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A Child Lost

Updated on February 3, 2013

my life as a neglected child

Growing up, and when I was in school, I was bullied and made fun of each and every day by the other students. It could have been mostly because I was neglected as a child. My mother always seemed to care more about herself than her children. That was evident, she had already lost six children before I was born and was now raising me and my youngest brother. I constantly had head lice, which was so bad that I had blood blisters on the top of my head and could grab them with my small fingers and pull them off of my head. I remember one time while I was in class, I grabbed one off of my head and took it to the teacher just so I could go home. At that point, I hated school and the students I was in class with.

When I was in first grade I would always write that I hate myself or that I wanted to die which is such a young age to want to end something that is precious. I had always hoped someone would come along and rescue me from the wrath I was going through but it never happened.

I would go to church every Sunday and would ride on the church bus. The couple who did the driving were always nice to me. One Sunday I didn't want to go because the night before I had taken a razor from the bathroom and shave the top of my head. I had long hair then and I wasn't but maybe six or seven years old. I went to church that day wearing a heavy coat in warm weather because it had a hood on it and I didn't want anyone to see what I had done to my hair. The woman was really nice to me and talked to me and eventually got me to relinquish the coat. She told me that it didn't look that bad. I told her why I did it. She wanted to rescue me and let me live with her but my mother put up a fight. No one was going to take away her meal tickets.

When I was in third grade, we moved to different area of town and I was going to enter into a new elementary school. We had bought my grandparent's place and was moving into the house that was once my grandparent's home. The house, when we first moved in was nothing more than a one room house. It had no bathroom or running water. There was a well on the property but we filled it in with scraps and lumber from doing renovations. The house eventually became a three room house with no partition in-between the living room and kitchen. We would use five gallon buckets to relieve ourselves in and those would be emptied at least once a day. We didn't have a bath tub or a shower so our bathing was whenever we had a chance to go to a relatives house. We would also retrieve gallon jugs of water from those relatives while there so we would have water to cook and wash with.

Due to lack of water and not getting to bathe properly, I found myself entering a new school with the same problems I had endured in my other school and a new problem. I would burn in my private area because I wasn't able to clean myself properly and my clothes wasn't washed that often. I still had a head lice problem which was just as bad as it was in my earlier years. Every time the school nurse would send me and my little brother home, my mom would get mad about it. She would go and get the shampoo and I had to endure hours of getting my hair combed through with the little comb that came with it and would cry because it hurt. Not only did it pull my hair but it also opened the scabs from the blood blisters that were on my head. Some of the blood blisters would bubble up if the problem was real bad and when they scabbed over, they would be above my scalp at the same height as the bubble was.

When I was in fourth grade, my parents bought a single-wide mobile home and put it on the property we were living on. We moved out of the three room house and into the mobile home before I started the fourth grade. I was happy about the change because the other house was always so cold in the winter time. I also thought we were moving up in the world and had something to brag about at school. Little did I know that nothing major would change. Water lines were never ran to the home so we still depended on relatives to let us gather water from their house so we would have water to cook with. We did have bath tubs in which we would boil water on the stove to fill but we didn't get to bath that often. I still found myself burning in my private area and my head covered with lice. Nothing changed except what protected us from the outside elements.

We continued to live there until I was in the sixth grade. My mother had quit her job at the chicken plant and they were repossessing the home and taking the land with it. We moved to a different part of town, it was the house where my mom married her last husband when I was two or three years old. We finally had water! My parent's marriage though was falling apart. They had been fighting for years with my step father claiming that my mother was out cheating on him. I can't say for certain if she was or not but I remember their fights as escalating and him usually the one receiving the bad end of it. They eventually separated and divorced. A few years later, my little brother went and lived with him.

By the time I reached Junior High School, I was able to take care of my needs on my own. I would bathe regularly and I didn't encounter having the problems I had in elementary school. In class though, I wouldn't talk and I didn't have many friends. I was reserved and stayed to myself. I would pretty much have anxiety attacks if I was called on in class because I didn't want to speak. If I had a problem with something in class I wouldn't ask the teacher, I would figure it out on my own and if I didn't I would fail. My grades were generally good and my teachers were proud of me but they had problems with my shyness and not participating in class.

All through my school days, not one person stepped up and said something is really wrong with the situation this child is in. If this would happen today, I would find myself in the system. I still suffer from the effects of the life I lived as a child. Today, I try and talk to my mother and she is always telling me that it wasn't her fault. I keep asking myself, "is that the best she could have done for us, the way we lived, enduring all of bullying, name calling, etc at such a young age, me wanting to just disappear or die at the age of six, and being the person who I am today"?

I know that my life could have been worse but I also know that if someone had stepped up and said something or intervened, my life would have turned out totally different than what it has. All children want to be happy and healthy and to know that someone loves them and would never do anything to hurt them. This is just a tidbit of my life story. I have many, as my life has been filled with a lot of different roller coaster rides. Stay tuned for more...

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    • slightlyjaded profile image
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      slightlyjaded 4 years ago from Arkansas

      Thank you billy, and it does help find some peace. I also write about my life to help heal myself and to help others.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I don't believe in trite cliches so I'll spare you any of them. You have had a tough life for sure. I hope that by writing about it you will find some peace. Children should always be protected. I have written about this often and I become incensed when I think of the way kids are abandoned and left on their own. I am happy that you wrote about this. Maybe, somehow, some way, this will help others.