Ponder this:

Monday, September 9, 2013

My inner child is weeping

My father had sent my sister and me away for the summer. My mother was in the hospital for the second or third time and (I was told, long after the event) Mrs. Furness, mother of one of my sister's friends, had started a murmuring that maybe something was going on with that man and those girls. To protect his good name, my father sent us to his brother's house. 
My cousin D was a year younger than I. Her father was a college dean. The house was big and white with many well-decorated, well-kept rooms. Everything was clean all the time, but I don't recall ever seeing anyone cleaning.
From time to time, the three of us girls would visit two kids who lived down the road . . . a sister and brother. I think the brother was younger than the sister, and possibly, younger than I. Nevertheless, he outranked me because he was on his home turf. I remember him as being volatile. One day, I think, we had a dust-up of the kind that kids have when they are all on the young side of twelve. Somebody said, "Let's pretend that..." and somebody disagreed with the vision . . . tempers rose and the group broke up into segments. 
On this day that I remember, I think my sister and D went to ride D's horse. I wasn't interested in horses, so I was walking back to D's house, feeling lonely for my own house, my own road, my own pets. From his yard, the little boy yelled to me: Why don't you go home! I hadn't known he was there, and if I had known, I wouldn't have expected him to holler at me. I was such a minor player in the group, having no standing as a real resident . . . I just went along with everything.

My heart broke. Not because it was he who'd said it, but because he asked out loud the question that rattled and rang in my head all day.
I wanted to go home, but there was no home to go to.
My mother wasn't there and my father didn't want me there.
The only place for me to be was right where I was: walking in the sun all alone on a road to a house where no one would know or worry if I was there or not.

I think it was one of the first moments in my life when I realized that there was no point in crying if no one would know, if no one would care to make it better.


Olga said...

Words can definitely wound the soul

the veg artist said...

I really do know how you feel,
I was orphaned in stages. It began at 5 then completed at 12. Grandmother, aunts, neightbours, cousins, older siblings - I went around them all.
I totally understand that there is no point in crying if no one will come and make it better. You go along with everything. If something goes wrong, well, you can't run home if you don't have someone to run to.
My husband thinks that I should be able to put my past behind me. He doesn't know how lucky he is that he has no experince of anything remotely similar.
As I said, I do understand, and I'm sorry that it happened and still happens to kids today.

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Oh, what a heartbreaking memory! I hope the comforts of your present life have helped to heal such hurt.

Linda Myers said...

Nowhere to go. I remember times in my own childhood when I wanted to leave home and go somewhere where people would care about me. But there was nowhere else to go.

Barb said...

This is so poignantly written, it brings tears to my eyes for the child within you. Our memories - whether they are absolute truth or not, shape us but don't break us. Perhaps you and I are proof of that.

Hildred said...

I spent summers away because of my mother's health too, and remember one incident when she was very ill, and I was sitting on the steps crying. An aunt chastised me for
shedding tears and I was heartbroken, when a hug would have meant so much. Do these disappointments make us stronger?

Joanne Noragon said...

So sad, so sad. I am looking at my eleven year old granddaughter, who imagines herself abandoned, wanting everything to be as it was. Nothing that "was" remains, but she is only eleven. That does not compute. I hope we are working through this. Your sad story has her name on it, too. Any many more, I know.

Carolynn Anctil said...

As painful as it is to go there, it's good to get it out. Somehow, the mere act of putting a voice to one's feelings lends validity to the hurt that's been buried and neglected for so long.

Big Squishy Hug,

Muffy's Marks said...

Sad story, thinking of the saying what doesn't kill you, will make you stronger. I'm sure you are a stronger adult, spending that horrible summer as a child. ((hugs)

Friko said...

JUne, a lonely child is a sad child. Children are cruel beasts really, unkind and thoughtless en masse, instantly recognising the vulnerable one.

I know this only too well.

My heart is sorry for the little girl you were and it is sorry for the little girl I was; how often did I trudge home alone because nobody wanted to play with the outsider. And home was a safe but cold place.

Saku said...

My heart aches for you in this memory. I don't think we ever truly lose those feelings. Those early times have a way of raising their head when we least expect it.

I hope you find peace in knowing this was a time you had no control over, but survived to become the woman you are today.

DJan said...

You told this story so well I felt like I was there with you, feeling the sting of loneliness, not belonging anywhere. And you have grown up to be a wonderful, caring person. I'm so glad to know you.

Pam said...

Oh dear, how terrible. So sorry.

And Veg Artist too.

The Cranky Crone, she lives alone! said...

June if I could time travel I would go to you on that road and rescue you, or at least give you a big hug and some company, I know how that feels, I still do struggle with abandonment issues, it's the wounds that are invisible that are the worst!
Anyway big hugs in real time (ish).

Hilary said...

What a heart wrenching memory. Children can be cruel. And we can be crueler still to ourselves. Hugs to you, June.

Cathy said...


I'm mopping up my blog.
I grow old and only visit two other blogs on a regular basis.

Having dipped in here . . . I see why you're in my blog roll . .

I need a drink. Bless us all . . bless the human heart that cries alone.

Terra said...

That was a heart breaking time, and you portrayed it very well. I hope you are having a joyful day today.