Like most things in life, this heading is misleading…
I don’t have much recollection of this part of my journey but the blank spots came straight from many horses mouth. And I don’t know how easy it will be for me to bring this story to life, not because I will struggle with words but because it’s damn near the hardest. I try to detach and look from outside in to capture this part with little feelings but my heart flutters thinking of the magnitude this story had on my life.
“You are forbidden to bring that child in here, her mother said. Another illegitimate child, eighteen months after the first? Take it away as here is no place for it” She did the next best thing, taking it to the father’s sixty year old mother, who has survived two world wars and had her fair share of hardships in life.
Abandoned at two months old, scarcely dressed and struggling to breath, my life in the ghettos started..
Knobby knees, round red cheeks, a plat either side of my head tied with two massive ribbons bigger than the plats I sat legs swinging in the pews, blissfully unaware of who I am. I only have eyes for her. She’s so soft, I don’t believe I’ve felt anything so comforting ever again in my life. I play with her beautiful hands, and kiss her on her full mouth ” I love you mommy”. “And I love you too, sssh now and be quite”
I realized I am alone again, without her, my rock, my comfort, my protector. I’m starting to hyperventilate because I know what’s about to happen next, I am going to be punished for something, but not sure what. I never understood why she hated me so much. I couldn’t have done something so bad in the short time I’ve been on the earth? She tells me how ugly I am and reminds me that he is not my father…my blood is not the same as his. And all that I’ve done is trying to mess up her life. Why,why, why..she asked while filling the bath to the brim with ice cold water..I stand whimpering in the corner, waiting on my faith..I don’t know what it will be but I know she’s going to punish me for who I am..But who am I?
I struggle to breath, and before I could get enough air in my already struggling lungs, I get plunged to the bottom, pulled up again, pushed down again, sputtering water, lungs burning, silent tears running down my face…what did I do?? I lived? I existed, I was born..and was it for this?.. “You don’t say a word” and I never did…shaking my head furiously, hoping that she spent her anger..until the next time.
Who is this man? , a stranger in my house, patting my head, smiling, handing me sweets but as quickly as it happened it was gone..She couldn’t see that ever, and I realized that after a while. I see his nervousness when she’s around, he doesn’t even look my way. I wanted that smile again, the mirrored image of my granny’s. Who is this man?
I have done something terribly wrong to my stepmother for her to hate me this much.
( it’s the present time and I can’t sleep…I puff up the pillows..maybe I can get in a paragraph or two..)
She reminds me of Goldilocks…she had gold spun hair, fair complexion, a full mouth and apart from the scar running from just above her eye to just below her cheekbone, I think she was the prettiest girl I’ve ever seen. This part of my history is not her fault, she was a child herself seeking to belong. Many years later I realized that we share the same father, of course I was the ugly duckling and she was the beautiful Swan. And she shared the same hatred and resentment towards me as my stepmother, at the time I had no idea why, and neither did she..
We were both used as puppets and were strung along when and where needed.
I am the center character in the Fairytale we got to know and love as kids.., Cinderella. But I just wanted to be loved and liked and this was the quest I seek until I reached my forties. By now I don’t want to belong, I do belong. I’ve built my own cocoon of love and stability. I dictate who I want in my life..but the story continues long before I find the peace and contentment I now have.
I have so many invisible scars inflicted by the past that I sometimes don’t believe I’ve ever outlived them, or ever will.
Then there are the visible scars..the mark around my neck of being hung with a scarf, a cigarette burn in the face, I can’t stand my hair being touched as it was pulled and jerked every time I would walk pass them, all because I’ve existed. The injustices however did not define my destiny. I am the one who came out tops, I am the whimpering, scared innocent little girl that survived all of this and I wasn’t the one carrying the burden of guilt. They have inadvertently made me into a protective and caring mother.
My biggest regret is that my children was robbed of a grandfather. It took them forty years to say “We are sorry, we were young and made stupid decisions”, a lifetime of lost opportunities trapped in a few meaningless words. Their decisions is what carved my relationship, I could never just think about myself, of what will make me happy, I never had the guts to make a selfish decision to give up, because of them I’ve vowed that my children will never grow up without their parents…no matter what…. the decisions they’ve made sooo many years ago, the lack of thought, the selfishness has ultimately resonated in my life.
When the most amazing man come into my life, or should I rather say, when I stumbled into his life I found it extremely difficult to say “daddy”. My father in law knew this and he made this transition so much easier, he showed me how to trust again.
( The present…every so often I can hardly see what I’m typing, I can only feel, it’s still so hard, it feels like it was yesterday..)
The words I’ve been waiting for all my life, the moment I had envisage in a million different scenarios, the stage I’ve set was nothing to the silence I felt..the emptiness, the lack of emotions..I am detached, and cannot truly say that I have made light of their burden. Many will say you forgive and forget, but do you really….? I couldn’t give them the closure they seek if I was denied entry…