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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I'm Sorry

I did not ever want to see Charlie again, but he continued to show up. He showed up at my home, he showed up at my job and he pleaded with me to go out with him again... to give him another chance. He told me he was so sorry and cried and started opening up to me about all that he had experienced growing up as a child.

When Charlie was two, his mother left him and his 3 siblings. His older brother has filled in the blanks recently to my daughter and I on exactly what happened when they were all very young. Their mother was abused by their father and that is why she left. The children were placed into different homes and Charlie was raised by a very poor lady that had several older children and was an alcoholic. She found company with a man half her age that lived with her until she passed a few years ago. He basically grew up doing what he wanted to do, when he wanted to do it, but always carried with him hatred for his mother, as he felt she abandoned him.

Unless you knew someone or was related to someone that already had a job in one of their few plants there, you did not have work. Many people were in the union and waited on long lists for their turn to work, and the money they made had to be used to live off of the rest of the year while they were waited to be called upon again. Charlie packed up his bag and left there and went to VA looking for work. He had moved in across the street from where I lived and that is how and where we met...

Being the naive, trusting 19 year old that I was, and growing up in a home that I witnessed my father consistenly hit my mother, I was reluctant but accepted Charlie's apology at giving him another chance. My roommates and close friends were not thrilled with the idea, nor were my coworkers who saw right through the bruises and the stories I told them about how I received them. I was too embarrassed to tell many how the bruises landed on me. I felt as though I somehow maybe deserved them, especially since that is what I was constantly told.

Self esteem? I had none... I was hit with belts and switches from a forsythia bush through all of my years of growing up as a child. I remember crying alone, so they could not see me weak, rubbing my welts on my legs and thinking how ugly they were on me. I cannot to this day, even tell you why the welts were placed on me. I only remember the pain that I felt that my mom and dad wanted to hurt me in that way... But they loved me, because parents are supposed to love their kids...

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