They had to call my two older brothers from their classes to try calming a child who'd drowned just a year and half earlier and was so traumatized by that event I couldn't handle being away from my mom...fear is a powerful motivator...oh and nuns do NOT appreciate you wailing like some diva actress in their faces. That first day set the tone for my years in grade school that would follow. All the other kids in my class thought I was either a wimp...or a mama's girl. The latter was the closest to the truth, but they would never know about my dying...I also learned the religion might TALK about long ago miracles but they did NOT want to hear about me flying with the angels and living to talk about it.
Instead of a scarlet A across my forehead, I developed an invisible "L" for LIAR across mine...from Mother Superior down to the other odd ball kid in our class who peed his pants the first day. "He lived down his stigma by the second week...mine carried on through till I left Catholic school when I graduated eighth grade and move on to public high-school.
LIAR...everyone called me that..so I was the kid over at the very edge of the fence, sitting in the dust watching the other kids play at recess when I couldn't figure a way of hiding in the bathroom when we were farmed out for recess.
Sounds bad, right..and it was. Abuse by teachers is accepted as normal coarse in Catholic Schools.
No...I was not one of the kids most viciously abused by being a student there...
The worst was when one of the lay teachers...they're the NON-NUNS...Looking back I think she must have had a rough night before.
I was a straight "A" student which of course made them all the more furious with me for being a Liar...but that's not what set her off.
I grew up with chronic tonsillitis. Every other week I was burning up with fever and unable to speak comfortable because of how hue my tonsils grew.
The doctor wanted to get my tonsils out by the time I was seven...I STILL have them. My mother refused to allow mine out because they'd had my eldest brothers out...Bob is NINE years older than me. His grew back so mom wasn't about to pay to have mine out and risk THEM growing back too.
Because of that I got severe attacks every other week...I was out of school sick, a LOT...another thing that made the other kids think I was either a freak or...LYING.
When your tonsils swell large enough to block your throat they began moving in and wage war against your ears. I am deaf in my left ear, and partially in my right.
The lay teacher was talking to me, I'd learn much later, but I could not HEAR her...something we would again only learn much later.
She thought I was ignoring her. So she picked up a desk closest to where she was standing and threw it at me.
I was in a cast for several weeks after that, but I made certain to never relax for the rest of my year with her. I'd diligently watch her lips and eyes. Even though I could NOT read her lips if she was looking at me and her lips were moving I politely responded "Yes Ma'm." I rarely answered correctly, but at least she did not think I was ignoring her again. (I was 16 before we learned I was partially deaf because of the repeated tonsil infections throughout my childhood. I STILL get tonsillitis, but not every week...The last time was in 1981 when my own children were five and six...and was so bad I was in the hospital for a month because I was not responding to IV antibiotic. (At that time I was told they don't take out adult tonsils...so I was stuck in agony until the infection began responding to antibiotics...a whole month IN the hospital fighting something that should have been taken care of when I was a child...in the hospital...not with my precious children...Sometimes I think Depression and its cause and effects are really boomerangs.
The strangest thing is that despite my weakened hearing I was a STRAIGHT A student...I wish I could say my A laden report cards gave me a sense of pride...
PART TWO...Isn't odd to think that something like your tonsils can be the catalyst for bouts of some of the most emotionally isolating bouts of depression a child can have to work their way through?
Oh I understand why Robin Williams' pain could make him feel so unworthy of breathing the same air of those sitting beside him, or applauding him so adoringly from the audience. How do you see/hear past your own pain when the demon of depression has such a stranglehold on you?
I NEED to donate all my royalties for the rest of 2014 for my $0.99 cent e-book LIFE'S JOURNEY and donate it to Suicide Prevention in HIS, ROBIN WILLIAM'S name...
AND we need to star talking about depression, tear away the dark curtains we all hide our pain behind so help can find those who need it BEFORE we take that step we cannot undo.
I thank you for taking the time to read this...and please remeber I am doing all this because Robin shared his troubled humor to us with love...help me show his spirit how much he DID for us now.
Part Three of my Story is coming.
In the mean time here are the direct links to my books' Buy Pages at my publisher's MUSE IT UP PUBLISHING, INC
LIFE'S JOURNEY IS ALSO AVAILABLE WHERE FINE E-BOOKS ARE SOLD.