Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Spring Cleaning

I was up in the attic today and I found some old photo albums of the family, by the look of the photographs you would imagine that we were a perfect family. Click! and in one second a picture preserves the moment for all time. A friend one time looked at the pictures of us as children and said you were happy children! Children persevere , they are able to overcome many obstacles. Page after page of photographs reflecting and outer appearance of the societal norm. The days were woven with highs and lows and children eager to be children. These were the days we clung to, to make it through those we had little comprehension of.
The more I looked through the albums thee more distant I felt, as if the pictures contradicted the stories of abuse. Inside the book a view of little children well dressed, birthday cakes, picnics and what appeared to be parents in love. Rare as I remember were these occasions and yet they existed. A small glimpse of a dysfunction family on a functional day.
The eldest member of my siblings, was dealing with alcoholism, so drunk he had fallen down the steps and ended up paralyzed with a spinal injury, from the neck down he lay unable to move. He was assigned a psychiatrist in which they dug into this childhood. He told the stories of repeated attempted suicides , knifes under pillows, loaded guns going off in the night and horror stories that are so unimaginable. He talked with my eldest sister he said you have come and talk to them, they don’t believe me he said. They think I am making it all up. Soon he learned to do just that make up stories, he told them he was a pow in the Vietnam war and converted his fears and anger into that of war. The doctors easily excepted the stories of a soldier being tortured, and yet refused to believe the truth. How could this be doctors who were sent to help denying the facts over fiction.
I felt a sadness of the heart, as I thought of him lying there is body twisted and the once intelligent young man fighting for his life. Why is it we don’t want to believe the truth? Adults closing their eyes and allowing children to remain in abusive situations. My mother had Betty Davis eyes, you could read them and sense the day that await Skeletons in the closet, we were told everyone has them. But this was different, people knew it was in the papers. When my mother was hospitalized she has us convinced she was on sabbatical on leave from work. Numb I am as I try to brings those days to the forefront of my memory. I can’t really recall when it all ended when it all began. Pieces here and there occasionally surface, some not necessarily good or bad, but more like existence. I struggled in first grade, the private school said I was very smart and that I was incapable of doing the school work. I finished the year out there and then for second grade was placed in the public school system. Life must have been some what calm as I remember the teacher, no name just that she was pretty and nice. Of course we didn’t change classes in those days you had the same teacher all day long. She taught all the subjects. Nothing really stands out children in the class are a blur, but I remember getting a ribbon for being behaved.
I went up to the hospital auxiliary today, I look forward to talking with the volunteers. One woman her name is Katherine she must be close to 90 years old, “she said everyone has one good story in them. She said the difference in those who succeed in life is knowing when to move on. Letting go of heavy luggage. “As I write bits and pieces of my life, it is like blowing in the wind, each word written down, closes the chapter as I move through them. I don’t dwell but accept that it happened and pray that I never repeat the same mistakes as my parents. I laughed as I wrote that I don’t need to repeat theirs, there are plenty of our own mistakes to work through.
There is one illness above all that fosters many social problems and that is loneliness. it spreads like a wild fire and isolates large populations from one another. The world over we are just people, variances to undetermined degrees but yet people with the handful of emotions that makes us tick. I remember not knowing my place in the world not having enough time to find my place in the world. For my children I promised stability at any cost. Sometimes I felt it was a high price to pay but that I owed it to them when I brought them into this world.
The sooner people realize their own worth, the sooner they will find that we are all people with just a little bit different stories. We give actors, actresses, musicians , sports players ,etc way to much credit for they
are merely people whose talent is widely known, there are so many that have a talent and never get there day in the sun. I remember my daughter being afraid to ask questions of her teacher in school and I said never be afraid to ask questions, your teacher is on the peoples payroll, she works for us.

A new law will be passed in the state of Pennsylvania making those who negect to report highly suspected or known cases of child abuse to the authorities with fines or upto a year in prison.Watching and doing nothing is as guilty as the person who pulls the trigger.
Childhelp USA National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) TDD: 1-800-2-A-CHILD Childhelp USA is a non-profit agency which can provide reporting numbers, and has Hotline counselors who can provide referrals.

1 comment:

pat said...

That law needs to be passed in all states.Children need to be protected at all costs. I only hope that once reported, the courts follow through and provide those children with the protection they need. So many children fall through the cracks.