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Wednesday, 16 January 2008

It's a Wonder Some of Us Survive Childhood

By David Wolfe of Ageless Marketing

Being child number three, I was picked on incessantly by my two older brothers, Harry and Rick. When I was quite young and my parents would go out and leave me and a younger brother Tony in their charge, Harry and Rick teased us relentlessly.

Sometimes they’d take Tony and me to the top of the attic stairs, sit us down on our butts, grab us by the ankles and pull us bumpety-bump down three flights of stairs, laughing all the way while Tony and I screamed at the top of our lungs. They bought our silence by promising that if we told Mother and Dad, they would do it 10 times the next time they were left to baby sit.

Years later, they were still obsessed with the idea of teasing me whenever they thought they could get away with it. For instance, when I was about 10 or 11, Harry told me that he was going to hang me. With Rick's help, he slid a noose onto my neck and began pulling me around like a hapless cur. This time, however, I did not have to tell Mother and Dad. I had lacerations around my neck that were plainly visible.

On another occasion, Rick started chasing me around the house in full circle: through the dining room, living room, center hall, kitchen and back through the dining room. But I was getting older. Years of torment had informed me that I could use my brains to outwit my taunting brothers.

On one of the passes through the kitchen I pulled out the flatware drawer. On the next pass through the kitchen, I slammed the drawer with my hands, pulled out and threw a couple of pieces on the floor and collapsed in a heap, moaning and groaning. It worked. Rick came up to me to see if I was okay. I guess they loved me after all.

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 02:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


My God, David, don't stop there!

You have to tell us how you and Tony get along with Harry and Rick now, as adults.

We will be waiting with bated breath for the next installment.

Talk about your "tough love"!

What a terrifying situation to be placed in the care of such mean brothers. Parents are usually unaware that their darling children could do such cruel things and in denial that they could be bullies.

I hope this didn't happen often and that you and Tony were able to establish a good relationship with Rick and Harry after you became adults.

David, I'm appalled. What happened when your parents saw the lacerations on your neck?

I don't mean to sound cynical, but I have to wonder...did Rick and Harry show concern after they thought you got hurt because they cared about your welfare or because they were afraid they'd get in trouble for hurting you again?

This was very hard for me to read, but I salute you for being such a survivor and more.

David, I could hardly read this story without it breaking my heart; how your brothers taunted and tortured you so. I dearly hope that later in life they felt remorse for their behaviour and you never were in the same position with anyone else dear and near to you.

How do you get along with the family now? That was harrowing and terrifying. wow..I was absolutely horrified.

thanks for sharing I think

Dorothy from grammology
remember to call gram

I neglected to tell in my story that Rick and Harry sometimes went at it. On one occasion, Harry picked up Rick and threw him to the ground, breaking his ankle. On another, Harry, (when in high school, just to set his age) came out of the house one night chasing Rick down the cinder driveway, with a .22 rifle in hand, shooting over his head. He never had any intention of lowering his aim -- just to express his macho and establish primacy.

And no, no one every came forth to express remorse for these child. In fact, as my mother lay dying at the age of 89, and we were in attendance, to my dismay childhood rivalries rewakened. I understand from a dear friend who is a hospice nurse that she has often seen this during the course of over 2,000 episodes of dying, and in fact has written about it in a new book she has coming out in March. Maybe I'll do another storytelling post to give Ronnie's devoted story tellers and readers more insight into this peculiar phenomenon.

Some neighbor kids tried to hang me when I was 7, and I had lacerations too. I was hung from a swing set and left there, but luckily, someone saw me and let me down.

I'd love to know how you get along with your siblings now.

I posted a comment a few days ago but guess it didn't get through so here goes again.

So many people talk about the joys of childhood. As a former elementary school counselor I can tell you that childhood is not all rosiness and delight. A child is new at the learning experiences that shape the human condition. Every act is committed with little knowledge of what the consequences will be until at last the young child learns what to do and what not to do to become self sufficient.

Illness, a cut finger, a death in the family are all new experiences when one is young. A little child doesn't know if the cut finger will eventually heal. It may seem a catastrophe when it happens for the first time.

If parents are not supported in our culture and given child care and early education opportunities they may fail miserably at childrearing which complicates the child's learning process.

T\However, there are books written about the fact that children actually raise themselves. They learn by trial and error what works for them and no matter what parents do, they turn out just the same anyway.
That certainly takes the parents off the hook if this, in fact, is true.

I hope that in future our society will provide more mentoring and support services for young parents so that at least they will not make the mistakes that their own parents made.

I have learned at last that parents do whatever they are capable of doing and that any hurts that we feel about being harmed as children must be put aside when we become adults so that we can get on with the management of our own lives.

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