How I Was Neglected and Abused as a Child

Firecrackers were available, and parents allowed us to play with them.   It was tolerated.

Mommy didn’t hold my hand walk me to the bus stop each and every day.  And she didn’t fretfully wait with me until the bus picked me up.   After the first two days of kindergarten, I was left to walk those two blocks…alone.

Bicycle helmets?  WHAT bicycle helmets?

Teachers were allowed to TOUCH you.    By that, I mean, they might have  patted you on the shoulder or something.   Today they’d be arrested for that.

If we misbehaved, teachers would also threaten to send us to the Principal, where you could get THE STRAP.

If you were stupid in school, you got bad marks.   Or they’d threaten to fail you.

Lucky Charms only had four different kinds of marshmallow, dammit.  And the marshmallows ran out long before the cereal did.

If your sports team sucked, you lost all the time.   Nobody tried to salvage your self-esteem by putting limits on how many points the other team was allowed to beat you by.  Life was cruel.

That bastard Disney showed us Old Yeller getting shot on TV.   

I also didn’t have safe, preachy cartoons like the Urinestain Berenstain Bears to teach me Politcally-Correct moral values, like cleaning up after yourself or doing your homework.   Instead, I was forced to watch cartoon animals try to inflict massive head trauma, or blow each other up with dynamite.

The Fisher-Price Little People were everywhere.  They were thumb-sized.   Good Lord…I could have choked.

Breakfast cereals gave out small prizes like plastic cars, whistle or puzzles.  Good Lord…I could have choked.  

Toy guns looked like the real thing,  thus glorifying firearms and violence.  It’s a wonder more of us don’t have a criminal records today.

Candy was not guaranteed to be “peanut-free”.

Our family vacations didn’t involve Disney Land or getting on a plane somewhere.   All we did was lame-ass car-camping, or visit my Uncle’s cottage.     Looking back, I should have reported my parents to Child Protective Services for that.

 We were allowed to eat chocolate and bubble-cigarettes, that were sold in packages that looked the real thing.   I’ve never smoked in my life.  But still…I easily COULD have.

I rode my bike, climbed trees and hiked in the woods…UNSUPERVISED.

In December, they actually encouraged us to use (gasp!) the Dreaded “C-Word”.   We had Christmas trees and Christmas pageants.

Nobody made “play-dates” with me.   I had to find my own friends.   Not only that, but my play-time was unscheduled, unsupervised, and spontaneous.   I feel deprived.

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22 Comments on “How I Was Neglected and Abused as a Child”

  1. Kyddryn Says:

    Poor, poor Friar. How horrid your childhood was.

    A for me, well…it’s so difficult to talk about it, but…I sailed a Sunfish out onto open water alone – without telling anyone where I was going or when I’d be back – many, many times. Someone should be shot. And all those rambles through the woods in mid-winter, with no GPS? Or the times I weilded an axe, chopping wood for tthe stove (and occasionally holes in the pond surface so I could go swimming in January)? The horror! And bicycling around town by myself, without even a cell phone to protect me from the strangers that surely lurked around every turn – it’s a wonder I survived.

    We should start a support group.

    Shade and Sweetwater,
    K

  2. Deb Says:

    Good lord, man, it’s a wonder we’ve lived so long.

    Hmm…let’s see…

    We had a neighbor across the street who had a treehouse. Or rather a tree platform, 50ft off the ground, no railings to speak of, and the only way down or up was a rickety old aluminum ladder that stopped short of the top by two feet.

    And yes, my brother did eventually fall out of it. But you know what? Even though he busted his head open and had to get stitches, not one lawsuit was declared, we still talked to our neighbors, and the very next day the kids were back in the tree house with a warning of “Be careful.”

    There were also numerous hikes down through the woods to the abandoned railroad tracks, which was just fun. And the empty lot a mile away from the main road with a makeshift baseball field.

    These days that’s probably prime serial killer territory. That is if it hasn’t been turned into condos.

    We had day camp where we didn’t wear sunscreen (OH THE HUMANITY!) and were told we’d better stand out in that damned outfield and ENJOY it!

    And no, not a one of us was ever rewarded for mediocrity with 10th place trophies. You either won, placed, or showed. End of story.

    Thank you O’Bishop of Bacon, I feel much better now.

  3. Friar's Mom Says:

    Wee Friar,

    Recreational soccer rules have changed since you played soccer.

    The following info appeared in a local paper “Any team that wins by more than a five-goal differential is charged with a loss”.

    After scoring the last allowable goal, a 17-year old player was told by the Ref not to score any more goals or they would lose the game. So he kicked a possible goal into the corner of the field on purpose.

    How will these young adults learn to cope with failure when they’re off to university in another year?

  4. Friar Says:

    @Kyddryn
    A support group…that’s a GREAT idea! We could call it WAA: Workshop for Abused Adults. 🙂

    @Deb
    Yep. Our childhood was AWFUL. I wish we were 8 years old right now, so we could have all that fun that today’s kids are having.

    @Friar’s Mom
    I know…I tried to google that article, so I could link to it here.

    Un. Freaking. Believable.

    What kind of brain-dead, PC, crunchy granola, bleeding-heart ass-clown adminstrators came up with THAT rule?

    (“Oooh…don’t let the other team win by TOO much!”).

    I’m trying to put myself in their place, and trying to understand their thought-process, but I can’t. I just CAN’T.

    It makes my brain hurt, and blood starts to shoot out my nose.

  5. XUP Says:

    That Gloucester soccer thing is beyond ridiculous. They don’t want to hurt kids’ self esteem by having them lose by too much so now kids who are actually good players spend their time on the field deliberately kicking the ball out-of-bounds so they don’t score goals and lose the game. We were abused as kids too because kids who couldn’t play a sport worth a damn just didn’t even get on a team and if they did, they’d get their asses whooped. Also, we spent our days (when we weren’t working on the farm..child labour!! gasp…) building rafts out all sorts of crap to sail in the creek. None of them worked. Also, for fun we’d jump out of the hayloft in the barn into the manure pile beside the barn. Sometimes we’d make parachutes because the hayloft was high up and we thought we might be able to drift and land in an apple tree instead. Never happened of course. As soon as we were strong enough to stand on the brake pedal and keep in down we were enlisted to drive the tractor, so that the grown-ups could do the loading, unloading, plowing, tilling or whatever. I could go on forever. Good post!

  6. Friar Says:

    @XUP

    Yeah, that story about the Gloucester soccer makes me see RED.

    For Chrissakes. We had 18 year-olds storming the beaches at Normandy, pushing back the Nazis.

    Fast-forward 65 years, and we’ve become such candy-asses, we don’t even let teenagers score too many soccer goals, at the risk of upsetting the other team.

    I weep for our generation.

    Here’s the link…if anyone is interested. Thanks to Friar’s Mom.

    http://news.nationalpost.com/2010/06/01/win-a-soccer-game-by-more-than-five-points-and-you-lose-ottawa-league-says/

  7. Deb Says:

    @Friar’s Mom: You are soooo right. You know, for a moment there I thought this was solely a US thing; apparently not.

    @Friar: Weep is not strong enough. More like wailing and gnashing of teeth.

  8. Friar Says:

    @Deb

    I think we’re like Rome was in AD 400…just prior to the collapse of their Empire.

  9. Deb Says:

    @Friar: That’s a frequent topic around this house.

  10. XUP Says:

    I actually wrote a post about it which I was hoping to put up tomorrow. I don’t understand who called for rules like this in the first place. I can’t imagine any parent in their right mind would be in favour of such a rule, but I would think it was the parents who lobbied for it.

  11. Friar's Mom Says:

    @XUP,

    The rule was probably suggested by a parent of a child on the losing team.

    If so, why didn’t the parent go to their back yard, or neighbourhood park and kick a soccer ball with his child to improve his child’s kicking skills and coordination.

    Parents often don’t spend enough one-on-one time with their children. They’re too busy chauffeuring their gaggle of kids from one venue to antother.

  12. Brett Legree Says:

    Are we really surprised by all of this, though?

    My father speaks fondly of his ’68 Plymouth Roadrunner – a good old muscle car with a big engine, skinny little tires, and shitty brakes. No seat belts. He didn’t have the Hemi, unfortunately (he always says).

    My last car, a 2003 VW GTI, with an engine about 1/3 the size, could blow the Roadrunner away, Hemi or not – acceleration, braking, handling, safety, and get 42 mpg on top of that.

    Yet, the laws of today are totally different.

    When my dad was in his heyday, he’d do donuts and so forth around here and the cops would “give him a warning”.

    If I had done that with my GTI, I’d have been accused of “street racing” and the Nanny State would have confiscated and crushed my car.

    We’ve become a society of gutless pussies, and it all started with the ultra-conservative factions within the Boomer generation.

    The kids today are being victimized by their grandparents and their fears of mortality.

  13. Friar Says:

    @Deb

    Wow..cool. I think yours is the first reference to Friar’s Mom (outside this blog!)

    (Wait..no…I think Eyeteaguy beat you to it). But still..your post was pretty cool! 😉

    @XUP
    It’s probably one of those bleeding-heart “New age” parents who never punish their rug-rats, and reward them for every little accomplishment, like brushing their teeth and doing their homework.

    @Friar’ Mom
    Hmm…when was the last time you saw a parent actually play soccer with their kid?

    They’re too busy driving their kids back and forth to their organized sports and playdates to be able to bother with things like that…

    @Brett
    Exaclty. Not to mention, the Old Folks now drive much much S-L-O-W-E-R. And they want everyone else to, as well.

    Though I don’t think the pussification of our society is necessary the ultra-conservative boomers. I think it’s the PC granola-crunching baby-boomers. The activists and hippies who grew up…now they need somethign to protest about, so they invent these new rules. Like not driving fast, or not playing dodgeball at recess.

  14. Deb Says:

    *bows* thank you 🙂

  15. Karen JL Says:

    Yup, yup, yup.

    I used to take the bus to downtown Montreal to see a movie BY MYSELF when I was like 11 or 12.

    I’m very grateful to have grown up when we did. We were allowed to be kids and had much more (character building) freedom.

    (And now I’m off to Hawaii…aloha!) 🙂

  16. Brett Legree Says:

    They do like their rules. It’s kind of a “do as I say, not as I do” thing in my eyes.

    They had sex, drugs, rock & roll, Woodstock, shitty muscle cars, cheap gas, you name it.

    But *NOW* that they’re getting old and realize that they’re going to die soon, and that they’ve fucked up their world *huge*, suddenly they grew a conscience and are forcing their guilt on us.

    Fuck them.

    It is kind of like the West saying to China and India, “you can’t use those dirty coal plants to pull yourselves up to where we are” (even though we used those dirty coal plants to pull ourselves up to where we are…)

  17. Friar Says:

    @Karen

    Suuure…rub it in!

    But you deserve a break from the Kid. And the Kat! 🙂

    @Brett

    Heh heh.

    I remember the late 60’s and early 70’s well.

    And whoever these people doing the sex and drugs and rock-and-roll and big muscles cars…they certainly were NOT my parents! 🙂

  18. Friar's Mom Says:

    @Wee Friar,

    Didn’t you kick a soccer ball with your dad, or was that your younger brother? Your dad was a great soccer player and coach.

    He learned to play soccer with other poor kids in Europe. There was no organized soccer or Mercy Rule in those days. No one could afford a soccer ball, so they kicked around whatever they could find. Sometimes it was a worn out tennis ball. Their one and only pair of shoes was meant for church and school, so they played barefoot.

  19. Friar Says:

    @Friar’s Mom
    Yeah, Dad taught us soccer. He even coached my team one year.

    But nobody held our hand and nobody gave us grief counselling when we lost.


  20. OMG, I can’t believe you (we) actually *LIVED* through all of that abuse!

    What were our parents thinking? They ought to be punished for their crimes. I mean, there is just NO excuse. None.

    My 16 year old daughter recently told me that if a student brings a “Lord of the Rings” book to school, the book will be confiscated and the book and student will have to picked up by a parent from the office immediately.

    What kind of bullshit is that??

  21. Friar Says:

    @Annie

    Lord of the Rings? Not that TOO?

    What’s so awful about that? Is it biaised against hobbits or something?


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