I am afraid, as can happen sometimes, that we jumped a head a bit, so bare with us as I take us back to when the last sibling was born, as there is some important situations that happened that shaped us to be come who we all are today.
Our little brother was still an infant, when mom went in the hospital with what they call a nervous break down. In actuality, My sister firmly believes that our mother was suffering from postpartum depression. I believe this is the case and this fact would be compounded by that our mother was suffering from sever mental illness, they called it manic depressant back in her day. I do believe they call it Bio-Polar disorder now a days. Coupled with the fact that she was a acute alcoholic and was abusing her prescription drugs, she was hell bent for disaster. I guess for her this meant a trip to the hospital. I sometimes wonder if what had already transpired with the sexual abuse and physical abuse also, contributed to her depression. Maybe I am just wishful thinking,that she felt any remorse at all.
The youngest child just being a helpless infant makes this retelling of events all the more painful, due to the fact that being children our selves we were helpless to help our little baby brother. Since our Mother had been admitted to a hospital we were assigned a home maker. Some one who would live with us and take on parental duties until such a time our mother was able to cope with raising us.
Since by this time Tyra and I were in school, and our little sister was in preschool, that poor baby was entrusted to the care of a stranger. I remember what she looked like. She had shoulder length curly hair, blonde in color. She wore those big rounded glasses that were so fashionable back in the day. She was fairly tall, and lean. She seemed pretty fit. She seemed to be between the age of 23 or 26 leaning more towards the middle.
She seemed to be a fairly cheerful person, and was fun to be with, however, as a homemaker she was sadly lacking, and her interests did not lay with caring for four traumatized children. Raising children is already difficult, rewarding , but difficult. Add the behaviors of traumatized children for someone expected to care for them with out the necessary training or skills, well I am sure it was a nightmare for her too.
The first incident that sent of warning bells for me is that every time I came home from school, I would always have to go up to my little brothers room to check on him. Never was he already up and waiting for us… it made me question whether she was interacting with him beyond the most basic needs he had. Horrifying to think this child was being neglected by a paid care giver, but it happens all to often. The second thing that happened was when I came home from school and went up stairs as usual to check on my little brother, he was laying on a sheet that was over top a dirty sheet, like what the hell?! who puts a clean sheet over a dirty one? That is laziness in the extreme. I can not in good conscience give it a pass saying she was not aware, because I am sure she did not make her bed like that at home! I confronted her about it, and she apologized and said she would do better.
Now whether she was angry and was maliciously punishing my little brother to get to me or not I do not know. However, the next incident was a few days later,and I came home to find my little brother laying on his tummy on a plastic covering, nothing else!! Just a plastic sheet over the baby mattress. I was shocked, hurt, and very angry! I confronted her again!! This is not acceptable at all! Even, I who was by no means old enough to be a mother knew this was wrong and very dangerous to do! She apologized and said she would make his bed properly. What the heck was wrong with this woman’s mind, that she had to have a child holding the adult accountable?! I had a very difficult time standing up for my self, but when it came to my siblings, that was an entirely different matter.
The last and final indecent was the most horrific to me. I again came home from school and as was now my habit to drop my books by the door, I wasn’t going to do my homework any way, I was so exhausted all the time. I headed up the stairs to my little brothers room, he was always such a quiet baby.
The platform the baby mattress was on became unhinged on the end and had come down on a angle, and there was my infant brother trapped between the platform and mattress and the crib!!!! Oh My God! How long had he been like this!!The only way I could reach him was to climb into the crib, praying I would not cause even more distress or break the platform all together, inadvertently hurting my little brother. I was in such a panic I didn’t even think to call that woman for help!!! I was able to rescue him safely. He was unhurt as far as I could tell.
Now I was just livid!!! I told that woman in no uncertain terms that she is to call her employer and request a transfer as she was no longer welcome in our home to care for us. I also spoke to our social worker and told her what happened. I am of the mind that the social worker told mom, because mom came home after that. the care of the little ones was left to me more and more, and my schooling became a nightmare for me, as I will describe in later posts.
My greatest joy was playing with the little ones. We would pretend to be dancers and I would swing them around like they did on the tv. We also, had a game I called bucking bronco lol. I would lay flat on my back and bring my knees up to make a platform, sometimes I would put a pillow on there because they had bony buts LOL. One child would sit on my knee’s and I held their feet and levered my legs up and down like a wild bronco. They loved that game, and so did I. When our Youngest brother was old enough to play you can be sure he was in line for his turn.
Another game We played was called elevator. They would sit on my feet, while I held theirs and I would raise them up and down like an elevator, sometimes shouting oh no the elevator is broken, pretending to drop them only to catch them with my feet again lol. they would laugh so much, was a beautiful sound to me. There really wasn’t much laughter so when there was I basked in the sound.
“A child’s laughter is as close as we will get to the sound of angels, until we go to our home in the heavens”. Tammy 2019
Please share your thoughts and views with us, it is important to us to share with you, what you are comfortable sharing.