Posted on November 15, 2014 by Ruth Benstead
Looking back no matter how hard I try I simply cannot remember a time when things weren’t hard. It was hard for mum, and hard for me and my siblings.
Don’t misunderstand me though, there was love and lots of it, but there was no money, mum was abandoned to cope with bringing up three children alone, no state benefits in those days. Dad went off to travel the world and find himself and a new love.
Then there was the added fact that I was a sickly child, making life even harder for mum, so many things she wasn’t able to take part in incase I was poorly that day.
Our house was very old, over a hundred years mum told me, it had a leaky roof and draughty windows, and a coal fire in one room so that the rest of the house was freezing in winter.
We didn’t go hungry but I think that maybe sometimes mum did, you don’t notice such hardships when your little though.
My clearest memories are of not being liked by the other kids, hopscotch skipping building dens school sports day, I was always eager to take part, or just be a part of things, but no matter how much I wanted to my body always let me down.
In little more than minutes I would be wheezing coughing and gasping for a breath. Then there was the dry cracked itchy skin which looked horrible and made the other kids want to keep away or call me nasty names.
No, when I look back, childhood wasn’t much fun. No rosy tinted hue surrounding the memories.
Now here I am, middle aged whatever that means. It’s been hard getting here a very rocky road.
Many times I have not wanted to carry on, but it seems deep down that there is a part of me that cannot quit no matter how hard things get, and things have been as black as they can ever get.
I’m going to make a big leap in time to my teens because my childhood feels to miserable to return to, suffice to say most of what I remember is being ill, and witnessing my parents break-up. Or to be more accurate, my mothers desolation. Dad was on to wife number two within days of my parents divorce.
I was about 15yrs when what seemed like a miracle happened, the eczema all but disappeared. I still to this day have it on my hands, but the rest of my body and face are clear.
Being able to see my face without the eczema was a revelation to me and my school cohorts, my features emerged slowly no longer inflamed and swollen, dry and scabby.
Clear skin, slightly olive in colour with even features. It took some getting used too, suddenly it was ok to be mates with me, boys no longer looked past me like I wasn’t there. I’d arrived!
TO BE CONTINUED:
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