Shadow Of Victory

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

April 7th Moving on

I am going to move on a bit to the other significant events under this first "thorn".....namely the suicides of my two brothers and the abandonment by my mum when I was 12 years old. I have never really spoken about these events in great detail to Chris..family or friends and I am trusting God that "writing will be my best chance of happiness" and as I write I will be open to Gods Spirit bringing fresh revelation to me.

I will begin in the summer of my 12th year....I was living with my mum and sister and brother....unknown to me both my sister and brother had applied to emigrate and the time had come for my sister to actually go....I waved goodbye to her at the docks in Glasgow never really understanding that she was gone and gone for good. There then followed a very painful time in my childhood and even as I begin to type these words I can feel the tears beginning.....but I can do tears...so don't hand me a "virtual " tissue....I so much believe that God values tears when shed in this healing context.

My sister was the apple of my mums eye...and as she sailed off to Canada....my mum disappeared into her own grief that had no room for me. She had always had a problem with alcohol and this was her escape route....she lived in the local pub and her life fell apart. My older brother kept his head down and got on with his life and kept going with his arrangement to emigrate too. I kinda fell by the wayside....got myself up for school...made myself some food.....went to launderette...visited my dad and other 2 brothers once a week to collect the money that he paid to mum for my "keep" .....all stuff that an 12 year old should never have to deal with.The most painful memory (amongst many painful ones ) I have from this time was re a popular song from that era...the words go.."There goes my only possession ..there goes my everything." and my mum would return from the pub...and put this record on and let it play on repeat....I would lay awake in my bed realising that my mum was basically saying that when my sister left she had lost EVERYTHING....and I was nothing.....I would listen to mums drunken serenades and at times she would come into the room where I would pretend to be sleeping and she would sing this chorus over me....these words found their way into my spirit and formed a deep lie that it has taken me decades to replace with the truth.

Inevitably we fell behind with our rent and had to move house ...to a smaller place...but as my brother was due to get on his boat and go to Canada it was decided this would be okay. One Saturday morning I woke up and there was a note on the table....from my mum..."I have gone to London...be back soon" and a five pound note beside it for food.

My brother went berserk....not at the fact that mum had gone but that it was only 5 days till he was due to go and there he was ...left with me.!!!..I remained quite cheerful and can remember going to the supermarket and buying cold ham and potatoes and cooking my brother his tea...feeling quite grown up...I was now 12 years old and could look after myself ..thank you very much. Miss Independence began a whole new chapter then....The day before he was due to leave he walked me round to my dads and as I sat in the living room watching telly...I could hear them in the bedroom talking.....words floated out...."she cant stay here" "no room".."where is the woman and is she coming home" and as they talked I slipped out of the flat and went back home.

I determined there and then that I would look after myself...I didn't need anyone....I could survive anything and....anyway...the note said "be back soon"..so I would wait here until she did come back...soon... These were the days before folk had telephones ( and I am referring to landlines..not mobiles.)and there was no way we could even try and track her down...but I told my brother to...go...get on your boat...its fine...I will be okay....she will be back...soon. He left as planned and I stayed as planned..... and "soon " never happened.

So here I am ...12 years old and alone.....Days turned into a week and then two and I got myself up and went to school...washed my knickers in the sink and ate beans on toast...(still love beans on toast to this day )...Apart from my dad and brothers no one at school or friends knew I was alone. A letter arrived about 17 days after ...and it was a one page...."sorry...not coming back..got a good job and please go to your dads and stay there.."...I didn't go to school that day....I went back to bed and slept and dreamt of dying...My thoughts were.....if I could sleep long enough I wouldn't wake up and that was so much more preferable to this bloody awful life. I was alone.I was nothing. I was unwanted. I was damaged goods anyway. I was so awful that once my sister and brother left that my mum couldn't possibly look after me.!

Hey...from this vantage point looking back I can rationalise EVERYTHING....I can EXCUSE and UNDERSTAND it all...but at that point in time I had nothing ...absolutely nothing to ground my wild emotions on and so they ran riot filling my childish mind and spirit with crap and lies. The damage that had already been inflicted on me through abuse was now compounded by being left alone...I called this "thorn" abandonment " and I wondered if that was too emotive a word....But I looked it up in the dictionary and it says...."give up completely...forsake...give up to anothers control or mercy ...." and I think this sums up what I was experiencing. These are all words I would have to grapple with when I became a Christian....God promises "He would never leave me nor forsake me...He would have mercy on me according to His unfailing love " yet all my experiences were the opposite of these promises.....

I will stop here as this entry is proving to be quite long...much longer than I thought ....As I wrote earlier I began to feel quite an upsurge of emotions but on reflecting on this I know they aren't now tears of pain.....more just a sluicing around of some wee gritty bits that had been stuck in the wound and now are rinsed out and once more soothed by Gods precious love.......love the analogy.!!

3 comments:

Jacqui W-G said...

Irene, your story is a million miles from my experience of childhood, but as a teacher I have had many children in my classes who have been "young carers" living a double life and somehow either not being able to articulate their pain or needs or it never occuring to them that there would be anyone in a school environment who they could trust to reveal the other part of their life to.

I get the sense that you constantly clung on to that in-built trust that your mother could and would never forget you. I can see that you have been touched by the grace of God and in His mercy that lie that self destruction could bring silence never took root.

Keep writing and keep thankful. Your light brings freedom to others still covering in darkness.

"They overcame by the blood of the lamb and word of their testimony, they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death."
Revelation 12:10-12

Jacqui

Sandra in Bonnie Scotland said...

Irene, as one of your oldest pals I'm so amazed at THIS blog entry but only because you've held it inside for such a long time! I wish we'd maybe known each other earlier (younger) than we did, just in case I could have comforted ....somehow.....but reaslising now that as I was only 14 when my dad died and left me with "my wicked stepmother" for the next couple of years until - as you know - I left home on my 16th birthday (the legal age in Scotland folks down south reading this)....never looking back...doubt I'd have words of wisdom!!!

YOU may think you only bacame a Christian since being in England, but upon reading this entry I know God was certainly looking out for you then when he brought Chris into your life all those dancing years away at Aquarius' disco in Edinburgh! I think you two being together as one ARE already as being in Heaven!

You are being healed by this blog for sure....so glad to be part of it.

Love ya!

Caroline said...

Irene, you break my heart. Some pal I was. I wish I'd known. You've mentioned bits to me before but just reading all this now... this was when we were in 1st year no? I know I dropped you in 2nd but you were also away elsewhere? Or maybe just in turmoil somewhere. I'm really sick to know what a useless pal I was. Stunned, at how a kid can really fall through the net. You know, our Emma is a social worker for kids and families now and the stuff she tells me... this still goes on!
I hope you can also forgive ME for being a useless pal, ach, I know you HAVE, but you need to know... I really wish I'd helped then, somehow. In my defense, I was just a kid too, head in the clouds. Reading on.