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A Life Worth Living; Chapter Five

This is the story of my abusive life and how the abuse endured as a child shaped my life. In this chapter I get a sense of love for a while.

Cubley Hall

Cubley Hall

Safe haven

The Authorities like social services would often come and take me and my siblings away and we were put into care. I spent the majority of my early years in and out of care.

When I was aged about five or six I was put back into care and I was taken to Cubley Hall, a children’s’ home on the edge of the Peak District National Park, in Penistone, Yorkshire. The Hall was a big Georgian building set within four acres of gardens of rhododendrons and surrounded by fields and moorland. I loved the hall and it was a far cry from the miserable, dark and dingy street and house that I lived in. I had been to the hall for shorts stays before that time and the place felt familiar to me. The hall felt like a safe haven for me. I could relax a little knowing my Mam was not going to walk through the door at any moment and attack me.

One day, I was asked by a member of staff to go to the office because someone had come to see me. I can remember, skipping to the office, holding a teddy bear tightly to me, as I went along my merry way.

Foster Parents Jane And David

In the office were a man and woman that I had never seen before, and they were smiling at me. A tall man with a big bushy beard and the pretty nice smelling lady were introduced to me as David and Jane. ‘They have come to see you’, I heard someone say. Jane crouched down to get to my level, ‘Hello Louise’, she said. I grabbed hold of the legs of a member of staff and hid behind them, shyly peeking out. 'Would you like a sweet', she said, trying to coax me out from behind the legs. She held out her hand, and I, not needing much coaxing, came out and took a sweet from her hand and shoved it in my mouth before she could change her mind. ‘Would you like to come and stay with us?’ David was asking. I don’t remember answering but some time later, I was told to say goodbye to my sister who was sat in the lounge crying. ‘I want to go!’, she was wailing. I tried, clumsily, to put my arms around her and puckered up to kiss her better, but she pushed me away and I fell over on the floor in front of her. ‘Piss off!’ She said.

David and Jane lived in a big, light airy bungalow. All the rooms were bright and cheery and all had had beautiful carpets and fittings. They had two golden retrievers, which to me, always seemed like they were smiling, they looked so happy. The house felt like a happy place and I remember trying my best to be good and do everything right so that David and Jane would like me. They were patient with me and I was always on my best behaviour. I was on guard because I was afraid they would eventually attack and hurt me. Someone being kind to me was not something I had ever experienced before meeting them. I lived in fear but they were always so gentle and kind.


First Experience Of Feeling Loved

They took the time to teach me things and I was quick to learn. They taught me how to read and write and I remember learning and actually feeling pleased with myself. Each day, they would give me words to learn and at the end of the day give me a little test to see if I had learnt the word. I usually did learn the spelling and I was always rewarded with some kind of treat, usually a penny, that I would put in the little money box they had given me. I wanted desperately for them to like me and tried hard to please, but at the age of six, I did not know how to just relax and be a child. I was afraid of getting something wrong, always conscious of what I was doing or saying, always trying to please.

One night, I was suffering from a really bad stomach, a result of the stress I was under, trying to be someone they would like me to be, which resulted in diarrhoea, all over the lovely clean bed I slept in. I remember laying there, terrified of what their reaction would be when they found out what I had done. I was crying as quietly as I could when Jane came in my room. ‘I am sorry! I said, over and over. ‘It’s okay, don’t worry’, Jane said, soothingly. She gave me a nice warm bath, wrapped my up in a big fluffy white towel and hugged me. ‘It’s okay now’, she said. She put me back into clean sheets, kissed my forehead and told me to try and go back to sleep. I went to sleep with a smile on my face as I imagined that I was a princess and I had been rescued. For the first time in my life, I felt fairly relaxed and cared for and it was a nice feeling.

Too Good To Last

I blossomed while living with David and Jane in their lovely light, bright house. I don’t know how long I was there but in the time that I was there, I learnt to read and write. I also learnt to knit and crochet thanks to the kindness and patience of Jane, lovingly showing me until I got the hang of it. I still feel her love when I crochet today over fifty years later.

One day I came back from a trip with David. I ran to the living room to see Jane, but before I reached the chair she was sitting in I noticed there were two nuns dressed in their usual black garb, sat on the settee. I knew something was wrong because I could see Jane had been crying and I could see she was still sniffling. I took one look at Jane's face and I panicked.

‘We have come to take you home dear’, said one of the nuns. I felt sick and desperately wanted to run. I ran towards Jane, ‘I am not going’, I cried. ‘I don’t want to go, please don’t make me go, I will be good’, I pleaded. All my tears and begging were futile and in the end I had to say goodbye to them both.

I felt hopeless and developed the negative, limiting belief that good things do not last.


Back To Hell.

When I got to my mam's house, on that dark miserable street, it was not as dark and gloomy as I had remembered. Mam was even smiling when she saw me. She did not hug me though. It was not long before everything went back to normal with Mam acting like she was demon possessed.

Looking back, I can see that my Mam was obviously very ill and I think I was aware of that even back then when I was a very young but I had no way of voicing what I thought about anything. Just days after I had been ripped from the safety and love of Jane and David, mam attacked me again. She got hold of my hair and dragged me across the room, through the front room, screaming at me. I had to hold on to her hands to stop her from ripping my scalp off. ‘Get up the fucking stairs before I kill you’, she screamed. I was back in the dark dingy bedroom that had ghosts coming out of its walls. I cried for Jane and David, calling out their names. after a while, Mam came into the room and punched and slapped me and threatened to kill me again if I did not ‘shut the fuck up’. I don’t know to this day if the next thing she told me was the truth, I believed her. ‘David is dead!’, she screamed at me. ‘He was coming to see you and crashed his car and now he is dead’, she spat the words at me. ‘It’s your fault David is dead, so shut it’. I did shut my mouth and although I was absolutely devastated at the loss of David, I never mentioned them again for fear of Jane ending up dead too. I gave up my fantasy that one day they would come back for me. They were never going to come and rescue me and I had to accept that.

Long Term Difficulties Of Abused Children

During my formative years it was already shown by research the importance of infants and developing children having an appropriate, warm, and loving attachment to a mother figure. Developing children who do not have an appropriate, warm, and loving parental figure, are more likely to develop psychological and emotional difficulties later on in life.

More Chapters. A Life Worth Living

  • A Life Worth Living; Chapter Six
    I found the courage to ask for help. I left a note telling that I needed help as my mother was trying to kill me. No one came.
  • A Life Worth Living. Chapter Eight
    Bullied at school and then I came close to death yet my mother went to comfort another child. She showed me no love. I was bullied at home and at school.
  • A Life Worth Living; Chapter Two.
    Born into poverty and an abusive home. This is my story of surviving abuse and how my life was impacted because of abuse.
  • A Life Worth Living; Chapter One
    Born into a violent home, I was given last rites within hours of my birth. My first day of life was a battle to survive and there were more battles of survival to come. This is my journey of survival.

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