I’m my family’s Sheldon Cooper.


That’s what my husband said to me today. He called me the Sheldon Cooper of the Barrett world.

How on earth did you end up normal in a family full of bat-shit crazies?

My answer? Grace? Luck? The vagaries of fate?

I was born tough. Don’t know why, just was.

Karma, maybe.

It does happen. A really normal functional individual arises from a really abnormal dysfunctional family.

I remember sitting on my bed, tears streaming down my face– I was eight years old. I swore, on that hellacious day, that when I had children, and I knew I’d have children, I would never do to my children what was being done to me.

I have raised three normal, not perfect, but normal functional children. I decided way back when that the buck would stop with me. I would not pass on the dysfunction.

Do I love my parents despite everything? Yes.

Do we have a decent relationship these days? Yes. They’ve more or less turned their lives around via the intensive use of pharmaceuticals.

But here we go again. One of the hallmarks of mental illness? Denial that one is mentally ill and a refusal to seek help compounded by an inability on the part of my parents to set limits.

Well… My resolution for 2015? I don’t make resolutions, but damn, I’m making one:  I shall set limits. I will not allow this person to further disrupt my life and the lives of my immediate family.

Yeah. Grace. Karma.

Sometimes the gene pool eats you, sometimes you eat the gene pool.




15 thoughts on “I’m my family’s Sheldon Cooper.

  1. Tom Stronach

    Shit. Know what you mean and feel. The difference being I would never have forgiven my father had he still been alive and was glad to see the back of him when he died when I was about 12 and said then goodbye to bad rubbish. He was a complete arsehole.

    Chin up sweets stay strong. Here if you need me xxxx


    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Yes. We went through a tough time and I forgave them. We do get along very well now. But not everyone has insight. Fortunately I have one sister who got herself straight as well, so we can be strong together.
      Abuse is a real bitch, isn’t it.


  2. anny cook

    You can only control your own destiny. As much as the idiocy of others might grieve or anger you, you just have to deal with yourself. And move on. May you have many blessings in the new year!


  3. lulufille

    As a fellow Sheldon Cooper, I say – go us! For surviving a shitty upbringing and thriving. It’s great that you’re working to set limits. Setting appropriate boundaries has been a challenge for me, but the benefits are huge. Thanks for sharing.


  4. Ray Plasse

    Way to go Julia! I’m more of a Leonard personality wise. We had our(my childhood family)issues (mostly with Mom) and with the steely guidance of my wife my family(present) has turned out (fairly) normal. 🙂


    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Wives are great when it comes to steely guidance, aren’t they? Thanks, Ray. I think my kids are pretty normal. But then I did work my ass off when they were little. 😉


  5. Marylin Warner

    And sometimes you carry water kits and iodine tablets to purify the gene pool. (We saw a great movie I recommend, Julia: WILD with Reese Witherspoon. I loved the book, and she did an amazing job playing Cheryl Strayed.
    You’ve done the equivalent of hiking more than 1,000 miles, Julia, working through the past and centering on the present in order to welcome your own future.


    1. juliabarrett Post author

      I really want to see the movie, Marylin! I wasn’t thrilled with the book but bringing the book to life is intriguing. I suspect I’ll like the movie version much better.
      What is that saying? Life happens when we stop planning? Or looking? Or paying attention?


  6. Roberta

    I am still making up reading your posts on your new site. I just read this one.

    I know exactly what you are saying.

    This sentence really resonates because that is me too:

    “It does happen. A really normal functional individual arises from a really abnormal dysfunctional family.”

    Alcohol and by-polar or schizo not sure was my mother’s main name. Those terms were not used with regularity in the 50’s and 60’s. But I know dysfunctional cause I lived it.

    Liked by 1 person


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