‘Child abuse’, ‘My Mother’ and the ‘Good Hidings’ I lived with until my Social Worker put me in care…
May 28, 2020 8:53 pm, .
Life for B was mainly filled with child abuse within a toxic family background with ‘mother’ at the helm. It was an environment in a dysfunctional family amongst a chaotic mix of verbal, emotional or physical abuse. B watched as her sister taken into care by a Social worker because ‘mother’ said she was ‘unable...
Life for B was mainly filled with child abuse within a toxic family background with ‘mother’ at the helm. It was an environment in a dysfunctional family amongst a chaotic mix of verbal, emotional or physical abuse. B watched as her sister taken into care by a Social worker because ‘mother’ said she was ‘unable to control her’. But, no matter how many times she begged them to let her go into care, the answer was always no. B, was, according to them, ‘A good girl’, therefore, she stayed to help her mother’, just like ‘good girls do!’
My child abuse hell with ‘mother.’
My childhood was my siblings and me, in a house where child abuse, trauma and emotional neglect were routine. Our home was nothing but chaos and misery, which affected everyone due to the main contributor being ‘Our mother’. Sadly, one of my younger sisters had suffered terribly at the hands of ‘Our mother,’ and she went to see a psychiatrist when she was four because of her behaviour. Ultimately, this led to her being placed in care when she was only nine years of age. The reason for this? ‘My mother’ said she ‘couldn’t control her’, so the Social worker took her away; subsequently, the child abuse for the rest of us children, we were forgotten.
I was ten when my sister went away, and I asked the Social worker if I could go too! This wasn’t a fantasy to me; I knew the realities of going into the care system; however, it was preferable than the child abuse and neglect we lived with daily. However, my request was denied because, according to the Social worker, I was “A good girl and I should stay at home…where I was ‘needed”.
The child abuse continued, and with this abuse there began a feeling that I didn’t belong. I had always felt different, and I didn’t know why… I just did.
‘Mother’ or ‘Child’…why am I different?
I remember sitting down with my mother and asking her, ‘Am I Adopted?’ This was the only explanation my ten-year-old brain could come up with that would explain to me why I felt so different to everyone else! So, there I was, a tiny ten-year-old child, sitting opposite to my mother and asking her if was I adopted. I hoped that I was because that would give me so many answers to my questions; however, she sat across from me and laughed!
I was ten years of age and I was tiny, however, what I lacked in size I made up in spirit. So, there I sat, this tiny person, ME, and I asked her again in a sombre voice…” I’ll not be upset, but please, tell me the truth… am I adopted?”
She looked me coldly in the eyes and said in a really sinister voice, “you’re not fucking adopted.” I’m your Mother and your Fathers in Ford Cemetery, stop thinking you’re special, you’re not’. So, now I knew why I felt different. I wasn’t adopted so was I like my real Dad? Who else knew that he was dead, did his family want nothing to do with me? There were no answers to the questions in my head, and no one would listen or could hear me, so I gave up.
Child abuse…Drunken fight nights with samurai swords and police cells
I found out my Stepdad wasn’t my Dad when, one night when I was about 6, I was asleep, and they were having one of their ‘fights’; therefore, that night was when I realised it was real…my Dad wasn’t my Stepdad. My Dad was dead…and my Stepdad was the man holding a knife while standing next to me, and he was demanding that the truth be told.
The ‘fights’ often happened, but this time he very drunk and very angry with ‘my mother’. He was demanding her to tell me the truth that he ‘wasn’t my Dad’ with a knife in his hand. He spat out that my Dad was X and subsequently, X was buried in Ford Cemetery.
‘My mother’… and my many ‘Uncles.’
My stepdad and ‘mother’ had been divorced for about three years when suddenly they were together again. He had visited to see his kids in that time, and then, no warning, he just came back. During his absence, my ‘mother’ had married a man who just turned up one day in the house. This didn’t last long because he was an alcoholic, but he was friendly, and it was quieter for a while! But, that wasn’t unusual; we had lots of uncles; who would turn up and stay awhile. However, she married that one, and subsequently, he left. Then she got back with my stepdad and got pregnant again. Therefore, we had to move house because there were so many of us, and ‘my mother’ became seriously ill when she was heavily pregnant.
At this point, I went to stay with my Nan & Grandfather, and I stayed with them for over a year. Again, my mother split up from my stepdad, and subsequently, she was back out and on the pull.
Child abuse…why did my Social worker never listen?
I hated my life, I hated the men, and I hated how she would put cigarettes and men before us. Every time I told my Social worker of the child abuse we suffered, they never listened and never did anything to help us. Sadly, throughout all my childhood, the emotional abuse and the neglect we suffered went worse. Subsequently, ‘our mother’ put all of her female children in very vulnerable positions. I was vulnerable…I didn’t know where it was leading to, and I didn’t want to find out.
My respite with Nan and Grandad.
When I lived at my Nan & Granddad’s house, I started to mature, and this scared my Nan. She thought she would have the same trouble with me that she had from my mother. I wanted to wear makeup and act grown up, but my Nan didn’t like it. Perversely, even though I loved my Nan I didn’t want to stop, and therefore, I knew it was upsetting her and I didn’t want that. So sadly, I went back home.
My baby sister, my ‘mothers’ final baby was 14 months old at that time; therefore, ‘ my mother’ decided to take me out of school to look after her baby. I didn’t think I had a choice, she was my sister, and it was what ‘good girls did’. My older sister left home when she became pregnant at 14, now it was just the little ones and me. My sanctuary of school was gone.
Child abuse…The ‘hidings’ stayed from ‘mother.’
Mother knew I loved school, it was my sanctuary; however, she knew how to use the things I loved to punish me. Even as young children, she would hit us with her hands, belts or whatever else was near to her. I was stubborn or stupid. (I’ve debated this many times to myself!) And I would say to myself, “I’ll not cry to satisfy you now”. And by God, I didn’t. However, the child abuse, in whatever form she chose, never stopped…and I never did let her see me cry.
So, my mother decides to punish me in other ways. She knew I loved school and reading, so she took the light bulb out in my room. She would take my books from me and lock me in my bedroom with no light and no reading books. I hated this particular punishment which she had done to me even as a small child, and she knew it. Ultimately, when I was younger, I would still get the “Good Hidings.” However, I’d also have all the other types of child abuse used.
Child abuse…my social worker did not listen.
We lived like this until one day when I was 13, I came home and found ‘mother’ in bed with someone who she ‘really shouldn’t have been with.’. I snapped… I screamed at her, telling her that I ‘hated the way she lived’ and I went to my Nan’s house crying. Once more, I stayed with my Nan until again, the social worker came to visit. Subsequently, Margaret, my Social worker, was again, not for moving me.
One of the reasons I had been asking to go in care was to keep my school attendance up, and again, the social worker said no. Every time I asked to go into residential care, giving her many reasons that ‘mother’ used to justify the abuse, it was always a no. Her reason?… Because ‘I was a good girl’.
I was 14 when I had a boyfriend called J. J’s mother died tragically in a house fire, so when I met him, he had just moved with his sister to my mother’s friend, Betty’s house, which was opposite to my house. J’s sister stayed with Betty, and J stayed with us. When I say boyfriend, I mean in a gentle, holding hands way. We both had seen enough abuse from our ‘mother’s’, and their various boyfriends,( J’s mum was a prostitute), and ultimately, our backgrounds led to us being ‘oddly prudish’ together.
In the spring of my 14th year, I had managed to save up and pay for myself to go on a school trip to Spain for a week, and I had fun. I felt like a ‘normal kid’, and I enjoyed it. We had arranged that J would meet me at the school to pick me up on my return, which he did; however, something had happened, and J had moved back.
Child abuse…’ mother’ tried to make a man out of a 14-year-old child.
We arrived at ‘Betty’s’ house, and I asked J what had happened? J was distressed, then he told me, “Your mum came into my room and got into bed with me when I was asleep’. ‘Your ‘mother’ was naked, and she told me that she’d make a man out of me.” J said that he had jumped out of bed and said to her that he ‘didn’t want that and she should leave him alone!’ However, he said that she was adamant that while I was away, he should ‘enjoy her experience’. Subsequently, J ran out and went over to his sister’s house and told her about it.
At this point, years of anger and hurt flew through me, and silently raging, I ran over to my mother’s house. I knocked on the door, and one of the little ones opened it, so I asked her, ‘where is ‘my mother?’ She said that ‘mother’ was in the kitchen, and in a blind rage, I ran at ‘mother’, screaming my head off that ‘I knew everything’! As a result of this, we actually ended up physically fighting each other, where amazingly; ‘mother’ never even tried to deny it!
My sanctuary in care…I was safe.
My head and my body were hurting me, so I went to a friends house, and I told her what had happened. I asked her if I could sleep there? Thankfully, her mum said yes. The next day I made my way to the local Children’s Care home where I knocked on the door and waited patiently for someone to hear me. The door opened, so I went inside and began to tell them about myself, who my social worker was and why I wasn’t going back home. I had lots of scratches and bruises, but sure enough, once again they tried to dissuade me from staying. However, this time I was adamant; there would be no going back because I had waited too long for my sanctuary.
Finally…my voice was heard!
Finally, somebody ‘heard me.’ Therefore, a meeting was arranged with my own Social worker present, and the documented history of child abuse was disclosed. Subsequently, a 28-day voluntary assessment order was made, and I stayed at the Children’s home…safe at last!
At the end of the 28 days, they had another meeting with me to see if I wanted to go back to ‘my mother’ and my home? I emphatically did not, and I made this really clear like my life depended on it; subsequently, they decided I would live in the Children’s home until Social workers had found foster carers for me.
My foster parents…the angels who saved me.
My future foster parents were the second family that I visited, and when we first met, we just clicked, we fitted together. It was like I’d found the jigsaw piece I’d been looking for since I was a tiny tot, it was heaven!
Thirty-five years later, we are family, I have amazing parents, siblings, nephews and nieces and family where blood played no part, we are a blended family. They helped to save me and helped me to realise the potential I had all this time. Subsequently, they came together and put me back to where I should have been…on the right path which gave me stability and hopes while nurturing me with kindness and love!
My childhood….shaping my future.
My school careers adviser had told me to “Go and work in a shop until you have your babies.” I took exception to this and had great delight in finally going back to see them with a BSc(Hons) MA in Paediatric nursing in a very specialised field and an MA in Child studies.
Throughout my life, I have stayed true to myself. I knew I was different but didn’t know why, however, no matter what has happened in my life, I have always tried to be ‘a good girl’.
In the end, I found with my fostering family the love and support I needed to find the confidence in myself, that instead of fighting, just to survive, I could learn and make a future that was about what I wanted. And I have done just that…, and, I have loved every second of it!
My future…as a foster parent.
I look to the future with excitement, and I cherish every second I have with my own daughter who I am guiding with pride to become a strong and independent woman. My daughter is a teenager now, and my future is good, and furthermore, I am in the process of becoming a foster carer myself.
To my foster parents…’ Thank you for giving me the future I have.’
I feel I am lucky in my life, and my decision to be a foster parent is my way how I can ‘give something back‘ and say ‘Thank you’.
The most heartfelt thank you is to my foster family… You found me, you set me on the right path, and you stayed with me. You were my significant adults, and you gave me my future. Thank you, and I will Always love you xx