I was the baby in the family, born 11 and 8 years, respectively, after my siblings. Not until just a few years ago did I hear that my mother “farmed out” my sister and brother to strangers. The term usually referred to children who were sent to a relative back in the day, but in my siblings’ case it was an indenture. My brother and sister had to work for their keep, ages six and 11.
They told me these stories as part of my research while writing Wild Violets, a romanticized version of my Mother as a flapper and entrepreneur in the 1920’s in San Francisco. As the family secrets unfolded, the romanticism flew right out the window. And that’s okay; remember what I told you about your story taking hold and telling itself?
But the enormity of my mother’s actions still didn’t really sink in… grab my heart. It happened so long ago, it happened in a different time, it didn’t happen to me, I told myself.
Until… I began to actually write that part of the story. Here were these two little kids dumped at the front door of a farm house by their mother and her current boyfriend. The kids had no warning, no time frame, didn’t even know if they would ever see their mother again. And for no good reason. The family wasn’t destitute… she owned a bar and grill in San Francisco. There were no addiction problems unless you counted our mother’s addition to men.
As I wrote those pages, I finally became invested in what had happened to my brother and sister over seventy years ago. And my heart broke. To finally see why, in part, they became the people they are today. Why, at times, my sister bitterly resented me. Why my brother was an overachiever and obsessed with family.
In my own way, I too was abandoned by our mother. No, she never farmed me out. Nothing so overt as that. But she chose her men over me, time and time again. Her desires always trumped my childhood needs. I was a left-over. A possession that she could put down or pick up again on a whim. Showed off to her current beau or friends and then set in a corner, like an old broom.
And if you, my readers, hear bitterness leaking through my words… it’s not for me and how I was raised.
Because I have overpowered my past and empowered myself to be fierce, tough and resilient. Seeking my talent and achieving my goals. (Yes, I still have abandonment issues)
The bitterness and heartache you hear is for those two little kids dumped at a stranger’s door!
This Post Has 11 Comments
Wow!! Love this!! So powerful!! Thank you so much for sharing!! I can’t help but wonder about your Mom’s childhood???
Becki, thanks for your feedback. Surprisingly, my mother’s childhood was ideal. I just finished my second novel about her childhood and her days as a business woman and flapper in the ’20’s. “Wild Violets” will be released May 1st. http://www.writeratplay.com
There just isn’t always a insightful reason for some behavior is there? I’m always trying to figure out “what made you do that ?” But then I move forward and say to myself, “It doesn’t matter as much as what I choose to do with it .
With every wound received, and every time I’ve wounded…may there be healing and movement toward The Light.
Namaste dear one!
So true. Amen to that! A famous author that I write about once said, “What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger……and someday you might get a good story out it.” This story inspired me to write this novel.
Love and peace within,
Bless you dear Trish!!
I had a similar childhood. Much abuse, alcoholism, abandonment etc. I resented my Mom so much, (some days still do.) What I now know is that her childhood was worse than mine, and mine was heinous !!!!
Too often, we repeat what we see growing up. My mother did not know that she had choices, Because of people like Oprah and Dr. Phil, I know that I do have choices. Generational evil can be changed.
I love your “with every wound received, and every time I have wounded, (which I have) may there be healing toward the LIGHT !!!!! I love that.
Bless you!! Peace, healing, love in abundance!!
I have a new blog coming up (here) about overcoming the past and the horrific pivotal
points in our lives…..watch for it. Thank you for your feedback.
Wow Trish! What a story. Thanks for sharing. So thought provoking and I can only imagine how hard for you to feel your siblings pain and to understand why they are who they are. So proud of all of your writing, your enthusiasm. All the best to you. Love, Jodeen
thanks, darling for the feedback and encouragement. It’s a lonely job, writing. LOL
How are you doing??? Sending my love, Trish
THIS IS BRO TALKING. YOU ARE TAKING OFF. I BELIEVE I CAN SEE WHAT YOU ARE WRITING BETTER THEN ANYONE THAT HAS ‘TALKED’ TO YOU ON YOUR BLOGS. I WAS THERE AFTER ALL. IT MUST BE SO ENCOURAGING TO GET THE MARVY FEEDBACK. AND YOU DESERVE THE SPLENDID RAVES. YOU ARE GROWING WITH LEAPS AND BIG BOUNDS GIRL. I HAD NEVER SEEN THE PHOTO’S OF THE FAMILY. YOU WERE A TEENY LITTLE GIRL, DORIS LOOKED LIKE A HIGHER TEENIBOPPER AND I LOOKED LIKE A BOY TRYING TO BE A MAN, I HAD A WAY TO. WOULD IT BE POSSIBLE TO SEND ME A COUPLE OF COPIES OF THOSE PIC’S? I WOULD HAVE THEM BLOWN UP. THEY ARE, TO ME, AT LEAST SUCH WONDERFUL HISTORY. HEY, ARE YOU SICK OF ME CAUSE I PAID OFF THAT DAMN CAR? BLOWING DOUGH, I KNOW. I WANT TO BE OUT OF PEOPLES GRASP. I HATE IT. LUV YA GIRL. YOU DO SO VERY WELL! BRO. PS, I HAD NO IDEA THAT I WAS IN SUCH A POSITION, AT STRANGERS HOMES MOST OF MY CHILDHOOD. I JUST DID NOT KNOW ANY BETTER.