Face to Face With The Bogey Man

A room without a view
A room without a view

Remembering Things Past

Mind associations are an amazing thing. There I was surfing around the Internet and more to the point, HubPages. You read something and that sets off a train of thoughts or the urge to click to a new place. Soon you are miles away from the original starting point.

A little later the word "memory" came up and that brought up "reminiscing", which took me back on a journey to the time I was two years old.

My first memories and one that has stayed with me for all this years; and as I reexamined it, I suddenly realized that I had been a victim of child abuse - a couple of adults had scared me witless. It was surprising because up until this point I had always used it as a party piece.

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Potions for the Bogey Man

The Bogey Man.

I was about two years old - my younger brother hadn't been born yet so I couldn't have been any older - and was staying at my grandmother's. I loved going to her house where she let me explore all the hidden corners of the many rooms and if I found an interesting object (a small box, a old note book, a stamp or anything that tickled my fancy) she usually gave it to me. Years later I found my treasure box full of these wonderful but useless items.

On this particular day I went into the kitchen, probably as part of my treasure hunt. It was an old kitchen, the type you find in old European homes, with high ceilings, pots and pans hanging on the wall, ceramic tiles on the floor and part of the walls. It always gave off extraordinary smells which seemed to hold all the mysteries of meat, fowl and vegetables. I can still see in my mind's eye the steam coming from the pot where soup was made.

Both the cook and a maid were there. I didn't like them very much as they always teased me because of my curls. I never could understand why they wanted me to give them one. I thought it was quite stupid really.

The cook came up to me and told me she had a secret. Naturally I wanted to know more. She went on whispering that the previous night they had fought off the bogey man. This, I am sure, was not something I wanted to pursue. I felt really scared and couldn't move or run away no matter how much I wanted to.

They led me to the other kitchen door. This connected to a small, dark room, a room I always tried to avoid.

The cook then went on to say that during the struggle she had managed to grab a knife from the kitchen table and had slashed off the bogey man's arm. He had escaped screaming but had left it behind and now she was going to show it to me.

I am certain that if there was one thing I didn't want, it was seeing the Bogey man's arm, but she led me into the dark room anyway. On that particular day this hateful room was darker than usual and I could barely see anything but shadows. Both women went to the far end of the room and picked something up that appeared to be wrapped in a white cloth.

I remember seeing them bring back this object and one of them, who knows which, telling me to touch it. As I hesitated she grabbed my hand and put it on this thing. And it moved under my fingers as if struggling to beak out and attack anyone, especially me.

I screamed and screamed and then just froze struggling for breath. I was so terrified that I jfroze, stopped thinking and went into a semi catatonic stage.

The next thing I knew was that my uncle, who still lived with my grandmother, came tearing into the room shouting at the women. In very short order these two were out on the street as I hung round my uncle's shoulders. It appears they had wrapped a kitten in some rags and this is what I thought was the Bogey man's living arm.

Mean Old Hags

As I look back at this, which happened nearly 50 years ago, I realize that this was child abuse.

Two mean old hags had really gone out of their way to scare the daylights out of me. The good thing was that I immediately felt safe with my uncle and that feeling was the one that stayed with me.

In those days child abuse was not recognized as such, and we all know much worse things have happened and are happening to children. I am pretty sure that no permanent damage was made (I have to admit that I am a bit peculiar in a funny sort of way - or at least that is what my children tell me).

What strikes me now and frustrates me at the same time - apart from the disgust and anger that child abuse stirs up in me and hopefully in most people - is the way people who abuse others and particularly children, justify their actions either pretending that nothing wrong has taken place or actually going as far as to blame the victims.

There is no excuse and no leniency should be given. Yes psychiatric or some such treatment should be give them, but much more importantly we should direct our resources to the victims.

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And to think all these thoughts came from mindless surfing!

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