Last week I went to Church. I heard the most amazing story from a lovely lady who has welcomed our family to our new community. So I have decided that Squiggly Sundays are going to be a time for sharing real life stories. We all have a story. Did you know that? Some may think there's is of no value. It is though. We all have faced challenges, joys, dreams come true, dreams shattered and soldiering on. I'd love to hear about you.
I don't watch network television any more. Apart from the fact that the black monster has no aerial - I find it so depressing and worrisome. My super-sensitive Aspie boys and my angel girl also hate it. So I ask myself - what's the point? I'd much prefer to read a blog or two. Mister J will let me know if there is anything super important I have missed.
I will endeavour to put up my friends life story from Church last week. It did bring me to tears. I have one too. So for this Squiggly Sunday - I will begin my story. Every few weeks I will have a guest post of their story and mix it up with another chapter of mine. You can grab this sidebar box, just click and copy image url (I am no good at giving you the code) and link it back to Squiggly Rainbow. It would be lovely to share our stories.
If you are interested in guest posting - can you leave a comment? Thank you my dears xo.
Me - Rachael - Squiggly Rainbow
I was born in the January of 1978 to a Dutch born mother and an English born father. They had met as children and married when my Mum was 19. Both children of immigrants who came to Australia with nothing and did all they could to establish a better life for their families. Working class families. I don't remember much of my early life. Only trips to the super-market with Mum and my Oma and Opa. Playing with flowers in my garden. Talking over the fence with an elderly neighbour. Spending time with my Grandma and doing lots of activities; paperdolls, drawing, pasting, cooking and looking at my Great-Grandmothers false teeth on sleepovers. The smell of my Dutch Grandparents house and having to drink their horrible tap water. No questions or complaints accepted. A hurt bird in our drive-way and nurturing it back to health in our garage until it flew away. My Grandma's amazing magic tricks with a marble and golf tee. Stepping on a bee and playing in the blue paddling pool under a nectarine tree. Running my fingers along a dried finger-painting I had done at Kindergarten. That is about all I can remember - those select few memories.
My Mum and Dad seemed pretty happy. From what I could tell at the age of 4 and 5 all was quite rosy. My brothers arrived, one when I was 18 months old and then another one when I was 3. I am the oldest. We had a nice house but we moved houses in my first year of school - upgraded suburbs and a bigger house. If only I knew. I started school in the new suburb and really liked my friends. They were very nice. I was quite confident back then. I two-timed identical twins in prep. What a flusey! I had no reason not to feel confident. I had a Mum and a Dad who loved me. We were a comfortable middle-class family. I wore pretty clothes and had lovely dolls I would mother. Life was great.
One night I remember my parents having a long talk for hours in their bedroom. We weren't often left for so long to watch television. I can't remember who told me - probably both my parents - but I am not sure. All I remember was the news. My Dad was leaving our home. He did not want to live with us any more. My world came crashing down. My heart was broken. I was his princess. Why did he want to leave us? My brothers and I were hysterically sobbing. I remember it was so very long. My heart was shattered. As I type this, I can feel my heart resembling that feeling. The hurt is still with me today. The feeling of utter rejection and abandonment by the one who was meant to love me, care for me and teach me my whole life.
I remember words being spoken like - it will all be okay. Not much will change. I still love you. We will still see each other - every Wednesday. Every second weekend. I think to myself - I am like some of the other kids at school.
I remember not wanting to talk on the telephone for weeks to my father. My brothers were heartbroken. Their hero had deserted them. My world was no longer rosy. Reflecting now I can see how I changed. I became a people pleaser. I had my treasured Mummy who was crying and heart-broken so. I had never seen them fight. We were always happy I thought. Why did this happen? This was the start of a whole other tale - a tale of a narcissist man who had found another woman.
When I finally began to see my Dad again - I had become much shier. I wanted him to love me. I yearned to have that feeling of acceptance and Fatherly love I had had before he left. Something in my spirit had changed. It happened the day he left me. Left my family. I always tried to be perfect, so he wouldn't reject me again. So he would have no reason to dislike me - in case I never saw him again. He was ever so charming when we saw him. He did call every night for my whole life to say hello. That still was not enough. Something had broken in my spirit. He married my step-mother in 1986. She was always caring and loving to me and has had a huge part of my life to this day.
Between the ages of Prep and Grade 2 I have little memory. Photo's only prompt certain occasions. I remember irrelevant things like one of the boys pooing his pants as we lined up for class. I do remember school things, but nothing on the home front except Mum telling me about God. I don't remember much until my mother met her second husband.
My brother was having his 5th birthday and obviously invited his friends over for a party. One of the boys came with his Dad. This man had been widowed with 6 children. His son being the youngest. This man was ever so charming to my mother.
The next thing I can remember is my Mum asking if we approved of this man sleeping over at our house. What was I to say? I only wanted her to be happy. Yeah, sure - no I don't mind. They were married in 1986 and we moved into his 4 bedroom home with his mother, three daughters, one son and us. It smelt. He smoked and I continued to be a people pleaser. I gave him hugs to make my Mum think that I was happy with the situation. She looked after us and made sure the best she could mentally and emotionally that we were safe.
We continued at the same school and this was a happy place. I was always frightened and timid at home around my step-Dad, even my Mum at times. She was very sad. She did always give me big hugs and tell me she loved me. We could not go the bathroom once we had been taken to bed my Mum. There was lots of shouting by him. As time went on we found ourselves having to play outside for hours on end. The back-door was locked and we could not venture inside. We would have to go out after breakfast, come in for lunch, out again until dinner, weekends and school holidays. My beautiful toys were put in a garden shed at the back of the yard with a dirt floor. My dolls, tea-sets and books were trodden on by my brothers and new step-brother. I did not have a safe place. This was I found out years later - was my safe place.
We devised plans to make money so our mum could leave. We played with snails for hours on end. The smell of jasmine lingered in the air and neighbours would talk to us from over the fence. We tried to spy on his daughter's living in the caravan in the back yard. We got in to trouble lots.
I would see her, my mother looking through the sheer curtain at the back door at us. She was crying. We would knock on the door - 'can we come in yet?'. No - not yet - oh that's right - wait for dinner time. We'd best not disturb them. They must be doing something very important. Yes, it must be very important. I was a people pleaser - I'd dare not ask.
We were told we were going to move far away with Mum and her new husband. I remember my Father crying and worried. I remember replying "Dad - I don't know why, but it will be okay. We won't be moving there". I think this was one of my first spiritual experiences. We didn't move there.
Life had been visits to my fathers ever second weekend and long episodes locked outside while at home with Mum. My Dad's had become such a fun place. He took us out to restaurants, bought us clothes. We even had some chickens and a green-house to grow plants for a time. I loved the smell of the garden. I love being able to chose to go outside. My step-mum cooked with me. She taught me to iron. Her family were so welcoming. My Dad's house was warm and clean. It smelt nice. We could have a bath every day if we wanted to. My step-mum brushed my hair. I was given lots of praise - 'you're so sweet'. This was safe. My brother's were not people pleaser's. They were very sad. They were angry. It showed in how they acted and how people treated them. Oh so sad.
Two years later Mum and I were hanging out the washing. She told me I had to keep a very important secret and she needed my help. On a certain date, my Father was going to help us leave this man. The police were going to come and I had to be ready. He could not know - if he did - he would hurt my Mum. I knew I could not speak of this conversation. Mum asked me to secretly pack as much of my belongings as I could, so it would be easier to move quickly. We were going to be with my step-mum while my Dad helped. He had arranged a house for us to move in to. I was not allowed to give any of my friends our address. I could not even let them know I was leaving school. This was Grade 5. One day, Mum just picked me and my brother's up and we left. I remember my friends crying at the school gate. Why? Why is she going? All I could say was, he was nasty - he shouted - he wouldn't let me go to the toilet. Life as I knew it then was normal. Being outside all day was normal wasn't it? We were now officially living in hiding.
Please leave a comment if you would like to contribute to my new Squiggly Sundays and share your story. I would be blessed to hear.
As I have just typed now - I have given myself a chance to make sense of so many things - of who and why I am who I am. It does hurt - there is still so much to share. Let's call this Part I.
Love Rach xo