Stuart & me
This ain't no fairy tale princess!
It is important for anyone experiencing trauma or any other difficulties in life, to identify with other significant life events that may hinder working through current challenges, rather than focus solely on the 'here and now'. Not everyone is equally equipped with coping strategies, and some difficulties experienced in later life could subconsciously trigger unresolved issues from the past!
From my first steps to the day of injury “if I was going anywhere… I was running”!
I ran everywhere, including 5-6 miles cross country three every week, and ran a 4.48-minute mile at the gym along with weight training, as well as cycling ninety miles on Saturday before heading to town for lashings of beer with the lads... I sure was a running & cycling fool!
THE WONDER YEARS
Stuart is a year older than me, I also had a sister Tracie, 4-years younger and youngest brother Wayne 8-years younger, both to different fathers. The stepfathers imitated my mothers’ abusive behaviour towards me and Stuart, which I regrettably projected onto my sister throughout home-life.
Stuart being the eldest had the hardest job being the ‘real parent/guardian’, often left on his own to look after the three us week after week, as well as protecting Tracey and Wayne from my obnoxious taunts and sinister behaviour. Even so, I still managed to crush Wayne’s hand in the rollers of an old washing mangle… trapped Tracey’s fingers in a window and smashed her toy electric guitar over her head, to name one of many items I hit her with over the years.
Stuart and I were inseparable, we looked such angelic little darlings, but looks can be deceiving though we were not always responsible for all the accidents... disasters found us.
One day, while visiting our grandparents, it was a treat for me and Stuart at pre-school age, to ride in the coal trailer towed by my grandfather on his tractor. We would sit atop the coal travelling up the woodland driveway, passing the house we would wave excitedly at my grandmother and auntie. Until the day the trailer was heavily laden and midway up the drive it tipped over, entombing me and Stuart under tonnes of coal. Family members dug frantically with their bare hands to rescue, they could see Stuarts’ pompom hat, after pulling him out I was found, both revived from the traumatic ordeal without a tear.
A year on, Stuart (apparently) encouraged me to jump from a first-floor bedroom window, which I did, and plummeted towards the ground while shocked neighbours looked on helplessly. Seemingly, I bounced, then ran back into the house and was caught in the middle of a second attempt.
When we were a little older, we ‘borrowed’ an old tin bath from my grandfather’s shed and sneaked it down to the lake where hid it. We had hours of fun paddling around, it also made it easier for Stuart to reach eggs for his collection.
Unfortunately, the lake is a bird sanctuary monitored by a warden who would call for the police to assist our capture, for us it became game paddling from one side to the other to evade them. Eventually we would make our escape using tree roots that grew out onto the water, knowing they wouldn’t support the weight of an adult, enabling us to dodge past the police and run into the thick forest to avoid capture.