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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Name Is Not Dummy!

***Guest Post by JL***

When I heard his voice bellowing I would run and hide. Not that that did any good. He would find me, and I had better hope he found me because the longer he looked the angrier he got.

It didn't matter what ticked him off. A customer was demanding; the store sold him the wrong part; his boss was demanding; his stomach ulcers flared up. He was angry and I was going to get a beating.

Up until the day I left home the beatings were regular and they did not stop until his anger dissipated. It seemed to coincide with the angry red welts on my backside bleeding. Perhaps once he had drawn blood this signaled that he had performed his fatherly duty. My younger sister received hers less frequently than I because I was the older and if she did something wrong, I was to stop her. Everything, and I mean EVERY thing was my fault. If only he could beat me enough to get the dumb out of me. You see I was a dummy. I was only called by name when in trouble any other time my name was "dummy". Nothing (according to him) I ever did turned out right. I truly tried, but to no avail.

One day my youngest daughter was misbehaving something fierce. She was only about 4 and had decided she was not going to get dressed. She loved going out. What had gotten into her? It was Thursday and the zoo was free today. She had misplaced her shoes. Lunch was packed. The other two children were anxious to go. We had searched for over an hour, when the oldest child said "Make her go barefooted!"

"You, Dummy!", I declared, "This is New York. She walks outside barefooted she is liable to cut her feet!"

He looked at me with his face crestfallen, and said defiantly "I am not a dummy!" "Of course, you aren't!" I responded. My father had called me that so much, it just seemed to flow from my mouth without my knowing. It could not have been my mouth that said that! It had left open wounds in my heart over the years as it echoed through my mind with each failure compounding the pain.

I hugged and kissed my son apologizing, wishing to God that someone would do the same for me.

This post is linked to Tales On Tuesday!

(Since starting this blog, I have heard many people expressing their wishes for a place to write out their "RAW Thoughts and Feelings", somewhere that is safe to be true and honest to oneself, without fear of steeping on someone's toes! So I offer my space to those close friends that want to "write it out loud"! This is my first guest post from a dear friend.)

Thanks for being here!


  1. Everyone talks about the influences of nature vs nurture when it comes to childhood development, but few heed it.

    Children learn what they live. And it takes a heck of a lot of effort to unlearn it.

    Well written.

  2. I also find the words of my parents coming naturally out of my mouth. Luckily, I got off pretty easy, punishment-wise. When I get exasperated I usually hear my grandma's voice coming out of me threatening to "whip your Doopah!". But I never do, ever, whip their Doopahs. I make them sit in time out.

  3. Mumsy, you are so kind to offer your safe haven for those who need to vent.

    Take care & God bless!

  4. It takes a monumental effort to break the cycle. Congratulations for stopping yourself!

    Mumsy, you're a good soul to provide a place for a soft landing.

  5. Oh, JL, I know the feeling of wishing with all your heart and soul that you could unsay words . . . and you did as much as you could to that effect. Forgive yourself now. Don't send the second and third (and millionth) arrows to further beat yourself with. Forgive yourself.

  6. I actually read this post early this morning, and meant to come back anc comment, so you jolted my mind coming over:) It was pretty powerful, as I know many times I thought I too would not say things, mostly my Father would say to me...he was more about making you feel insecure, you have a big nose, I hear my older boy saying about himself he has a big nose, I never dare have said that to him, for one he does not and for two I would never make him feel insecure....well the best part for me, is I never got a nose job, and actually like my nose, it fits my face!~ Thanks for sharing Mumsy your feelings:)

  7. JL, too bad you couldn't tell him that you weren't a dummy huh? I have some moments that I would love to replay in my life with my guts and knowledge now... Thanks for sharing.

  8. My dad used, "Dummy!" quite frequently, as well. It accompanied a very hateful expression. Although it hurt me, a part of me realized that he felt the same about himself. I'm not sure why, but my mom was as bright as my dad was dark; thankfully, her light out-shined him. I hope you are healing. Thank you.


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