I always knew we were weird, my family that is. People rarely visited my house growing up and those that did often stole from us, but that was to be expected.
It wasn’t until I reached my 20’s that I realised how weird we actually were, my sister and I were emotional shut-ins, terrified to open the door just encase the postman would take us away, we are both adults now so there is less humour and sense in it.
You see, my mother had been diagnosed with various different mental illnesses when we were growing up, everything from postnanatal depression to bipolar disorder but in hindsight none of them rang true.
She would claim miscarriages when she had never been pregnant to start with, claim physical abuse from her family when earlier that day she had been in the bathroom slamming her head of the wall, perhaps with this purpose in mind, perhaps it made her feel better.
Unfortunately though, as many medical practisionor before and those who often met her, she was good at appearing atleast semi-normal, giving her enough control of her life to raise her daughters.
For children raised in the early 2000’s, you may have looked at us and assumed we were from a Victorian era. We were “to be seen and not heard”, the punishment for disobeying this was the metal side of the belt around the back of your legs until your muscles trembled, then when our father would return, she would lie and tell him we were misbehaving when we were simply lonely.
One time I borrowed my mother’s makeup, I was 6 and wanted to be pretty like her. When she found me she hit me so badly, I wet myself then she locked me in a cubby closet “to think about what I had done.”
I hadn’t done anything, nothing out of the normal for a child to do.
My dad never knew this, I think it bothers him still that this used to go on when he was at work.
When we were really talkative or active, my mother would get her friend to drive us to the foster care house (in hindsight it could have been any house, we were young) and get us out of the car, they would tell us to behave or they would drive of and leave us. We had to love mummy more than dad or the welfare would come get us.
My sister and I, evidently became very silent in school, distancing ourselves from everyone. We had trouble making friends and would cry when we got into trouble, we were so scared of getting hurt though I’m sure our teachers thought it was crocodile tears for there was never a report about neglect or abuse, despite the large bruises we often had, despite going to school in dirty uniforms and greasy hair.
I wish they had noticed, I wish someone would gave seen how bad it was, but no one did.
It’s only now, in our 20’s that my sister and I can talk about then. Our mother now lives in England with her new husband, she is much easier to escape these days.
My sister has two of her own babies now, she is a good mother. They are chubby and happy as all small children should be. I, personally don’t think I will have any. They say mental illness travels down through generations, I don’t want to be like my mother. I don’t want to cause that pain.