Something that I recall and that I now have decided to insert in the book. This was when myself and my younger brother was made to drink our own urine wrung from our own wet bed sheet.
Christmas 1973, I was barely six years old and since my father’s release, I had started wetting the bed. In order not to wet my bed, I would sit or kneel on my bed, staring through the window which stood parallel to my bed, with the headboard facing the bedroom door and the bottom of my bed facing an open chimney which stood horizontal to the kitchen stove. As I would kneel, there on the bed and I would stare at the thick yellow clouds that covered the whole skyline. The stench that these thick clouds emanated was enough to knock one out.
I would watch in awe as these clouds acted as our murky thick blanket to our town. These clouds of hell formed smog which hid our school and yet the school was only a mere hundred metres away, separated only by grassland. This blanket deceived us all and penetrated our lungs cursing us into a horrible sputum cough.
However, the sandman would eventually get the better of me and the bucket never got touched. I never understood as to how I could have not alerted myself to the urge of wanting to urinate. I was sure that I had stopped up most of the night but I was young and back then what seemed to be forever was probably only ten to thirty minutes at the most.
Also, should I have heard my father beat my mother in the next room, I would quietly, scurry and hide under the itchy cold blankets, in hope to be left undisturbed should my father venture in seeking his next victim. My mum’s screams would wake us all up and the younger ones in another bedroom would start to cry but dad usually left them be. However, when John would begin to cry, I would shush him back to sleep. Reluctantly, he did fall back asleep but his cries stirred my father and on his notion he would barge in, checking how he was.
He would spend several minutes consoling him back to sleep and I would stay well hidden under my blankets. I would pray and pray that he would not venture my way. However, there was that moment when he did decide to do so. I would shake as I heard him approach. He would not console me as he consoled my younger brother but test the blanket for moist.
Sometimes my nerves had got the better of me and alas I had already wet the bed. His firm touch would then grip my blankets and rip them right off me, leaving me well and truly exposed. The blankets would go flying across the room in disgust and I was next. He would grab my hair and with one fell swoop, I would go flying through the air hitting the side of our chimney. If I was lucky I would awake the next morning still in the very same spot that I had landed, cold and wet but unharmed.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t always lucky, some of those nights, one especially, he just lounged into me. He kicked, thumped, slapped me and he ripped my nightgown off and continued by rubbing it in my face. Then he would dangle me over the fireplace that lay open to the first floor. As I dangled in the air facing down to the stove below in the kitchen, I prayed that so he could drop me. I prayed such to stop living this terrible and painful torment. Alas, he did not.
The following mornings, I would be abstained from going to school and as a goodwill gesture, I would be made to wash my sheets and blankets in the cold water poured in a metal tin bath. My mother would then wring the sheet and catch the strained urine into a cup. Then, she would hand the cup to me and order me to drink. I felt sick, I remember heaving as I sipped it and then gulped it to get it over and done with.
Then, I was asked to get on with the washing of sheets and blankets task. I never had a clue as to what I was meant to be doing. Then I would be told to wring it and with my mother’s help I would then hang the sheets up but mum always had to take over as I could not ever reach the line to dangle the sheet over. When the task was over, I would be given a bucket and told to go and get the water from the pump down the street. I then thought I was in heaven, twenty minutes away from hell was truly bliss.
Yet! I lived another day to tell another tale.
If you know of someone being treated in such a way, please don’t wait for another to act, do it yourself and get help, please.
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