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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:10 pm 
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The reality is that as children we were given incredibly adult roles of taking care of ourselves and protecting our parents and the national church by not being needy or asking for care or protection for ourselves. So in childhood we were asked to assume adult roles.

But the juxtaposition is that it seems to many of us in adulthood that we will forever be seen as kids by the missionary community and by many of our own parents. The inference is of course that kids have no real value. The NTM Executive Board and individual missionaries and parents have referred to us as kids since starting this blog. As adults in our 30s and 40s, many of us parents ourselves, how do you feel about that?

I've been having this conversation with quite a few MKs and thought I'd bring it to this forum to hear your thoughts. Any ideas on this?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 4:33 am 
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Kari I think that some of us don't ever want to grow up. I realized this when my oldest son was 23 yr old and I was wondering what I was going to do when I grew up. Those who have been abused have emotions locked in the time of the abuse and never seem to "grow up". One MK met an abuser who was old and walking with a cane. She asked him "Are you still afraid of me?" The grown man replied "Yes" as a though he was six again. I think very often we are treated that way because we feel we are still a very vulnerable child. When we recognize this we can began to think through our responses and act as adults we will be respected. This does not excuse mission boards from the error of treating its MKs as children who have to be controlled.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:13 pm 
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This question was asked awhile ago, but I'll comment anyway. Kari, I don't know how old you are but it appears that you are young. If you are in your 20's you are the same age as my kids. Yes, my 'kids'. My husband and I were discussing what to call them now that they are adults. Progeny? Offspring? Certainly not children. We've stuck with 'kids.'

I laughed at myself the other day when I realized that I had referred to someone that I had talked with as a "girl" and she is 50.

I, as you may guess, am older, but still consider myself an Missionary Kid. You've probably heard the term TCK. There is ATCK (Adult Third Culture Kid) that makes the distinction.

Also, as sharyhauber says, you can get stuck in the age of the abuse. I think 'being' that age is normal. I don't know if you have to "heal" to grow up in that area, or what "healing" means in that case. Even then I don't think you are that age in all areas of your life and even when dealing with 'it' you aren't wholly that age.

Another thing I've noticed as I've grown older is how strange it is to be my age. I don't feel like this age! As I talk with my high school friends on facebook I still think of us as highschoolers. Yet most of us are older than our parents were when we were IN high school! I thought that by this age I would be long ago 'all grown up.' Hmm..., I have the sneaking suspicion that 'all grown up' never happens.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:17 pm 
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Hi there. I'm actually not that young.

The point I was trying to throw out there for discussion is that as MKs we were given the role of the adult. We were to shelter our parents from knowing anything bad about our school experiences. In my adult years in meeting with other MKs I see them still taking care of their parents. I see MKs protecting their parents, though perhaps they have never really felt protected by them. And I see MKs sheltering their parents from knowing the reality of how they are doing.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 10:21 am 
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Yes Kari we were taught to protect our parents from any problems that we might have, or our negative feelings that we don't know how to do other wise. The down side is that my daughter had to often tell me that what I shared with her was none of her business. She was correct it should have gone to a parent that I am still looking for. My parents are (my Dad has passed away) wonderful parents and showed us much love. The situation of my sons divorces allowed me to open up much more to my parents, but not all the way when it comes to me and my problems. This is the curse of sending children away at age 6 and the right bond never develops with the parent and child.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:50 pm 
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sharyhauber - is sharing with your kids what is none of their business part of the fall-out from not having our own childhood protected? I had not thought of this before. It makes sense though.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:55 pm 
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The point I was trying to throw out there for discussion is that as MKs we were given the role of the adult. We were to shelter our parents from knowing anything bad about our school experiences. In my adult years in meeting with other MKs I see them still taking care of their parents. I see MKs protecting their parents, though perhaps they have never really felt protected by them. And I see MKs sheltering their parents from knowing the reality of how they are doing.

I see your point. Being made to feel responsible to care for your parents when you are still the child is its own form of child abuse.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:04 pm 
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Even now I often feel guilty for making my mom depressed when she thinks about this stuff. As if I am responsible. NOT. But old patterns are so hard to break. True?


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2010 9:07 am 
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kari wrote:
The reality is that as children we were given incredibly adult roles of taking care of ourselves and protecting our parents and the national church by not being needy or asking for care or protection for ourselves. So in childhood we were asked to assume adult roles.

But the juxtaposition is that it seems to many of us in adulthood that we will forever be seen as kids by the missionary community and by many of our own parents. The inference is of course that kids have no real value. The NTM Executive Board and individual missionaries and parents have referred to us as kids since starting this blog. As adults in our 30s and 40s, many of us parents ourselves, how do you feel about that?

I've been having this conversation with quite a few MKs and thought I'd bring it to this forum to hear your thoughts. Any ideas on this?


Hi Kari, I know what you mean. As kids, we were expected to be 'missionaries' and now as adults, we're 'just' MK's. MKs so far have been part the cost not counted. It was a high price to pay, and the Mission didn't have to pay it.


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