Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Cutting Her Out

Since the mother is the first,
the basic caretaker,
losing her -in a physical or emotional way-
starts a nightmare of deprivation
for a child.
In a way, it never ends.
Missing Mother Syndrome

Can't help wondering... what you're wondering about?

Some subjects are so broad they defy tackling in a blog post. Child Abuse is certainly on that list. So is child abandonment.
The purpose of most of my posts is simply to raise awareness, trigger interest in learning more, and provide some sources to begin a process.
Nothing more...the rest is up to you.
This is a picture of me and my Mom.
As a child in pain, I cut her out of it.
Still in pain, I taped us back together.
The story that follows was told so many times that occasionally I think I remember bits of it. Mostly I doubt that... unless perhaps on some deep level where emotions linger like silent watch dogs who never make a sound before attacking. In any case, the story goes like this.

Dad was enlisted in the Army Air Corp, stationed in Mississippi, training and waiting to go to war. His young wife, far from her home and family in New Jersey, waited with him. They lived in a rented, furnished room with bath down the hall. They survived on Corn Flakes and Beer.

I was born during that time. They brought me home to that room to spend my first few months in a dresser drawer used as a bassinet. Before I learned to walk, Mom was pregnant again. By the time I was walking, running, learning to climb, she couldn't stand the stress of waiting for Dad to be deployed, being pregnant in the heat and humidity of Mississippi, dealing with an active toddler confined in one room.

Mom wasn't willing to be separated from Dad, so for the good of all, they said, they brought me to New Jersey by train and left me there with family.

His family!

Total strangers!

Abandoned me in an unknown world!

Or so it might have felt to me. The story goes I was inconsolable. I cried so much that Dad claims the extended family felt sorry for me. He always said they did everything possible to turn me into a spoiled brat forever.

Mom and Dad returned to New Jersey a couple months later…just a few weeks before my brother was born. They moved into a room in the big house I'd learned to call home. By then I'd bonded deeply with Dad's Mom, my Grandmother, and with my Aunt and Uncle who lived there. When I wouldn't come to Mom and Dad, Mom said Dad's family had turned me against them.

I was seventeen months when my brother was born. That was the day World War II "ended." Our family war had only just begun.
Related Information:

What is Abandonment?
(at Imaginif...)

A Child is Waiting,
Take care...be aware,
Nancy Lee


Megan Bayliss said...

Nancy your personal life makes for fascinating reading - your narrator's voice slips in and out between subjectivity and objectivity and I really like it. You have so much to offer others that grew up in dysfunction. Thank you for the bravery and willingness to use your own pain to help others grow. That is a selfless gift.

Unknown said...

Thank you Nancy for telling your story. It is a very brave and healing thing to do to share your pain. Many of us share your pain and are grateful for your insight.

I just finished a wonderful book about a young boy who is abandoned by his family when he needs them most. And from there takes on his own journey of anger and hatred. Along his journey he meets people he can trust and respect. A 50 year journey finds him understanding and forgiving. I'm recommending this book to many who lived a childhood of abandonment.
It's called A Place To Belong, by first-time author Paul Miller. He wrote this as a memoir, fiction based on fact. Mr. Miller said that writing this book was very theraputic and healing work for him. I hope you have a chance to pick it up. it's priceless work.

Thank you again for your post.

Mary :>)

Child Person said...

Thank you Megan and Mary. I appreciate both comments very much. I do draw strength from such encouraging words.
I'm not familiar with the book, Mary but I certainly will check into it. Thanks for telling me about it...

Angie Eavenson said...

I've read "A Place to Belong" and couldn't put it down. I bet the author is a strong, successful man today with all he has endured.

What doesn't kill us makes us stronger!