhood and my own (except I lost my great grandmother at an early age to illness, so I did not have that safety net/love and support as he had with his own grandmother). There was a period in the book that I started to feel disconnected from his story as it wasn't similar to my own experience, but it does circle back around in the end. I burst into sobbing tears tonight when, in the last chapter of the book I read the line "[we] don't loose contact with our parents because we don't care; we do it so we can survive."

I grew up in (location removed); my father's family was from (location removed) and my mother's was from (location removed). I relate more to my father's side. While there were problems on that side of the family, most of the more profound and life-changing abuse I survived came from my mother's side of the family.

From the book I also learned about recent studies on "adverse childhood experiences" or ACE - there's a quiz you can take online that tells you where you land. Not sure if that's something everyone should do. My score was frighteningly high. The data correlations they draw connect ACE scores to issues faced later in adult life. Most of the highest levels of dysfunction start at a score of 4 ACEs - my score was 8 ACEs. yeesh. There's also brief discussion about how 'adverse childhood experiences' permanently holds your 'fight or flight' throttle open and the physiological damage it does to your body.

I recommend it to anyone really - but there's an odd validation if you grew up with a "hillbilly" family of Scotch-Irish decent like I did. It's interesting, too, when he describes having a support system, what exactly 'social equity' is and why it's beneficial, how one struggles with being an 'outsider' and so on...

so...maybe check it out. If you've read it yourself, I'd love to hear what you thought about it.
Last edited by Jonesy on Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Changed MT to NT and removed potentially identifying information

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