I was born in Boston, three months after WW2 began with Stalin's invasion of Poland on Sept.1st 1939. A week after my second birthday, Pearl Harbor was attacked and the US had entered the war. Sirens sounded when blackouts occured. I remember Mummy telling me she had to crawl on the floor at night with a flashlight because we didn’t have blackout curtains on the windows. However, one night a policeman hollered up to our second floor apartment saying, “Douse that light.” 

I'm certain Mummy suffered a good deal of stress during the war, caring for me plus becoming pregnant with my brother while a world war was going on. I no doubt began to experience my mother's worry, anxiety and stress in utero. Plus after being born I was not fed when I screamed in hunger because there were strict rules back then from doctors. Mothers were to feed their babies on a rigid set schedule only, which Mum told me about later. I can imagine I probably cried or screamed in hunger, but wasn't fed until the next scheduled feeding time. I subconsciously learned that my feelings didn't matter. 

When my brother was born, I was only eighteen months. It must have felt to me like he took my special place at Mother's breast nursing, feeling safe, comforted, bonded and loved. I am sure I felt "thrown out of my nest," so to speak, where I'd been my whole life until then. I had to watch him daily receive what I no doubt still wanted, but couldn't have anymore. I'm certain I got angry which I know Mummy would not have approved of.

Being a practical woman, she no doubt told me something like, "You're a big girl now. You can eat grownup food, you don't need to nurse anymore. But I had no mind developed to be able to understand that rationale. I'm certain I felt resentful and scared, believing my feelings didn't matter to her. My body remembered that pain for a lifetime, however. 

I definitely remember Mummy putting bitter "hot stuff" on my fingernails at night to keep me from biting them. I remember standing by her left knee when she said to me, "Run and get the hot stuff." I ran to get it and watched as she put the bitter tasting clear liquid on my nails before bed. I didn't work. I got used to the bitter and continued compulsively biting them throughout childhood way into my eighties. I did not discover the reason why a three year was so nervous and anxious, she would compulsively bite her fingernails, until I was in my eighties.

My very earliest memory was probably quite traumatic because I remember the scene so distinctly and it felt shocking for me to watch. I was probably just over two. Mummy had placed me on a couch with my brother to my left. I saw her in a chair to the right a few feet away and in full view of us, just sitting and crying her heart out, seemingly uncontrollably. 

It could easily been around the time Pearl Harbor was attacked and that we had just entered the war. My brother was able to sit up beside me, so he must have been six months or so and I was probably just over two. I still recall the stunned feeling I had, sitting there watching her cry without knowing why. 

No doubt the unknown future of the US entering the war, scared her quite a bit and she just felt she had to cry. I'd never before or since seen Mummy cry, let alone as hard as she did sitting in that chair, in full view of her babies. It was probably the only way she could cry extensively and keep an eye of us at the same time. Daddy was probably at work.

My next earliest memory was at bedtime. I was around three and stood in front of Mummy's left knee as she sat. She said, "Run and get the hot stuff." I knew where it was, so off I trot down the long hallway into the living room to fetch it. I watched as she painted the smelly, colorless liquid on my tiny nails before I climbed into bed. It was supposed to keep me from biting them, but it didn't. 

I went to kindergarten during the latter part of the war which ended just as I began first grade in September 1945. I turned six that November.

Comments Mummy made to me growing up served to confirm my feelings. She told me that I never let her pick me up or cuddle me ,"like my brother did." So it became my fault for feeling so rejected, abandoned, not wanted and unloved. Being picked up and cuddled was not for me ever again, because something inside was convinced I'd be rejected and abandoned again.

In retrospect, it seemed like my left hemisphere protected me by not allowing my emotional right hemisphere brain to develop normally, as it would have, had I not suffered such painful rejection. This seemingly lack of right hemosphere development left me incapable of knowing what love was.

I became unable to feel or give love and wasn't able to become emotionally close to another human because of a deep fear of being hurt and abandoned again. Not only that, but I was terrified of showing, let alone sharing an emoton, so kept my feelings buried deeply inside for most of my life,  I just knew I couldn't ever share my deep love of Nature for instance with my mother, throughout my teen years, for fear she would poo poo or belittle it and me somehow.

During many scoldings growing up I was told by Mummy to, "Take myself out of myself and look at myself," "You should be ashamed of yourself." Daddy often said, "Children should be seen and not heard." Not receiving positive mentoring from anyone, I continued to feel unloved, sad, angry and "shy" which in actuality means "very scared," for the first forty years of my life at least. It wasn't until the turn of the century, that I began to realize the negative effects from suffering emotional trauma as a baby and toddler.

I grew up believing the worst about myself; that I was flawed and defective and my feelings didn't matter to anyone. I kept them all inside and lived in a quiet desperation for many years. All I could feel inside was anger, sadness, depression and lonliness, which I began to express frequently when I became an adult.

 

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