Tuesday, 27 November 2012

I Bet You Didn't Know....

Today's National Health Blog Post Month prompt is "I bet you didn't know...."  and I've been thinking all day (hence posting about 12 hours later than usual) about what I haven't told you about lupus, or even about my own life.

Let's face it, in the past year and a half, I've told you pretty much everything there is to know about me and I've tried to tell you pretty much everything I know about lupus.  There's not too many skeletons in the closet.

But then today, the state premier apologised to single mothers who were forced to give their children up for adoption, and I realised there is something about me that you don't know.  Whether you're interested or not, I don't know, it's not related to lupus, just tells you more about who I am.

I was born to a single mother during the time of forced adoptions.  I slipped through the system somehow. My mother kept me. There was no child care back in those days, married women, especially women with children, were expected not to work.  Single women were expected to not have children.

My mother took me to work with her. When she worked in a pub, I was shoved under the bar. When she worked in an office, I was shoved under a desk. In one workplace, I played in heavy equipment - industrial-sized welders and alternators we hired out - so I was always covered in grease.

I wasn't socialised the way other children are.  The first time I had to deal with children my own age was my first day of school.  (I had an older half-brother, but he always acted like and adult, and my mother treated him more as a partner than as a child. In my life, he had the authority of a father.)

Not surprisingly, I struggled with grade 1. (We didn't have preschool or prep in those days.) I didn't know how to make friends. After years of running around adult workplaces, I didn't understand the whole idea of the classroom. I'd always addressed adults by their first names, and joined in adult conversations, and didn't understand the difference between adults and children.

When I was threatened with being kept down in grade 1, I got myself sorted out at least to the extent of getting in control of my academic work. But until my mother cut off contact with me, I lived with the tag of being "slow" because I had come close to failing grade 1.  Even at my master's degree graduation, my mother complained that her "slow" child kept getting degrees, while her smart children didn't finish high school.

So many things happened to me in my early life, that I had constant dreams of someone rescuing me - taking me away.

Today, when the Premier apologised to all the mothers whose children were taken off them, I found myself resentful, wishing someone would apologise to me for not taking me from mine.

So there's a very old skeleton from my closet, and my chance to vent. Thanks for your patience.

This post written as part of Wego Health's National Health Blog Post Month.

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