Remembering

Recently a former classmate of mine posted our kindergarten class photo on facebook. The only photo’s I have of my childhood are a few that my Aunt sent me. Immediately upon seeing the kindergarten class photo I tried to identify each classmate. I remembered most of their names even though the photo was taken some 47 years ago. I starred at the small black and white photo of myself along side the other boys and girls. I remember kindergarten, and especially parent/teacher day. My elementary years were some of the worst. I was very chatty in school, for 10 years my mother would be told by the teacher that I talked too much and lacked the ability to focus. My mother was also told that I was too fidgety and did not absorb my lessons. The chewing of my finger nails would also be brought up. For years I chewed my nails right down to the cuticle until they bled. After I destroyed my nail bed, I would tear the skin away. 

I would walk home from school on report card day, carrying that dreaded report card that had to be signed. I would think of all kinds of ways to destroy it while walking as slow as I could to the front door of our house, where my mother would be waiting. I knew she would be sitting downstairs in the family room with a belt to beat any small bit of happiness right out of my soul.

I would think about running away even at the young age of 7 or 8, I knew what was coming because in the note section of the report card it would say I talked to much, and unable to concentrate. My mother now had a reason to beat me with that belt without having to invent a reason for the day.

Now as an adult, it’s pretty damn clear why I lacked the ability to absorb lessons, why I day dreamed during story time and couldn’t focus. I suffered from severe PTSD

Were teachers back in the 1960 – 1970 era oblivious and unable to recognize the signs of child abuse? All of the behavior I exhibited from kindergarten – my sophomore year screamed, SOMETHING IS WRONG!! Until my sophomore year not a single teacher, family member, family friend or member of the community questioned my behavior. My mother was a very sick woman and because of her obvious severe mental illness she is easier for me to forgive. I have a harder time forgiving the rest of the community.

Decades of therapy has not helped me overcome the sadness of my youth, the anger has diminished but the pain is deep. I have always wanted to see photographs from my school years, my mother destroyed all my class pictures. After seeing the class kindergarten photo a couple weeks ago on a friends facebook page, I’ve changed my mind. There are too many years of pain associated with pictures of my youth. The war is over, those empty hollow eyes of my youth are only a reminder of the brutal violence and years of torture. I guess I should be thankful my mother destroyed all the photo’s and yearbooks I once treasured, they would only serve now as a reminder of the horror I escaped.

Please pay close attention to children, you never know when there might be a child suffering abuse that needs your help.

 

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This entry was posted in abused by mother, Child Abuse, childhood friends, Domestic Violence, Family Secrets, identify problem children, PTSD and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Remembering

  1. Oh, you are breaking my heart. The world is a scary place for children, and always has been. I do my best for mine. And their friends.

  2. Sheil aSchlicht says:

    I so relate to some of your posts Becki, this especially ….. I remembering signing a report card with my 1st grade hand writing and turning it in to avoid being beat. I got in even more trouble. I also remember wondering why no one ever asked where all my bruises came from. Came out stronger on the other side. Hugs to you Becki

    • Sheila, as always I appreciate you following my blog and I am terribly sorry that you are able to relate to some of my posts. What was going on with teachers from our generation? Did they not recognize abuse, or just turn the other cheek? I thought about signing my own report card on many occasions, but my mom had that stupid calendar for school on our fridge. She looked forward to knocking the crap out of me, report card day was a day she was able to justify doing so. What is so messed up is one of my childhood friends mother was the school nurse. In fact she was the school nurse throughout my entire elementary years, and friends with my family. Today at a red light while I was driving to meet a client, I watched a mother grab a little girls face, no more than 3 or 4 years old, and lift her off of the ground screaming at the child. They went through the crosswalk and I pulled over beside them, I got out my car and gave that mom the 411 about her actions. I told the little girl that she needed to tell another adult what her mom just did. The mom stood there in shock , maybe by me calling her out she will think twice about her actions or seek help. I am always really shook up when I see abuse, which led to this post. We did come out stronger, and I can never turn my cheek and walk away from child abuse. Thanks for the hugs and I feel your compassion Sheila. XXOO, hope all is well in Portland !!

  3. I hate the past, no one ever forgives it, or forgets it, there is no “do over” and no time machine to take you back to talk some sense to your younger, lacked witted you!! – maybe some day!

    NIBSIH!

  4. It’s really strange that you mention kindergarden. My report cards would be a ditto. No one ever knew about the abuse. Abuse, sharing means more abuse. I have a few items in my locked box that I might not ever be able to deal with. I’ve forgiven both but someone who is abused never forgets. I still see a therapist and when I can talk we do. I’ve disassociated from the deepest pain. I know it and don’t choose to force myself to relive it. I think teacher’s today can see the signs but fear retaliation so keep quite. Child Abuse and how people respond or not hasn’t changed in my 50 years. I wish you well in the journey. Have a great day. 🙂

    • It’s so incredibly horrific we had to suffer abuse at an age when the entire world and possibilities were infinite. Instead of wondering how caterpillars became butterflies and all the wonders of the universe, we were wondering what time the abuse , negativity would start for the day. Millions of us suffering at the hands that were supposed to hold and love us. Work through the process slowly, there are several situations I am also unable to share on my blog or with anyone. I did share with my psychiatrist, but not in depth. The layers of pain have to be peeled off slowly. Take your time. I agree with you, educators are in fear. I wish you peace in your healing and recovery. Thanks so much for stopping by.
      Becki

      • Thank you. I’ve had a lot of years to process the past. I may never talk about my sexual abuse but it doesn’t cross my mind or hold me back. I’ve shared many things in the Blog, physical pain is much easier for me to talk about. There are many people with the same experiences at differ stages of recovery. They are great supporters.

  5. Joyce says:

    Becky: I wondered about this. I think of the women of our childhood church, even my own mother and wondered if they suspected or even had a clue. I wish I would have been smart enough to figure this out. Can’t believe I let your mother cut and highlight my hair in high school. Thinking of you kid and hoping some day we meet again. Have a great week.

    • Hi Joyce, Did you wonder when you saw the classroom picture posted or just in general in regards to teachers? I didn’t know Jan cut and highlighted your hair, was that after I moved to my Dads? The women in our church family probably did not want to get involved in other families business. I think that was a no-no back then. Thank you for caring and following my journey Joyce. I have seen your posts on fb and please know you are in my thoughts and prayers. XXOO

      • Joyce says:

        I am pretty sure you were around when I got it done. It was my senior year which would have been your sophomore. You graduated in 79 right? I was 77. And thank you for praying for me. I am looking for a job, so ask for prayers when interviewing! I love when people pray for me! Hope we get to connect in person some day.

      • Hi Joyce, I left February 6, 1977, I was probably already gone. Yes I will continue to pray for you. Ronnie and I have plans to visit Illinois, Ronnie’s family lives in Chicago. Probably next year since we just moved to Arizona a few months ago. Hopefully we can get together then, I would love to see you. Have a beautiful evening and wishing you all the best with the job search.
        Becki

  6. mandy says:

    “Were teachers back in the 1960 – 1970 era oblivious and unable to recognize the signs of child abuse?” I used to ask myself the same thing, Becki. I grew up in those days and cried every day at school, unable to play with other children, too afraid I would give away the secrets of my abuse. Last year a girl who I went to school with found my blog and was horrified at things she had no idea about me. She asked, “Didn’t our teachers at school know?” And I told her, “No, they wouldn’t have. I made sure of it.” But, things were different back then–or least everyone turned a blind eye…

    • Mandy, yes they turned a blind eye. I was afraid too, my mother was the ultimate fear factor, no one could conquer her, as far as I was concerned. I have now taken the power from her, she can no longer beat me or humiliate me. I made my blog public using my name/her name tagging her to take the control away. My phone number email is attached to my blog. I am done, I will never suffer her abuse or allow her control over my being. My friends have been horrified also and scared for me. I no longer care, I am 52 years old, she can’t hurt me. Bringing our stories to the light empowers others. Sending you peace love and light

      • mandy says:

        I just sent you a personal email, Becki. I am so moved by your courage. Thank you.

      • Mandy, headache is improving I will email you in the next couple days. I wish we would of been able to get together before I left Portland in March. Thank you for reaching out. We will get through this, strength in numbers.

  7. Cat says:

    Years ago most teachers probably would ‘turn the other cheek’ and even some neighbours too. Your experiences are similar to my own. Thanks for them

  8. Cat says:

    Sorry, I meant to say, ‘thanks for sharing those experiences, not “thanks for them”….um

  9. shaunynews says:

    Hey x
    I believe our past, be it good or bad makes us who we are today.
    If you truly are happy this moment and are in love with a great man…Then in a strange way everything that came before led you right to where you are now. Had the past not happened the way it did, we never know where we would be.
    You are a very strong willed woman. And this is why I love you call you and Ron friends..

    Keep missing you on Skype…
    Shaun x x

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