Saturday, December 08, 2007

In one small moment

The Moment she said the words.....memories flooded back to me. In one moment I was laughing and shampooing my clients color out of her hair. She was telling a funny story. She was reminiscing about her child's high-school days. He never woke for class, they would pour cold water on him. They would threaten him. A small moment later she mentioned they threatened him with the -Truant officer.- My heart stopped, I started shaking inside, the memory that had been tucked so far back from my heart and mind exploded. I don't know if she noticed how quiet I became, my laughter ceased. A sadness came over me over a memory of my childhood that sums up that childhood. That stabs me with pain. However, NOW that it has abruptly moved into my consciousness. Now that I have wept and agonized. I feel I CAN control the pain of this memory and all it brings with it. Maybe, By talking about it. Maybe, By writing it down. Definitely, By not being so embarrassed about a way of life that as a child I had No control of. In the third grade the 'truant officer' came to my home. To remove a frightened little girl who was hiding in her mothers closet and escort her back to elementary school. A little girl, who was solely responsible for getting herself up each morning. Getting herself fed, bathed and dressed. Walking herself the short walk to the bus stop and getting herself off to school on time. It is very understandable that playing hooky became her preference most days. I don't remember how many days of school I must have missed that particular year. Apparently, the school must have called my mom at work and she must have (I would assume) given permission for this 'official' kidnapping. My big sister was home that day too. At 14, she was a hooky champion as well. She pulled me out of that cluttered closet. She told me I HAD to go to school with this man. I was merely 8 yrs. old. I was hysterically crying. I was extremely terrified. I was, as I now am, shaking inside.
I remember sitting so silently in the front seat of his little red Volkswagen beetle. I remember going into my classroom and a few kids asking " Why would you come to school this late? It's almost time to go home."
In a quick moment I lied that I was sick in the morning but felt better now.
Today I assume a parent would be arrested for leaving a little child consistently unattended. Back in the '60's, no one seemed to notice or care. From Kindergarden on through..... I was given the momentous responsibility of....myself. alone.

I'm not sure if I will be able to hit the 'publish post' button tomorrow. Part of me feels, this may help the healing process, part of me feels devastated to disclose such an intimate glimpse into my past. I fear and resent pity. I fear being viewed as pathetic. I just need to rebound. I need to put the pain in perspective. I just need to mend.
writers island

22 comments:

spider said...

Oh Lucy,
My heart cries for the little girl deep within you. I'm so sorry. But know this: YOU ARE A TRIUMPH! You not only survived but you've done it with gusto and panache. You did not repeat, as so many do, what was done with you. You know how to love and to be loved. So do your children. The buck stops with your mother.

Gill said...

{{hugs}} Lucy. I am so glad you hit the post button.

Our backgrounds sound very similar. I often look back on my early childhood and wonder what the hell my mother was thinking.... I have no doubt that in this day and age there would have been huge repercussions, but as you say in the 60s and early 70s, no-one batted and eyelid.

I still have a huge knot of pain and anger over my mother's neglect somewhere deep inside of me, but I DO feel that living through my early childhood has made me a better mother myself and it has given me a certain sensitivity to the hurts of others. I think you have to have experienced some pain in your own life, in order to recognise it in the lives of others.

I'll bet you are a sensitive and caring mother and listener because of what you have been through.

Faith said...

That is so sad :o( No child should ever have to feel that way. I hope that talking about it does help.

xoxo
Faith:o)

daisies said...

hugs honey ... sending you a big warm loving hug! xox

~Michelle~ said...

You are such an amazing strong beautiful woman/mother/wife. I admire you!

deirdre said...

So much of what was considered normal, or even good, parenting in the 60's is now recognized as something else. I can well imagine how hard it was to write and post this. And I'm glad you did. There are things to be learned and healed by sharing this story.

The part that horrifies me is that a parent would allow a stranger to enter their home and remove a child. You must have been so terrified.

giggles said...

Oh dear Lucy the mother you are today must be horrified to look back at what little Lucy endured. I can only imagine the terror you felt being taken by a strange man. There wasn’t the compassion for children in the era that there is today! I am so glad you are able to share this incident and hear the affirmations that you were so sadly neglected. I think it’s brilliant that you were able to break the chain of dysfunction to be the mother you always wished to have. You are a true Hero to your children, your husband, and to those who know what an incredible mom you are! Think of the alternative my friend…in this world today, it could have been a disaster! Hugs and kisses for little Lucy who was intelligent enough to break the mold! Thank you for being brave enough to share this poignant post. You have nothing to be ashamed of; you rose far above how you were raised. That is to be highly commended…. Now go sit on your well deserved pedestal with Oprah!!!

paisley said...

what a harrowing experience for an eight year old!!! i have heard of the truant officer,, but never actually seen one... do they still have them?? i wonder... if so as you say,, i would believe it is the parents being carted off instead of the children,, and i guess i have to agree that that makes a little more sense....

Jane Poe (aka Deborah) said...

I'm glad you hit the "publish post" button and put this out there ... we cannot change what happened to us in the past, but we have control on how we give that voice right now. I hope this was healing for you.

It was unfair and wrong for you to be left alone to care for yourself ... and now you honour that little girl by telling her story.

xx, JP/deb

Rose Dewy Knickers said...

By publishing this, you have taken that moment and claimed it for your own. It's doesn't have to scare you anymore. I hope you feel and understand that no one blames a little girl for wanting to speak at long last.

Rose

xo

Mary Timme said...

I've been told I had a "very scary childhood," but you can work through it all. Forgiving is the first step to finding peace. Isn't that amazing, that we need to forgive what we had no control over. But, we do have to do it anyway, because in granting forgiveness we give back to the one who took with out consideration. You can do it.

tumblewords said...

Life is lived differently in each decade, it seems to me. What was acceptable in one, isn't in the next. When I think about life, it's a surprise to me that we get as far as we do...thanks for the post!

paris parfait said...

Lucy, I'm glad you've shared your remarkable story. You are a brave woman and a strong survivor. Telling your story may help someone else and perhaps, help you move on and work through the painful memories.

Tammy said...

(((LUCY))) I've really missed you girl! I'm glad you wrote this because now you can heal and love that little girl.

BIG FAT TAMMY HUG!

I'm baaack!

UL said...

Oh Lucy, hugs to you... I am so glad to see you decided to publish, that MEANs you are healing and I am glad...I think you are such a great person and your experience has made you wiser and a beautiful mom yourself, bet those boys of yours could swear by it...so chin up and smile..you should be proud of what you have made of yourself. xoxo

UL

Just Expressing Myself said...

You write bravely my dear bravely.
Thanks for coming to visit mine.

Jo said...

Lucy (big hugs). What a sad story, that must have been terribly traumatic and I cannot believe officers were allowed to go into homes and take children! Good on you for pressing publish!

Robin said...

Mere words can be such a powerful trigger...

What a traumatic, heartbreaking story, one that you should be very proud for being able to share. I hope that this sharing helps you to process it and move forward.

Just Jen said...

I would have been terrified! There is nothing pathetic about this at all!
The sad part about this is, it still happens today. That terrifying authority of dragging children out of their homes. Nobody asked you why you were playing hooky. At 8, there is no way you would have understood the full ramifications of missing. My heart goes out to you! Thanks for sharing such an intimate moment!
We do have a lot in common. In my case, I missed from 'sicknesses' all the time. I remember once my mother made me go and I was crying so hard that the other kids teased me at my swollen eyes. My 'sickness' was bullying. Reading things like this reminds me what a blessing it is to homeschool my boys. Thank you so much for sharing this!
you ever want to chat, than drop me line! I always enjoy your posts so much!

keith hillman said...

Lucy - that was such a brave thing to do. Doing is probably the best thing you've ever done.

Lucy said...

I just have to give a big Thank-You to my wonderful cyber friends. This was so difficult to post, but your compassion and loving words brought tears to my eyes and comfort to my heart.
writing this wasn't healing enough, but Your wishes, views and words were. thanks so much. xo

Kimberley (Red Moon) said...

Lucy - I am just getting around to getting caught up with the cyber world.

You are not pathetic! You are beautiful, open hearted, brave, smart, . . ,. thank you for sharing this part of your life. I also grew up in a crazy household. You are healing. Much love to you and a big hug.