The Story – keeper of secrets

motherI remember her holding me in the car park of the gypsy caravan site, strength on her face but heartbreak in her eyes as she told me how much she loved me. I couldn’t hold them back any longer and they began cascading down my cheeks, I watched my mum grow smaller and smaller in the rear-view mirror as my dad drove us away, back towards home.
I cried because she was alone, I cried because I didn’t want to leave her there, I cried because my mum was broken, and I cried because I needed her with me.
I remember so little about a lot of my childhood, like my age at the time of this event for example though I think I was around 11 or 12, I do however remember the numbness, I remember the confusion and hatred that was growing up my spine. I had been staying with my granddad at the time, my mum had the house when my parents broke up, I was a quiet kid around family I didn’t know well so I sat in silence in the car driven by my auntie,
“Your mum has gone away for a while and your dad has moved home” she explained,
I’m not sure if it was fear or shock that kept me quiet, but I didn’t answer her, the house was already almost unrecognisable, wooden floors where carpets had been, fresh paint, gutted bedrooms and absolutely no trace of my mum or the life I had left there just a few weeks earlier. I felt sick, I felt like an alien in my own home and I couldn’t breathe.
There was no vodka bottle next to the fire-place for me to pour away or hide when friends came, no brown sofa where my mum would sleep all day or where we sat up late watching TV while eating cheese on toast as I brushed her hair, a door on the space under the stairs where I once saw my mum’s father try to strangle her after a fight, no doll on the upstairs dresser that I had bought her the day I’d been on a trip and returned home to police cars and a missing person’s report, different pillows to the ones I once cried behind as my mum tried checking herself into the clinic and told me she had to go away, and the dogs, my one constant and my best friends, banished to outside in the garden.
I felt like I was surrounded by strangers and in a way I was, I felt like all my secrets I had tried so hard to keep hidden my whole life had been busted wide open, I remember being 10 and my granddad picking me up from dance classes, I would run as fast as I could when we got to the end of my street to get home before him, I would hide the bottle round the side of the sofa, pour her glass away and shake her awake before my granddad reached the house, tired and confused she would blame her nap on the dogs keeping her awake all night and I prayed my granddad would believe her, I was embarrassed, I was the keeper of her secret and it was my love for her that kept me so.
You see, the people around me just wanted to help me escape what I had been trapped in for most of my childhood, but what they failed to recognise was the pain for both me and my mum at being ripped apart, no choice, by force and with nothing but black bin bags filled with her whole life, all she could do was leave.
Looking back, I don’t blame my mum, she needed help, she needed support and she needed love. Things change and so do people, she changed her life, granted it took many more years after these times but she did, I will forever hold the burden of these memories, a childhood lost and a life changed forever, but I will never let these things define me as a person. We cannot change the past.
My mum loves me, I know that because her eyes have and will always show me so.

3 thoughts on “The Story – keeper of secrets

  1. You have a really good idea for a book. I’m looking over your blog, poring over it really—

    Now, let me just focus on your style. Austere, simple… at first I was a little taken back by it, but you’re conveyance of emotion is getting through to me. Which means when someone reads a long book, they’re going to really get to know you. I remember on my first book having a similar style, which will lend well to communicating the emotion.

    I think you have a generally original idea— original in the sense that it is what you seem to be.

    Frankly, there’s not much I’d change. I’m not exactly a genius at running a successful blog. I just hope the best because your book idea sounds like a seller.

    The only thing is that I see you are using your blog as a platform to come into the publishing world. So, you’ll want readers. You should try to network with the other bloggers. I would do that, but I’m not especially concerned with getting a readership. In fact, I kind of like being low key at the moment. But blogging is a game. When you see a successful blogger follows your blog, wait a couple of months and then if he/she’s still consistently liking your posts, I’d ask them to maybe give you a nod.

    Publishing is who you know. You could have Stephen King or J. K. Rowling, it’s not going to matter a dime. Publishers want writers who play the game, who jump through their hoops, and I want your project to be successful. Blogging is an interesting choice— I had the same idea. But, be sure you play the game if you want to build that readership.

    I wish the best! 🙂


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