Rejected, Abandoned, Abused…………..
A week went by and this newborn baby hardly saw her mother. The nurses in the Naval hospital cared for her judiciously while trying to encourage the mother to see her. Mommy refused! The reason? This new mother was disappointed that the new baby was not a boy! Such malicious seed sowed SO early!
Mommy and Daddy cannot agree on a name for their little girl. Mommy is irritated at the circumstance. Daddy seems to pay more attention to the new baby than to her. The emotional distance between mom and baby widens.
Eighteen months later, a little sister was born. Now the little girl was the BIG Sister and mother depended on her to be able to do more things for herself than might have been physically possible at that age – but that didn’t matter, you see, Mommy had a new baby! This time she wanted a girl. And besides, Mommy didn’t feel well a lot of the time.
Another 18 months – it’s a boy! Good thing the firstborn is already three. She is expected to do a lot of everyone’s bidding AND care for the little sister. Not a lot of time to play when you have big responsibilities! The house needs cleaning and that vacuum is so hard to figure out. The broom is so tall and the sink is still so high. Well, someone has to take care of things ‘cause Mommy doesn’t feel well quite a bit of the time and Daddy’s gone a lot. Finding something to eat is another story………
A bright little 4 ½ year old hopped aboard a train bound for Denver. She even remembered the name – The California Zephyr! During the ride, she and the little sister were allowed to run through the train by themselves to get to the “dome” car so they could see the countryside. There they sat, all by themselves, feeling very grown up. She wished her Daddy could be here. He always made her feel safe and when he was around she did not feel like she has to worry about her mother so much. And….it was hard to make her little sister mind!
Now Grand Poppy was a nice enough old guy even though he always wore his hat. Yet, he always seemed to make the little girl feel a bit funny. She couldn’t decide why. Didn’t he always let her eat a lot of his diet “candy,” Aids? Even though it was only for a visit, Mommy was often pre-occupied, so Grandpa was expected to watch the little girl. He snoozed and she wandered over to the nearby railroad tracks with little sister. There they played for hours, sometimes hardly even noticing the train whistle in the distance. Then they would scramble off the tracks and watch the giant locomotive whiz past. Did anyone wonder where they were?
Another new house. This one had a yard, and someone brought home a furry little white ball of a dog. The girl called him Snowball. He was certainly something to snuggle and to love – it felt good! Shortly thereafter, a strange uncle had also moved in. He had a bright idea to help clear weeds from the backyard. Being from a farm, he just set fire to the weeds, never considering that it could also affect the fence. The fence burned down, and as the fire crew arrived, the small dog ran into the busy street and was hit by a car. No one seemed to care as she cried and cried over the lost pup – her only Friend. “Go to your room and be quiet!”
The Kindergarten day was too short! In Kindergarten, she could be one of the other children. While she was there she didn’t have to be occupied with thinking about taking care of two other kids or hearing her mother complain about how bad she felt. She loved to sing, and the teacher let her lead almost all the class songs. In first grade, she even got to be in the Easter Pageant! The class made Easter Bonnets and memorized a whole lot of music for the event. School was good. So was Sunday school – she even got to sing solos!
Music Lessons, voice, accordion, piano…..this six year old was in heaven! The teacher who came to their home said she tested so well and had perfect pitch. Then, almost as soon as it all began, everything was removed. There was no money to pay for these things and Mother was not feeling well again. The six-year old girl walked, unaccompanied to the store, church, Good News Club and, just about everywhere else. Still she sang.
At Good News Club.……..there was some more relief! She was part of a team. Girls and boys were divided up into Red or Blue teams and competed by memorizing Bible verses. She was Captain once or twice. No one helped her at home, but she had a good memory. She looked forward to Vacation Bible School which was right around the corner from the good News Club – still quite a walk for a 6 year old. Bible stories were a favorite, but not before she found she had a flare for crafts part of the event. Her mother had spent some time teaching her to sew –hemming, to be exact. Before she even felt confident, a bunch of curtains were thrown her way….. What an uncomfortable chore! VBS was so much better – AND – she got to keep whatever she made…for her very own! No one criticized.
Acceptance………Self Acceptance…..Maybe I am Okay
You’re not my daughter if you don’t get all “A”s. She hated hearing those words from a father whom she barely ever saw. Her jaw tightened and she tried to suppress the tears. What a disconnected thing for a father to say! Didn’t he understand? After all, a “B” grade wasn’t THAT bad and besides it’s hard to get “A’s” when you have to be absent so much in order to take care of your mother, brothers and sister!
No one ever approves of me! Will I EVER be Okay?
“Mr. Ono was in a plane crash! “
Those were hard words to hear. Sitting in orchestra that day, the tears fell hot and heavy. The girl would never see Mr. Ono again. His plane had crashed while he was on the way home from his vacation. Something felt like it had been ripped from her very insides! He had been so kind and helpful. She loved orchestra and had learned so much under his kind guidance. Besides coaching her on the violin, Mr. Ono started her on the viola and cello as well. Now….there was nothing….. She came home late that afternoon only to find out that her father had taken her siblings and left. Gone? Where to? Her mother didn’t feel very well and was also crying. There was just the two of them.
She guessed she’d better get a job. Who would hire a seventh grade girl?
Rejected….Abandoned …..Alone…. again and again……
Without warning, all those random memories deluged my mind, one afternoon as I strained to remember a particular thing about my childhood!
I had not had that clear of insight in years! As a child, I am not sure I could have verbalized them. Watching the “movie” in my head, it occurred to me the “set-up” that had been planned for my downfall since my earliest years.
Thank God for His precious Holy spirit! On so many levels, life rarely turns out how any of us think it should it should. The enemy of our souls is set for our destruction, but GOD knows how to deliver us out of it. Good beginning or bad, The Father manages to shine His light into the situation – into our lives! If only we’ll grab hold of it. Even a kid CAN do this.
Vague memories of an angel appearing at the foot of my bed kept me encouraged. Did I really see an angel, or did I dream it. I can ‘t say for certain. I only know that it gave me the courage to keep HOPE alive while everything around me fell apart.
I can’t really say I had much of a childhood. And…carefree – what was that? I was allowed to grow up but there was no nurture. Daily existence was rough on a little spirit.
Over the years, God let me know that the important thing was that HE approved of me!
”In HIM I live and move and have my being” was like an IV drip to sustain me!
Psalms empowered me with the fact that HE was the strength of my life, even when my father and mother abandon me.
Early experiences shape our response to our world and to God, but ultimately, God has to train the unrighteous thinking out of us all. What ever time it takes, He reshapes us into HIS image and after HIS likeness.
My fear became confidence in His ability through me. Neglect and sorrow gave way to appreciation and worship. My stubbornness became steadfastness, and I traded a lack of foundation for a life built on The Rock.
Yes, I know those years occurred, but it’s like a story told to me by someone else.
With God I changed things in MY generation and I trust my children will do the same!