Out of sight out of mind.
I’ve written in previous posts about the type of childhood trauma I suffered, and how neglect was the worst one for me personally. There are 4 main types of neglect, emotional, physical, medical, educational. I scored 4 out of 4. Lucky me right? There were so many instances I just wouldn’t even know where to start. So I thought I’d just pick a few at random.
It wasn’t unusual for my parents to be gone for days at a time from when I was about 11. But there were a few times when days turned into weeks.
There was one time in particular that sticks out in my mind (actually there are about half a dozen if I think about it). Anyway, I digress.
When I was around 13, we’d moved (again) out of area to a lovely little holiday park of sorts. I presume my mother knew the owner of the property somehow as it was a holiday home. When the bags were unloaded, I thought it looked cute, if a bit small. I could see a balcony overlooking a majestic mountain range and I thought, not so bad. It was just me, my sibling & my mother unpacking. Once inside it took me a minute to cotton on. There were 2 rooms with single beds and sheets on, the other room didn’t have a made bed. She wasn’t staying. Well, I thought, nevertheless, a nice little place.
The days passed with us walking the dogs, playing games, swimming in the onsite pool. One evening running with the dogs I tripped over a lead and fell onto the road, skidding as I went. My arms and legs were bleeding as the skin had been grazed off by the rough gravel. I hobbled home with the help of my sibling and cleaned up the wounds, picking bits of gravel out for a few hours. It was hot that night and I couldn’t sleep so got up for a snack. It was then that it dawned on me how little food we had left. But mum would be home soon, right?
The next morning we gathered together the little cash we had and headed off down to the onsite shop. We stocked up on what we could, and rationed the rest. Towards the end of that week I was starting to worry. We were stuck in the middle of nowhere with no money and quickly running out of food even though we’d rationed it (my siblings and I learned that skill a few yrs previously). What were we going to do? We were just kids. My sibling was only a year or so older than me and our other older sibling was staying with someone else on an apprenticeship.
We’d tried calling my mother from a public phone, but she hadn’t picked up. Where was she? Was she dead? It crossed my mind. By this point her criminal interests had gotten her into a lot of trouble. Her life (and ours but that’s a whole other blog) had been threatened more than once.
Then I thought about it a bit longer. Dead. Nope. No fucking chance. Dead would be a reasonable excuse. She just wasn’t thinking about us. She was off living her life, whatever that was at the time.
We were out of sight, out of mind.
We might actually starve here.
With our last coins we decided to call our older brother. Didn’t really know what else to do. But no one else would understand the severity of the situation would they? We were miles from any kind of support.
The phone rang and rang. The dread in my stomach grew until I thought I couldn’t breathe anymore. We hadn’t eaten more than a bowl of rice for a few days.
Then he answered. The relief was unreal. We were children connected by trauma, and we’d always pick up eventually.
The next day he turned up, with his boss and a full food shop. We chatted and caught up whilst unloading food into cupboards. He left some cash incase it happened again, petted the dogs, and left.
He was 15yrs old. His boss had driven him over 300miles at his own expense and stopped at a supermarket when almost here.
Some days it’s crippling when I think about it. Especially as our trauma has left me and my older brother estranged. He’s broken. A broken human being. His trauma was so severe that he never recovered enough to live a normal life.
She did that to him. To all of us. She broke us. So when people tell me I need to forgive her ‘for me ‘, I thank them for their kindness, and answer with a simple ‘I think fucking not ‘ .