“My childhood was rough, we were poor and my parents were alcoholics, but nobody was mean. I knew I was loved. We were on welfare, but I never felt abandoned or unloved.” ~~ Carol Burnett
OK, folks. I am going to reveal a bit of autobiographical detail which might bore some of you. There will be no test to follow so you may stop reading here if you have no interest in my sordid past. It is a story filled with betrayal, murder and intrigue, lust, car chases, one atomic explosion and a denouement to rival…, oh, wait. That was the movie I watched last night. Nothing to do with my formative years!
Anyway, the above quote, attributed to Carol Burnett, made me stop and think about my own childhood and what it was like. My parents were very much in love and continued to hold hands up until my mother died in 2001. I don’t think they ever really made room for my sister and me. Less so for me. My parents were both hard working with not much formal education- my mother graduated high school but my father did not. Neither did my sister. I, on the other hand, went to university and even entered a master’s program- though I never completed my written dissertation. There were many other differences too- ones that made them joke that I had been adopted. And made me believe that maybe I was. They had no interest in reading, writing, art, music. I did not look like either of them. I was sensitive, introverted, easy to cry. This has nothing to do with the quote above except to make a point. There are all kinds of abuse. Never having time for your child or showing no interest in the things he or she is interested in can hurt as much as a word or a slap. It will mold that child into the person they become. So be careful.