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Thursday, June 24, 2010

W is For Writing

The most difficult part of school for me was learning to print the alphabet neatly and perfectly. Every letter had to be a certain way. My aunt insisted on clear, straight up, and legible alphabet at all time. She would not accept any sloppy writing, including the numbers.

When I first learned to write, this area of study was my nightmare! My hands received red line marks from the beating ruler, and remained for days for me to remember. At times, I could even see a thin layer of blood surfaced underneath the skin. If my handwriting was not pretty then I had to sit at the desk to practice over and over again, until my aunt got physically exhausted of teaching me, or beating me.

Gradually, the ruler changed to thicker sticks. Sticks upgraded to the metal thing that we used to ring the bell for announcing school time. That "thing" was the most terrifying object of all for me. It was a round solid piece of metal! It was not pliable to the human flesh. It echoed and delivered the pain throughout the entire body. Tears, crying, and screaming were not allowed!

My aunt became very creative too in her ideas of perfecting my skill in handwriting! Instead of having me laid my hands flat on the table to receive the hitting, she later had me making fists to show my knuckles. The metal gong met the bones and loved them. My pain must had triggered a satisfying discovered in my aunt's mind, and from then on, my knuckles swollen up every day.

Since I was not allowed to make even a tiniest noise when she hit me with the gong on my knuckles, I developed a "killing look" with my eyes. I used to look at my aunt with hatred, anger, daring, despite, and testing. That look sometimes, sent a chill down her spine, and she would feel all my emotion as I lived it. That look was my weapon! She couldn't tolerate that look from me.

My knuckles grew big, very big compared to my entire hands. This memory was never erasing out of my mind because it was the physical evident part of my abuse life. Back then, being punished was not considered abuse, and as I have mentioned in the previous post, my aunt did what she thought was best to teach me.

Now, in my fifty, I am suffering from inflammation flare ups in my knuckles. On a worst day, my knuckles are all red, and no over the counter drug could take the pain away! So really, I have forgiven my aunt years ago, but forgetting is totally a different thing. They definitely don't go together.

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(Read my Childhood Series here!) Registered & Protected


  1. I was going to ask where were the other nuns? Surely there was witness to these attacks, day in and day out. I cannot imagine what you went through. Stay strong!

  2. Polly,
    My aunt was "Mother Superior", the head of the orphanage..No one could challenge her.

  3. She seems to become more and more awful each week.

  4. Oh Mumsy,
    How I wish there was some way to dissolve away the pain in our pasts and give us a truly fresh start. But then I suppose we wouldn't be ourselves.

  5. My first thoughts on reading this were "Why" would anyone treat a child this way and "what" would twist someone so horribly that they could do this. I just can't get over her brutality. I'm glad that you were able to forgive, but I agree that forgetting must be almost impossible. Kathy

  6. horrible, so sorry to hear that you still feel that pain today!

  7. I cannot imagine, even when socially acceptable, hurting my child to get a desired result. But, I have the liberty of living in a different time and being allowed to raise my child with love and support, not pain and fear. Your story is touching, thank you for sharing.

  8. When I read your posts, I never know what to say, except that I am sorry your childhood was so awful. I can't even begin to imagine how frightening and painful it must have been. Sending hugs to you.

  9. I gotta tell you Mumsy, I wish I was there to give that woman a taste of her own medicine....I hate anyone who is cruel to a child and I believe she knew it was cruel...I am glad that you are such a big person and forgiving... it just makes me angry....livid really!

  10. I wish I could smack her knuckles a few times. I look forward to your Childhood posts, though they make me sad.

  11. That is just terrible! I'm glad abuse like that isn't accepted--especially with education.

  12. I think your aunt was mentally ill and sadistic. I can't help but wonder what happened in her life to make her so horrible. Do you think she was abused as a child? Even if she was it wouldn't make it OK, but I'm trying to figure out why this Christian woman was so cruel. I admire you for forgiving her.

  13. are so correct in saying forgiving and forgetting are too different things. Really what can one say to was a horrible experience not only to learn to write correctly but day to day living with your Aunt. I wonder later on in her life if she ever had remorse or sorrow? I can't see how she could not.

  14. Oh my....

    My mother talks about getting smacked with a ruler for using her left hand so many times that she learned to write with her right hand, even though she was left-handed.

    The cruelty of one person to another is incomprehensible to me...

  15. I'm just always amazed that you survived such abuse and no one reported her to the authorities.

  16. Mumsy, I so admire your spirit.

    Forgiving is not forgetting. One empowers us to move on and the other empowers us to remember to gain strength.

    I am always angered by the actions of these adults.

    Cruelty is the worst thing in the world.

    Especially to a child.

    Thank you for linking!


  17. ...I agree...this was too much for any child to have to bear!

    Blessings & aloha!

  18. What an awful experience. How can this be called education?

  19. oh how horrible for you ... what a shame that you still have to endure the physical memory

  20. Mumsy, I which I could heal your pain! What was done is worse than wrong.


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