Don’t Tell

During swimming lessons in Junior School, the coach sent me down to fetch something for her from the main building. And to hurry. This was at the convent. I raced off down to the main buildings, past the kitchen area. But one of their ridgeback dogs – who used to be tied up – ran out of the enclosure and charged after me, biting me in the leg behind the knee. I screamed blue murder – as you do – but Mother Superior rushed out calling me names – stupid, naughty, on she went, for disturbing the senior girls during their studies. She sent me to the sick room but warned me venomously, that I would be punished later.

After supper that night we all went to the hall, I had to stand on the stage and hit the back of my hands with a long wooden ruler, steel rimmed side down, until they bled. While she said harder, harder.

When I wrote home to tell mom, I was called in and told never to seal my letters again. (?!?) They forbade me telling anyone anything that happens at school.

They often treated me cruelly for no apparent reason. It was a long, long, time, before I could trust people again, and even longer to speak up. I was ashamed for being me, a bad person, and no way out. I was on my own.

Granny was out one day in the school holidays, and left the balding border in charge. He exposed himself and made me touch him, and to tell no one…

Abnormal use of anything is abuse. Authority must be up there as the number one abuse. Inevitably I was moulded to receive it all.

Even when I was back home from school at the end of term, which was only every three months, I still didn’t seem to have the chance to talk about things. I’d end up lying on granny’s bed with my big fluffy cat called Sue. He was so tiny when we got him, we couldn’t tell that he was a boy. But Sue he remained. I loved the name – even my doll was called Sue. I know many lovely ladies in UK called Sue now. But my kitty cat was my only friend then. He’d purr so loudly and lick my cheeks as I lay on the bed crying and silently saying ‘Gentle Jesus meek and mild…’ mommy taught me…that’s all I knew.

Picture from Pixabay

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