Friday, 13 April 2012

Kathleen Freeman - Legacy For A Two Year Old

This Fridays Guest is Kath. She can be found on twitter as @sheepfoldcarer or her blog

Welcome Kath.

Thank you to Jan for inviting me onto his blog, I appreciate being included in the outreach work he and others are doing.

Two months before my second birthday my mother left me and my brothers and sister in the high street with a note. June 16th 1954. She never returned.

My mother was fined £10 for neglect and abandonment. When I obtained my Social Services file, it told me a lot about my history and confirmed some things that I already knew.
 By the time I was two I had lost mother, father, brothers, sisters, home and for the rest of those forty years my identity.

I was never to speak of who I was or where I came from, it was forbidden.
 This is my journey of discovery of myself of my story and memories I can only begin to own through the poems.

I realised that by shutting these poems away, I was repeating what had been done to me, what had been forbidden me-that of having a voice.

The poems I have chosen from my poetry blog 'Legacy for a Two Year Old' represent my journey of recovery of memories which continues to this day.

I think these words explain: A core identity of shame, serves as a defence against full awareness of early traumatisation.

I hope my poems speak about things I am not able to express explicitly.

I wrote poem 7 The box under my head after my brother-who I met again in my late teens, sent me a photograph of his carer, I had lived with the same man after we where first abandoned (aged two), and then I was moved on.

As soon as I pulled the photo from the envelope I went into a spin of panic and memories surfaced.

the second poem Mothers, describes the effects of that broken bond.

Poem 7

The box under my head

That old key you sent to me, in a large brown envelope.
Infected with rust and covered in verdigris.
It opened a box under my head.
From which all manner of demons catapulted.
These crazed whirling dervish memories.
It seems fitting that she abandoned us, in the
month of blood red poppies and stained memorials.
While others dress in pretty summer frocks,
I in my weeds play the fool, to make a pantomime.
That they may laugh at my ancient griefs.

Poem 22


She who abandons, disrupts, disturbs. Sends me into a rage inside myself.
Masked off by my rigid face set against you in anger.
Hatred made impotent by sorrow, tear washed, soiled by shit and blood.
Disgust warps it. The powerful aftermath all that remains from your body.
The smell no longer real, its memory enough.
Sadness, when I reach back to you long gone. Unheld in your arms.
I cannot bear your touch, your skin, to look like you.
I freeze with fear, hideous inside, collapsing like a stack of baby bricks.
Falling at every human encounter, unfamiliar with social graces.
Awkward as a child I fold; go over and over in my mind. . _
How should I have behaved? Always wanting to ask was I okay?
Did I do okay-say the right thing?
What will they think of me?
Who is mother?

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