There are many things that come to play when I remember having written the poem that follows below. I remembered having been told for as long as I can remember that I was a backwards child, accident prone, an accident waiting for a place to happen, I couldn’t play by myself, that I had a tremendous inferiority complex, and that I could make a preacher cuss. In other words, I was a problem child.
When I tried to tell her the things that were being done to me, she didn’t believe me. Since I was hurting and upset most of the time, I threw temper fits and always tried to get adults to pay attention to me and be affectionate to me, as in give me hugs. When I saw my sister being given affection, and I got none, I cried a lot. This upset my Mother tremendously, but it never resulted in my receiving any hugs. As a result, there was always confrontation when I was around, a fact that added to my families disdain for me. I can remember these things happening back as early as when I was four years old. It seemed like anything bad that could be said about a child was said about me when I was a child. All of these things added together are what made me feel the way I did and therefore the reason for me writing what I wrote in the poem that follows.
A POEM MY MOTHER MIGHT HAVE WRITTEN ABOUT ME
Backwards was this child of mine.
Only one to be accident prone all of the time.
Never could do anything on her own.
Never could play all alone.
Inferiority always a part.
Exasperating from the very start.
Bonnie was a problem child indeed.
Made up crazy wants and needs.
She was always selfish and mean.
And with her the other kids didn’t want to be seen.
She was such a clinging vine.
I pushed her away all of the time.
She was so backwards and clumsy in school.
Always wanting affection and attention as a general rule.
She’d cry if you even looked at her straight.
Desirable was something that her you could not make.
She was said by her Nanny to be reserved and shy.
Just another means for affection and attention that she’d try.
She was always mixed up and confused.
And said that she was being sexually abused.
She used this as her biggest scheme.
I found it to be a rather disgusting thing.
She was only four years old.
The first time, to me, this story was told.
She was told the man did her no harm,
And to find something to do, to run along.
She was always wanting kisses and hugs.
I found this annoying and the practice did shrug.
She’s grown now, and on her own.
I mostly talk to her on the telephone.
She comes home on her vacations,
And always causes problems in her relations.
She goes back home when her vacations end,
Until time for her to come back again.
She lives far away in another state.
Now she’s got her own bed to make.
She doesn’t believe what I tell her is true.
When she was growing up, I did the best that I could do.
She’s still mixed up and so confused.
But since she lives by herself, she can’t say she’s being abused.
She’s still my backwards child to this very day.
And until her death I guess it will always be that way.
August of 1988
MY MOTHER’S ACCEPTANCE
I feel that I shall never know or see,
A time when my Mother really loves and accepts me.
All I’ve been since I have known,
Is my Mother’s backwards one and accident-prone,
I know this fact, true to be, by what she always said to me.
“You haven’t been wanted since the day it was known you were going to be.”
One brother was smart, a sister was pretty,
I was an accident, my other brother was sickly.
She complains I have no self-esteem.
But a light that’s pushed back and covered up can never beam.
I tried to give her a hug and a kiss.
But she pushed me aside and said I was too big for this.
This was hard to accept and understand,
For in my years I was all of ten.
I wanted to tell her that I loved her,
And I was glad that she was mu Mother.
But this was an unimportant fact,
When she told me just to scat.
To my bedroom I went and fell on my bed to cry,
And wished that like my baby sister, I could die.
But death to me did not come,
So somehow I had to go on.
Sexual abuse from a neighborhood man started at the age of four,
But was pushed away and instead hid and cried.
Since my Mother said the man was doing no harm,
My visits to his house continued to go on.
The fact of sexual advances by the man my Mother did shrug.
So I continued to go, for when he had finished, he always gave me a hug.
The extent of the abuse mattered not,
As long as when he was through, a hug I got.
Never underestimate the power of a hug.
It’s more powerful than the most advanced technological spying “bug”.
For it to be so small and easy to give,
Without it some people cannot live.
For a Mother or anyone to give a hug,
Shows of you their acceptance and love.
All my life I have fought the fight.
In the eyes of my Mother I never did anything right.
But God gave me a “special gift”,
By a poem in their time of need, to give others a lift,
But not just in their time of need,
But for my thankfulness and appreciation of them to plant the seed.
And to watch it, how this seed does grow,
When love and acceptance to each other we show.
My Father left when I was barely three,
So acceptance or love by him neither did I receive.
The things called self-esteem and self-worth are not inborn traits,
But positive strokes in early childhood by others a foundation does make.
And if these things are not received,
A hell on earth is what is lived.
As daily you remember your prayers,
You try to show others you love them and you care.
But others come and rob your wealth,
When you are told you can’t love others if you don’t love yourself.
You can’t help but to wonder how this can be,
When in you no reason for love or acceptance does your Mother see.
When Jesus commanded us to love others as we love our self,
I think he meant don’t love them less and rob them of any wealth.
For I see love as true riches and wealth,
And it doesn’t have anything to do with esteem or worth of self.
I don’t feel a child is born naturally mean,
But can become that way as a result of many things.
The one influence I feel is stronger than any other,
Is the all important influence of a Mother.
And if a Mother’s acceptance and love cannot be had,
The outlook for this child is questionable and sad.
But for many years, one thing I always felt was true,
Was that I didn’t turn out too bad for all I’ve been through.
Now I feel, that, to myself, I can no longer say,
For things keep getting worse and worse every day.
And even though I’m 36 years old,
The emotions and affections of a child I hold.
Why my inner being with my body has not grown,
Is just now, by me, starting to be known.
When acceptance and love by my Mother I did not receive,
The ability for my emotions and affections to mature, from my body took leave.
Now that to my poems I have returned,
In discussing my desire to have them published, that fact I did learn.
Oh the tears that through the years I have cried.
I will try to recapture and by my Savior have them dried.
For I feel that I shall never know or see,
A time when my Mother really loves and accepts me.
She says that she does, when on the phone her voice I hear.
But it lacks something to make me feel its’ sincere.
And when all of my poems I did reread,
Not one to my real Mother did I see.
For I cannot write a poem if the feeling isn’t there.
Just like I cannot look outside and actually see the air.
Do I really love my Mother, sometimes I wonder so.
Because to me, as a child, love and acceptance she did not show,
Now it occurs to me, maybe how to do it, she simply did not know.
These things that were oh so very deep,
In the innermost sanctums I wanted always to keep,
For when I seriously think about them, I begin to weep.
These were things I never wanted anyone else to know,
For love and kindness was all I wanted to show.
I didn’t want anyone else to know I doubted my love for my Mother,
For the Bible teaches we are to love one another.
It’s hard to admit my real Mother has never been “poemed”,
Now that the time to seriously think about publishing has come.
The poems I wrote about Mama and Mother were so general in deed,
To have something extra to put in a card would fit anyone’s need.
For as long as I can remember my life has been a struggle,
To do good as I wanted, instead of bad, has been a tuggle.
For the mean and bad has always been right at hand,
In numbers equal to a mighty band.
The good has always been right by its’ side,
In numbers so small I’m surprised it didn’t hide.
But David and Goliath, in that mighty fight,
The good never hid but proceeded right in sight.
But somehow now, I think I know and see,
In her own way, my Mother really loves and accepts me.
But even knowing that, it’s almost the same,
For just knowing the fact doesn’t release the pain.
For just the knowledge in your head to know,
Does not help retarded emotions and affections to grow.
For my emotions and affections are about 30 years behind.
It’s going to take a lot of growing to tighten the line.
And all of this is part of a compounded plight,
That didn’t happen and won’t get straightened out overnight.
August of 1988