Category Archives: childhood memories

My Life Changed Forever

What was the one experience that completely changed your life? What happened? How did it change your life?

My brother was always my Mom’s favorite child, I was treated as a red headed step child, yet he was the child who could do no wrong. No matter what I did, I could never earn her respect and acceptance.

 

I tried and I tried still, I figured she loved me, but yet, I never felt the love. No matter what I did, didn’t do, said, didn’t say, I was always wrong. If I got an A, I should of gotten an A plus. You know where this is going.

My childhood growing up was very happy as long as my Dad was around, but after Dad took sick and we moved out of state to “be safe from Dad” since the stroke left Dad with impairments.

 

MOm became more abusive after we had left town. Her weapon of choice for discipline towards me was the wooden cooking spoons. The reasons for her to hit on me became more and more frequent, sometimes it wasn’t even anything that I did or didn’t do, it was just her taking out her frustration at a current situation.

Also, something that was beyond my control, and certainly not my fault, Mom was abused as a child. Psychically, emotional, and sexually, he Mother left a lot to be desired at best. Since the relationship wasn’t exactly healthy w/ her own Mom, I felt my whole life that she took that out on me. Heck, even several point of my life, I asked the aunts and uncles on my Dad’s side if I was adopted. They all told me no, each of them saying they saw Mom pregnant with me, besides, I look just like my Dad.

The last time I accepted physical abuse from my Mom, I was 21 years old. I was still living at home and an unwed mother, but the child’s absent father and I were trying to work out our trials and tribulations.

My ex boyfriend and I had gone ride to his job interview, it’s about a 2 hour drive. I told Mom that we would be back about 2pm.

Well we were about an hour or so late at getting home, but we were home before dark. The ex boyfriend dropped me off and left. I went into my bedroom to put down my purse and coat. Mom came in there with her weapon of course, the wooden cooking spoon. She asked why we were late. The fact that we were lost, didn’t matter none.

She smacked me with that spoon across the face so hard that I was knocked off of my feet. I just missed hitting my pregnant belly on the bedside table by inches.

At that moment I decided that the abuse from her upon me was going to stop and she was never going to treat my child as such, EVER! That moment empowered me,  to personally never be abused again, but also gave me the nerve to tell her that she would never strike a child of mine. Due to the strained relationship between she and I she has been out of my life more than in it for most of my adult life, but that was her choice, not mine. And to this day, she has never struck one of my children, neither have I. I know what I felt like when she would hit me, I would never want to put that feeling onto another person, much less a child I birthed.

 

 

 

The Nuns Of Cathecism…

Hello World. Hope all is well in your corner of the world. Here the sun is shining bright, a nice breeze blowing, and everything is quiet. Watching the tube, Law and Order is on, yea the article is about nuns and I am watching law and order, go figure.

I was born and raised Catholic, as were my parents and their parents. For me it’s a way of life. I attended public schools my whole life, so I had to get my religious education from Cathecism. I was fine with that. My parents did the same thing. Nowadays Cathecism is taught by volunteer parents or other members of the church, but forty years ago, it was taught by the nuns of the local parish. Each Cathecism class had two nuns and two yard sticks. Remember this was 40 some odd years ago, so corporal punishment was still allowed, even by members of the Catholic church. And I must mention the yardsticks weren’t the wooden yardsticks of today, those yardsticks were about 1/4 inch thick. Believe me, those nuns sure knew how to swing those yardsticks too…….of course, I knew this from personal experience.

My Cathecism was on Monday nights, about 6pm after dinner. Each student had a workbook and was instructed to bring a pencil, which the female parent always made sure that I always had in my possession.

I really, really did try to behave in the class, but somehow, someway, I always managed to be the one to get into trouble. I mentioned above that Cathecism was after dinner, well, I was always tired, remember I had been at school all day, and the religion class was um, God forgive me, BORING! Eventually I would drift off to sleep, no matter how much I tried fighting the sleep. Sure enough, my forehead would no sooner hit the desk, a nun would come by the desk, and slam her yard stick down. Nothing like that noise ringing in my head to keep me wide awake for the rest of that class.

Of course, I was returned to Cathecism the following week. I sat at the back of the class, determined not to fall asleep so I didn’t have that ruler banged on the desk again. I mean, I didn’t really care what the rest of the children thought, but if the female parent found out that I fell asleep, I would also feel her wrath.

Well, the lessons were discussed. Us students were suppose to be writing down the answers in our workbook. I was having a hard enough time staying awake, much less to write down the answers. The older nun happened towards the back of the class and saw I wasn’t writing the lessons. My hands happened to be on the desk, and she swung that ruler. This time the desk wasn’t her victim, my knuckles were. I cried that hurt like nothing I had ever felt before. Thankfully the female parent never found out. During the week between the Mondays, I had her help me with that lesson, so the workbook was current the following week when I returned to Cathecism.

The following week, I went to Cathecism with gum in my mouth, I figured I was quiet, listening, AWAKE, and doing my work. I mean, I saw no reason for the nuns to become hostile towards me. WRONG! That same older nun came by and asked “what are you doing?”

I answered her, with pride in my voice that  “I am doing my lessons Sister!”  She questioned me “what’s in your mouth?”

I said “gum”! Wap, I got smacked again. I swear I couldn’t win for losing with this lady. I mean, she was a Godly figure and a member of the church, but geez, I couldn’t get a break at all. So the following week, I thought I was going to outsmart the nuns. I had the female parent help me do the following week’s lesson, like that the work was done, no reason to be smacked. I know the nuns had God on their side, but eventually things had to change in this situation.

The following week, I walked into class with confidence, knowing that I was not going to get disciplinary actions this week. The lesson was done correctly, I was going to stay awake, no need for me to feel that yardstick across my knuckles. I was wrong again.

Nuns were giving a lecture, they asked me a question, I didn’t know the answer, see I didn’t study the answers, nor was I following along in the book since I had all my answers already. I didn’t know the answer, so again, the older nun came to the back of the class. Saw that I had all the lesson in my workbook done. I was proud of myself at this moment in time, til the nun asked “how was my lesson done, if I don’t know the answers to some of the easiest questions out of the book?”

“I don’t know” was so the wrong answer. Again, I got the yardstick to the knuckles. I don’t know how none of my knuckles broke under the impact of that yardstick. Instead of being a nun,  she should had gone play professional baseball because she sure had a swing to her.

That night, upon being picked up, the nun walked me out to the car, dragging me to the car as though I was some sort of a heathen and told the female parent that I was being disobedient during class. I tried making female parent understand that I was not being disobedient or disrespectful during the class, I was just trying to stay out of trouble. Yep, I felt the wrath of female parent several times that night for what I had supposedly done.

Another chapter in the life of me. Not all that exciting I know, but it gives insight to how I tried to stay out of trouble, yet always was in trouble.

Later,
Reba

PS In no way am I speaking ill of nuns or the Catholic church, just sharing another way, I was always able to find trouble without even trying. Yea, even then, I couldn’t win for losing so to speak.

 

I Was Meant to Be an Only Child….

Hello World again. As always I hope my blog finds you in great health and spirits. I was born mid March of 1965. I was my Paw Paw’s late birthday present as his birthday was just 3 days earlier. I was the first born of the first born child, so in my mind, that presented me with some sort of status symbol. I was the first child, first grandchild, and first niece, all the way around. Yea I was special….LOL!

I was always a Daddy’s girl. If my Daddy wasn’t around I was with my Maw maw and Paw paw as they were the babysitter while my parents worked. My Maw maw made my dresses, blankets, baby doll clothes, etc. Yea, I was slightly spoiled. About 18 months later, a cousin was born, then 18 months another cousin was born, but they weren’t my siblings so in my mind, my status in life was still secure.

I remember telling my parents I didn’t want a brother or sister, they were my Mommie and Daddy and of course, I had no intentions of sharing either of them with anyone. Oh we had a german Shepard and a cat, that was cool with me. When something got broke, I was quick to blame the animals. Yea I was a sneaky child.

When I was 5, my Mommy’s belly started getting bigger, the conversation of a new baby became more and more frequent. I kept denying the need for me to have a sibling, I mean, what was the purpose? I saw none.

Well, much to my dismay, when I was 5 1/2 years old, my Mom delivered a baby, I was praying for another kitten, but no such luck. This child was a boy baby. He was smelly, loud, and ate all the time, plus took my parents from me. The older he got, the more he got into. I was determined this child had to go. Plan B was put into play. Plan A was to never have the child in the first place.

When the baby boy was about 18 months or so, Mom had a garage sale. I watched and observed about how this process worked. I figured out that you price an item, people pay cash for the item, and they take the item home. Genius I swear. So me, in all my infinite wisdom, decided if this process was working for household items and garage sale wares, naturally it would work for selling off the child.

Back then 40 something years ago, there were no fancy pre-priced garage sale tags, so everything was done with a masking tape and marker. So away I went. I started out pricing him high. I mean if he sold, it was my money, remember this was my idea. After a few, I had no takers, so I reduced the price. I mean, I wouldn’t pay a .75 cents for him either. Next he was marked down to .50 cents. I also figured out that he had to be still for people to see that he was for sale, so I let him play with some of my toys. Still no takers, I was disappointed, but determined.

So after a fair amount of time had passed, at least in my 7 year old mind, I reduced the child to .25 cents. Mom was busy with the garage sale, so she didn’t see any of my business dealings in play, thankfully. We were being watched by our maid and my Maw Maw.

So, when .25 didn’t work, I marked him down for free. Made sure he sat still in the area of the garage sale items and just had high hopes. Finally a customer passed, saw the free thing, and made comment to Mom about her ingenious selling techniques of selling off the child. Mom, being confused, looked at the child’s forehead, and then at me. I knew I was in trouble. Needless to say, I felt the wrath of her choice of discipline. Even being disciplined, I was not giving up hope. About 9 months later, at Christmas time, my parents bought me a wooden playhouse. Nice wooden, sturdy, heavy playhouse. It was painted barn red with white trim. It had a double open door and windows on either side. The windows locked on the inside, the doors were padlocked shut so no one stole my goodies. After I got over the joy of having such an awesome playhouse, I was informed by the parents that I was to share the playhouse with the boy child. Thus my new plan or ridding myself of the annoying boy child was put into play. Remember I was not fond of sharing my toys or anything else with this child so it was important that this plan succeed.

The boy child and I were playing outside one afternoon, he was about 2 1/2-3 years old at this time. Yea you can figure out where this is going, but in case you can’t, I will fill in the blanks. After playing that particular afternoon, I made sure to lock up the playhouse windows, then padlocked the door and went on inside. Mom asked “where’s your brother?” I answered her with a I dunno sort of question. I was told “get out there and look for that child”.

So I did, I went outside looked and didn’t see him, she didn’t say listen for him screaming from inside of the playhouse. I was doing as I was told. I went inside and told her, “I don’t see him”.

Mom, frantically, went outside and heard the boy child screaming from inside the playhouse. She undone the padlock and he was set free. Again, I felt the warth of Mom’s choice of disciplinary actions. I am sure you see a pattern forming here, but I was not going to be deterred.

By the time he was 4, he was really, really annoying. He was into my toys and not told no by the parents, my heart was broken, I mean he was touching my Barbie’s and Barbie stuff….he just had to go. So Plan C was put into play, yea I was a thinker back then too.

One afternoon, after school, I think the boy child was about 4 1/2 or 5. I came in from my school day to find the child riding on my Barbie camper. The camper back then was about as tall as a full sized Barbie doll. Really nice. OH I was hot. This was unacceptable, if not to the parents, at least to me. Same thing happened the following day after school. I knew nothing was going to be done, so it was up to me.

I had a 1/2 of a poster and borrowed my Dad’s permanent markers, you know the markers we had before Sharpies. The big, thick black ones. On the poster, I marked, “Kid brother Free”. I wasn’t swift enough to be able to cut a board to stake this at the road, so in all my infamous, 10 year old wisdom, I removed the plant out of Mom’s flower pot, then the dirt, and dragged that heavy thing to the road. Onto the pot, I taped the sign. I just knew this one was going to work.

Well, Dad came home, saw the sign, called me outside, helped me re-pot the plant and said “Never do this again and don’t tell your Mom!” I was fine w/ not telling Mom, I knew the wrath of her discipline was going to be strong, but I was disappointed. I mean, this was a great plan. Darn.

Plan D….not long after plan C failed, the boy child was still in my Barbie stuff, I didn’t dare hit the boy child, remember the wrath is at play here and since he was always squalling, I knew I would get into trouble. He would had been about 6-ish, he was in kindergarten or the first grade. That made me in about the 5th-6th grade. School work had become more challenging and I remember having to write a paper. I can’t remember the paper’s theme, but it had something to do with “if you can have anything you want, what would it be”. Well, if opportunity knocks, far be it for me not to take it.

I wanted to be an only child. The boy child was becoming more annoying as he aged, he was still stinking, except after baths, he was eating more foods, and he was just spoiled. So, my paper was about my desire to be an only child. Can you see where this is going? I ended up writing a 2 page paper, made an A on that bad girl, I was so proud. Back then, parents had to sign our weekly test grades. I thought for sure Mom was going to be just so proud of my A, Dad saw humor, Mom didn’t. Again, the wrath of her form of discipline was felt, like badly, if I remember correctly. Yep, I was as determined and as hard headed then as I am now.

When the boy child was about 8ish,I was about 13 1/2 years old,  my parents presented us with a two seater go cart. Of course, the boy child legs were too short to be able to reach the petals which meant that I was the only driver. Go carts back then were a metal frame, really close to the ground. We each had a helmet, so me causing him any brain damage was out of the question.  At first, we rode in the lot behind the house, while I got the feel of the ride. Across the road was a huge piece of virgin property, there was at least 3 acres there. Other neighborhood kids had motorbikes and go carts, so after me begging enough, the parents allowed us to go across the road to be with the other children.

And then comes along Plan E,  I knew that this plan would be the one to work. I mean in my mind it had to work. I was meant to be an only child and I was going to be just that. Now mastering of handle the go cart was handled by me and fast, the opportunity was knocking. That go cart would cruise around those corners and the boy child would just flip off, leave him and keep on driving.

 

The first time I was able to get away with this being an accident, 2nd time, I blamed he wasn’t holding on. Eventually the female parent figured out a pattern and knew what I was up to. Yes, once again, the wrath of Mom came down on me hard and I never did that again, but I didn’t give up, by no means. I just had to have the chance to ponder on this situation. Well my final attempt was going to be epic.
The boy child loved the garbage truck, since he was little, I mean like 2ish.You know, that big nasty truck that comes down the street, picking up all of the smelly stuff. The boy child had an odor already. He would sit in the driveway and wait on that truck to come by every Monday and Thursday. It was the highlight of his week. The garbage men would even let him help dispose of our trash into the truck. That boy child was just so excited. For several of his Christmas presents, he even requested a garbage can for his presents. Of course, the garbage cans had to be the metal ones, this is 40 years ago, long before the plastic cans. Something about hearing the metal of the garbage can lids hit the ground just did his heart good. Eventually the boy child did grow up, but he never gave up his love of the garbage truck. As he aged, the garbage men would let him go around the neighborhood helping with the other garbage cans. Opportunity presented itself one last time. While out on his bi-weekly garbage runs, I had the idea we should move or just not be home, hoping one of the garbage men would just take the boy child home as their own. Again, I thought it was the best idea of the century, I mean, I would finally be an only child and he would be with a good family, but before I could ever convince the parents that this was a wonderful idea, I once again, felt the wrath, yep you guessed it, of the female parent.
At that point, I gave up on trying to get rid of the boy child and decided to just keep him. I never stopped feeling the wrath of the female parent until I was about 21 years old, but at least I wasn’t feeling the wrath due to my inability to become an only child.
After my last attempt to become an only child, I became a protector of the boy child by defending him against bullies and the such. I cared for him after school, while the female parent worked, as well as tried to keep him on this side of the female parent’s wrath.
What the wrath was, from the female parent, and why I was always feeling it throughout my life, will be discussed in another article. Oh by the way, the boy child is now 43 1/2 years old, running his own business, and bigger than me, so I would no way attempt this feat today. Besides, after all this time, I have become sort of attached to the boy child! LOL!
Later,
Reba