Monday, October 26, 2009

Chapter 3 - One of the "Smith" Kids

"Well, for tonight you better stay at our house and we can keep an eye on you overnight and if it looks like a concussion during the night or tomorrow we will definitely have to take you in to the hospital. Is that a deal?" BJ asked, smiling at me, blue eyes filled with love and compassion. "I will talk with your mother and let her know that you are going to stay here...I just don't know how she could treat such a nice young girl this way" she shook her head and went to the kitchen to clean up the supper dishes. Deserie usually did them as part of her chores but not tonight. Her mom knew she would want to just sit with me. I went to sleep and woke with a start to "how many fingers am I holding up?" That next day BJ went down in the morning and talked with my mom. I never knew the exact conversation, but I think she told my mom that if she ever heard me speak of a beating or being mistreated again,or saw one bruise or one sign of abuse she and her husband Olan would intervene on my behalf and phone the proper authorities. My mom, I heard, responded that she did not care as she did not want me at home anyway. She was tired of my attitude and did not care if I came home period. With that BJ said that she would allow me to stay with them for a week to give my mom a breather and a chance to cool off, if it was agreeable with all parties, I could stay with them off and on as long as it took, just to ease some of the pressures my mother was dealing with at home and to have a chance to help me out and share some love they knew was lacking at my house. My mother agreed. I spent the next week at their home. It was summer time and we would spend hours on the porch talking with my other best friend Arlene. We would go to Ar's house and sit in her room listening to albums, talking about boys and doing our hair. We also had another thing we liked to do and that was to get high. I was 13 that summer. Headed for the tenth grade, sophomore at high school. We all used to go to school together but a riot at the school had Deserie's and Ar's parents fuming mad, so they changed schools and went to another high school. I messed up an attempt to change schools when I showed up completely stoned out of my head for an interview with the dean. They would not accept me on the grounds that I did not live in the right district. I lived on the same street my friends lived on, two houses from Arlene and three houses from Deserie, so I thought I should be allowed to go to the same school they were going to. But I was so high and I knew my parents did not care so I left it at that. Arlene had been my childhood best friend. She used to look out for me in elemetary school. She was in the second grade and I was in the first grade and she used to come and check on my during the day in my classroom to see if I was okay. That's how she was, my guardian angel. We grew up together and her mom would let me play at her house. She was not allowed at my house as her mom had seen and probably heard all the screaming and shouting going on over there, and all the police cars and ambulances that would pull up to our house on a regular basis. It was quite embarrassing to grow up on a street where everyone knows your business and judges you as "one of the Smith kids". That week at Deserie's house was like something out of an old fashioned television show, I thought. They sat at the table together for meals, they talked about their day and gave the Blessing over the meal. BJ and Olan did not scream at each other, throw things at each other or beat on each other. Neither did they scream at, or beat on their children. They seemed genuinely interested in how their daughter and two sons were doing and asked them if they needed anything. Sometimes there would be disagreements, especially over chores or grades, but in all the years I knew this family and all the time I spent with them in their home, they were just normal, average, nice people who wanted the best for their children. They treated me just like one of their own, and made me feel quite at home. I did not know it then, but their example would make it's mark and set the stage for my ability to move past the abusive "learned" behaviours I had learned from my parents such as hatred, cursing, destructive behaviour, violence, self loathing and irresponsibility, and replace them with the ones they placed in my heart. Love, compassion, care, concern, responsibility and accountability


  1. amazing what we learn from our parents and how "Different" "normal" is. Peace

  2. You got that right my friend! Crazy....!