I keep getting these stirred up old memories

Like the time when I was very young (6? 7?) and I was left , alone, on a street and I felt totally abandoned.

I had been over to a friend’s place, who lived about one kilometre down the road, and her father dropped me back home when it started to get dark. Our house was down a steep slope and you couldn’t really see it from the top of the driveway. He asked me if I was ok to walk down by myself and I told him that I was. I wanted that ‘big girl’ approval.

I ran down the driveway, complacent in an action I had done hundreds of time before, but when I came to the front door I was brought up short, involved in a scenario I had never experienced. The family car wasn’t in the garage and none of the house lights were on. In those days nobody locked their doors in the neighbourhood so I could have quite easily just gone in but the big house was so silent and there were so many pockets of darkness.

I was absolutely terrified. I hoped fervently that my parents would come back soon and, too afraid to go into the house, I huddled in the carport for what seemed a very long time. Eventually I thought I had waited enough and my family was never coming home and I climbed back up the steep driveway because it was lighter up there (no shady trees and a clear opening for the moon). I stood on the road and I didn’t know what to do next.

I started to whimper and then to cry, from fear. I don’t know how long I cried alone in the moonlight but eventually one of the neighbours heard me and brought me back to his house. I sobbed as I told him that my family were nowhere around: I was in a state of panic. They kept calling home until somebody picked up and then my Dad came to get me.

I can’t tell you the relief I felt when I saw his beloved figure walk in the door. But, desperate as I was to cling to him, I held back as he said that he had come to take me home, in  a very matter of fact way, like it was no big deal. I was aware that I was expected to behave according to social niceties and not be more emotional than I had already been and I tried very hard. I thanked my rescuers like I had just been to a very enjoyable Christmas party.

When I got home my mother asked me why I hadn’t just gone inside. I told her that it was dark and I was scared and she responded that I was a big girl and could certainly be at home for a short time by myself. She made me feel pathetic and cowardly for being so scared. I don’t think my Dad ever got it, either. Maybe she was right and my Dad was right and I should have been a bit more self-sufficient but I do believe that a lot of my behaviour dates back to the time when, as a baby of 9 months, I was hospitalised for nearly a year. Visiting hours were 2 hours a week for parents and by the time I was released, I regarded one of the nurses as my mother figure. Essentially, I was ripped away from a mother, twice.

 

What I felt, up on that road above the darkened house, in the moonlight, was abandoned, again. My whole family had disappeared and they had left me behind because I wasn’t good enough.

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About quirkycharm

I like to think that I have a certain quirky charm but I am probably being optimistic. Acquired taste, perhaps, which many don't acquire. This is about my fifth blog out there. My hosting companies kept going out of business or my IT exhusband kept hacking into them and I would move again. I don't do twitter, I barely do facebook, I don't try and 'monetize' my blog. I love my husband, my grown children and my job and this particular incarnation of oversharing my life comes at a time when I am the most content that I have ever been. I write always, sporadically during the good stuff and exhaustingly during the bad.
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