Tuesday, September 28, 2010

30 Days Of Brenda # 25 ("A First")

I wonder which "first" I should talk about here?

I know! The first time I realized that my family life was anything but "normal".

I had gone to a friend's home after school to play (1st grade, I believe).

 When I was there, it didn't go unnoticed by me that there home was clean, they were clean, their parents didn't swear and scream at their children and call them names, and there wasn't a hand raised to hit or punch when the girl I was playing with did something wrong. Her parents were very openly affectionate with their children, and also VERY nice to me. I didn't want to go home. This was utopia to me!

Then, it was back to reality when I had to go home...to the yelling, the hitting,the hair pulling, the name calling, the animal feces randomly dotting the rooms, and the "never really enough" food.

Ahhhhh, the memories.....and the saddest part about that memory is that I just KNOW that today, somewhere, SOME little girl or boy will also experience a brief respite like this before having to return to whatever hell awaits them at their home.  Sometimes, I used to wished (while growing up) that I had never realized exactly how "wrong" my childhood was--at least then, I wouldn't have always had my inner voice always crying "Why?Why is this happening?" . I think, also, that it was after this young realization that I became more ashamed, embarrassed, and afraid--because after seeing "the other side"... the side without pain and hunger, I had this bittersweet  yearning of "WANTING" to be on that side of the fence, but the punishing knowledge that I would never be "good" enough to be anywhere but on the hungry, painful, hellish side of the fence that I was on.

Of course, that was then. Now, as I reflect, I realize that BECAUSE I experienced that "first", I was implanted with the drive and desire to break the cycle I was born into. That drive has led me to make sure that my own children will not know pain at my hands, will NOT wonder if and when they will eat, and will NOT question whether they are "good enough" for anybody or any situation. Because I experienced that "first", (even though I didn't appreciate it at the time), I hide nothing about me "in shame". Because of that "first", I am more keenly aware that, as a survivor of abuse and neglect that went unchecked, I have a moral obligation to keep my ears, eyes, and mouth open in the event I encounter another unkempt, quiet, and unbathed child that is hesitant to go home.

Remember, apathy hurts....please don't think that it's "none of your business" --wouldn't you rather speak up and be wrong, than stay silent and, at the expense of another child, be right? I would ;).

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