Survival skills – Memoirs

After we were taken to Ireland my dad he met a woman who looked after us while he worked. She became our stepmom. At first things were good, she looked out for us and was nice to my brother and I. Then when she started having her own kids she didn’t want much to do with us. We started getting locked in our bedrooms for long periods of time. I used to watch the children playing outside on their bikes. All I could do was watch. My brother his bedroom was across the landing and we used to play up there and when we’d hear the door open we’d run into our rooms.

We were often beaten and the hardest thing I still remember is watching your brother been hit with a belt and not being able to do anything about it. We both never knew why we were beaten but it went on for years and years. We moved around a fair bit as well and when your in your room for whole summers and you finally get out. I remember the neighbourhood children asking me who I was and when I told them that’s my house. They told me no it’s not we’ve been in your house you can’t live there. I would be allowed out but something always happened so I was back in my room.

To survive I would play cards with myself dealing out all the hands like I was playing with many people. I would do that for hours. I would read lots of books and imagine I was in them all away from this horrible life. As time went on not only was I beaten everyday but I was also starved. The worst feeling in the world is when your tummy is so hungry. I had to do things to stop that pain. The only way to survive that is having God take that feeling away.

I would go to school every day with a peanut Butter sandwich on stale bread that stuck to the roof of your mouth and a limp carrot stick. On the way to school I would throw out the lunch. When I got school I would come in when the kids where out playing at recess I would go into kids classes that were not mine and open up the kids lunches and take out one thing from each lunch. Then I would go into my room and put them in my back pack. I had the greatest lunches. I would do it the next days but never the same classroom. I never got caught thank goodness but when your hungry and need to eat you have to be creative. I also would steal change from my dads coat pockets so I could buy food. I would also steal from the store but after getting caught and my dad was called. I stopped doing that.

People helped me out which I will write about in another post. Again people I think knew that something was not right in my home because I had many opportunities to eat and people provided opportunities for me. For that I’m externally grateful. When your hungry you need to eat and if you have to steal to get it then that’s what you need to do. I have good survival skills for a young girl. You had to have them to survive this world.

I never felt safe as a child and I trusted no one. People always let me down but I did have people I could trust. I never spoke out about what was happening in my home because I’m sure nobody would believe it or my dad would find out and I knew what that meant. I tried to for in with everyone else but that’s hard. I also know that if your hungry learning is out of the question. I used to beat the kids up at school to get attention. Any attention was better than nothing. Kids can be brutal. I had a best friend Karen. Her and I remain friends to this day. Her and I did Everything together. My sister also was my best friend and we did so much together. I had some good people in my life.

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