Bullying, Drugs, Guns and Family


Ink pink... Bullies stink!

Ink pink… Bullies stink! (Photo credit:

Roseanne is making some noise in the background while I sit here. The episode that I am listening to perked me up enough to actually let my fingers rest and turn my eyes to the television.

The family is having problems, but when aren’t they? This one is based on a family in the eighties trying to make IT work. Overtime is the issue. Although Dan and Roseanne realize the overtime will help it also trickles over into what to do with the kids. How do we all get fed and who is doing what on the house chores category.

They were all in the kitchen discussing options when Dan realizes Becky  isn’t present. He calls her so she is involved also. That is the point where I was having my own flash backs in my life.

I went back to when I was around the age of 10 up to the age of 15 or so. There were only one set of rules at my house. They were known as the Parent Rules. I had no choices in some matters of the house.

I was expected to babysit my baby sister. I was expected to clean the house. Do the laundry and ironing. I was expected to cook what ever mom had laid out in the morning. It was a known fact that I should never come home with less than a C on my report cards. I would never be called down to the school office or I could expect worse when I got home. My parents picked out the style of clothes I wore. I got to pick the colors.

Bills and finances were never discussed in front of us children. Mom and Dad discussed everything that had to do with our family behind their bedroom doors. I never heard screaming or arguing between the two until I was around 17. This may also be that I was older and more in tune with sounds other than from my record player.

There were no family meetings. Where we ate or went in the car was always my parents decisions. We just went along with no questions asked. Our family was not run like a tight ship but it was not an open family either. We were good kids and we had good parents.

But seeing this show helps me see  how much life and families have changed. I remember somewhere in the eighties kids were no longer considered kids to parents. They had a new title called friends. Parents were wanting to be friends with their off spring instead of the leader and tour guide.

I wonder what I would have thought if my parents called us kids in for a family meeting. Maybe it was the yearly house insurance bill that was coming due. Would they ask us to give up something in order for them to make that big bill? What would we think? Would we understand?

My parents figured out everything. I grew up thinking that our family was above others. We had no problems. We had no money issues. We lived in a very nice home. We went to church every Sunday.

There were no classes in high school in my day that taught budgeting or finances. Nothing to teach me about saving for an apartment. How to pay the utility bills. Was having a phone a luxury? Or was having enough food to buy groceries more important?

I learned a lot through many mistakes how to make money and time work for myself when I left the family nest. Would I have gotten married later than sooner if I knew more about how life worked? I don’t know and it doesn’t matter now. None of us can go back and change what has already been done.

So I am asking you these questions. Do you think it is better to be more involved as a youth in family matters concerning money? Should kids be able to see that money can be a juggling act? Or should kids be kept hidden like we were? Last question is should parents be the tour guide or the friend?

That last question always makes me ponder. I look at the troubled teens today. Many are brought up to raise themselves. The drug issue is definitely bigger than it was in my day. I am not saying there wasn’t a drug issue then. It is bigger and many more types of drugs now than ever. Easy access seems to be a big issue.

Where do these kids get all the money to buy these drugs and even the guns? Were drugs discussed in the home? Were gun dangers taught at home? I never knew about guns really. I knew they were used for hunting. Drugs were for medical illness.

When I was 17 I learned the most about illegal drugs when a student in my graduating class overdosed and died. Anything else I learned was from head line news or people talking. Along with drugs and guns is now a bigger issue than ever, bullying.

So in closing of my thoughts what should be taught at home versus our schools and friends?

Continuing Story Part 10


The teacher was very frank with Dahlia, explaining that sitting back, feeling sorry for yourself, did nothing but hold you back in life, and she was not going to be a participant to these actions. Dahlia listened but made no comments. Teacher continued on that while the student sat herself in a pool of pity, she, herself had made phone calls and had gone to appointments, trying to find the best way to help her, and she had now made a choice.

She explained about a new school that was a half hour away, and they had an appointment in the morning to go visit it and to take a tour. Dahlia sat up straighter and said with no hesitation, no. She wasn’t interested and she wasn’t going. She stood up and felt her way out of the kitchen and went to her bedroom and shut her door a little too hard.

Teacher ignored her, knowing this was going to happen but was already prepared for the fight. She tidied up the kitchen and went to her own bedroom and laid her clothes out for the appointment the next day and crawled into bed and took up where she had left off on reading her book. Before, long sleepy eyes fell on to the pages, and she was fast asleep.

Meanwhile across the hall Dahlia planned out each word on how she was going to have her own way. She was not going to any school for the blind. She wasn’t going anywhere that was so far away, and she didn’t need anyone’s help. She was blind, and this is the way it was. The dancing now was nothing but a dream. She pulled the covers up over her and drifted off into dreams about her non-existence.

Before either of them realized it, the sun was shining in the windows, and the teacher was knocking on her door announcing it was time to get up and get dressed. Breakfast would be soon, so let’s get cracking!

Dahlia roller over and covered herself up with her blankets and ignored the warnings of the teacher. While breakfast was being fixed, Dahlia once again went over in her mind what she was going to say, in order not to go. Soon there was another knock and since no one answered, the teacher walked in and saw that Dahlia was not dressed and ready to eat.

She walked over to the bed and ripped the blankets off causing such a force that they ended up lying on the floor. She grabbed a hold of Dahlia’s night-gown and pulled her to a sitting position and began to take off her night-clothes. Dahlia let out a gasp and was yelling and fighting with her hands to get the teacher to go away.

Teacher said, if you are not going to do this yourself, I am going to do it for you! We are going to this school, we are going to visit it and there will be no more bad actions from your end! Now let’s get moving!

Dahlia still fought, but the teacher pulled her nightgown off and with struggling from both sides and words flying, Dahlia was dressed. She walked her over to the bathroom, and sat her on the stool, and proceeded to wash her face and then braided her hair.

After all was complete, she told Dahlia, lets’ go to the kitchen and eat our already cold food. Dahlia sat, not moving, and once again, teacher helped her up and took her hand and guided her out of the bathroom. Before Dahlia could express any of her planned arguments, she was seated in a kitchen chair, and her plate was in front of her.

Teacher said a quick thank you to God for this food and then began to eat. Dahlia realizing she was not going to win, started to eat, but taking small bites, delaying their trip and the goal to be being late for this school.

There was no winning, if Dahlia didn’t eat, teacher was going to help her. Both ate in silence. It was so quiet, you could hear a mouse running along the floor boards. After breakfast, Dahlia sat, and the teacher cleaned up the dirty dishes. Soon a car honked out front, and teacher told her that she had made arrangements for a ride to the school, so it was time to go. With a slight tug of the shoulder, Dahlia got up and they both walked out the door, teacher smiling and waving to her friend that was driving them, and Dahlia with a big frown.

They got into the car and teacher and her friend chatted all the way and Dahlia sat in the back in silence. She believed she had drifted off because before she knew it they had arrived in the parking lot of the school.

Dahlia wished she could see what this place looked like, but she was not going to give any inkling of her questions. The teacher and Dahlia got out of the car, and together hand, in hand, they walked through the front doors, where they were met by the principal of the school.

Dahlia could tell it was a man, with a deep voice, a voice of authority. They walked into his office and Dahlia was able to hear what the criteria was for this school, the goals that would be accomplished, and the different teachers that were here to help the students.

He asked if they would like to go on a tour, and although Dahlia was not very excited about this, she also knew she did not want to make a fool of herself in front of this man with the deep voice. She stood up and they all made their way through the halls, and classrooms, and the gymnasium. This school had rails on each wall, and it made it much easier for Dahlia to make her way around.

The principal explained that here in the gymnasium there were no large mirrors on the walls but there were rails on each wall, and hand felt markers placed throughout the room would make walking much easier.

Dahlia was not going to let the teacher know that some interest had been perked in her, but the teacher also recognized that she didn’t have to force her to walk any longer. They finished the tour and ended back in the office, sitting in their original chairs.

The principal asked Dahlia what she thought of everything she had heard and he waited for her response. Dahlia mentioned that it was alright, nothing special, but she could not go here, even if she wanted to, as she had no way to and from .

The principal and teacher smiled at each other, as the principal told Dahlia that he had a plan if she was interested in knowing about it.

English: The music and dance school of Torcy, ...

Continuing Story Part 9


When the teacher arrived home, she was greeted by Dahlia still lying in her bed feeling

English: Old Dahlia

English: Old Dahlia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

sorry for herself. She tried to talk some sense into her, but the pity party was so deep that teacher could not get through the tightly, closed-door.

Teacher had led a life that had caused many tribulations, forcing her to face her problems or drown, and she saw in Dahlia, what she herself had been once upon a time. She made up her mind, that if Dahlia would not help herself, then she would help her for her.

She left Dahlia to herself and went into the living room, where she found her phone book and her address book. She went through them and wrote down names and phone numbers that may be able to help her. She began her journey of healing for Dahlia. She made call after call, scribbling out names who could be of no help, and making marks beside the ones who possibly could help in one way or another. She set up appointments with the ones who drew hope and for the next week she was being drawn into the circles of possibilities  for  Dahlia’s problems.

One by one through out the week, she visited her appointment. She spoke of her problems with her student, gave a little background, and jotted down notes from the words and advice given to her.

It was a tiring week, but by the end, she had names and phone numbers and addresses of the best. She knew that Dahlia was in trouble, but she also realized that without a swift kick of tough love, this girl could end up being a waste on this good earth.

Dahlia stayed mainly in her room, and when her stomach could take no more, she would wander to the kitchen and grab a bite to eat and take it back to her room. Each morning and night, the teacher would try to draw her out of her sadness and loss of self-worth, but Dahlia refused to be helped.

Teacher left her alone and went about her tasks of finding the best help she could afford and offer. She had three names, and called each of these and set appointments up and met with them all in three days.

One of them, told of a wonderful psychiatric hospital that could possible help with quite a bit of therapy offered. The teacher laughed this off, remembering what help had been offered to her own self and how she had fought it and went more into herself. The next person told of a school, that was very strict, what you and I would call a boot camp school today. The problem with this was that the school was almost an hour away, and she wasn’t sure how she would be able to visit Dahlia if she were to be placed there.

There were good things about it though. Careful eyes kept on each student. No nudging to do what was right, but a punishment if not doing what was ordered. Three meals a day. Teacher asked if an appointment could be set up for this school, and that if she could, she would bring Dahlia along, but there were no promises that she could get the girl to budge.

The call was made and the date set for arrival for a visit. The teacher left with a big thank-you being said, and a smile on her face, because she was certain she had found the solution to this.

When she arrived home, she went and checked on Dahlia, whom she found sitting on her bed, uncovered, and actually dressed, and was gazing toward the warmth of the window. She told the student that she had some information that she wanted to introduce to her and that she expected her in the living room or kitchen where they would go over it. Dahlia glanced her way as she heard the words, but said nothing.

The teacher left her sitting there, knowing she better make one last phone call for today, cancelling the last appointment. After the phone call was made she went to her record player and placed a record on it that helped bring softness to the room and a flowing calmness.   She went on to prepare dinner for the two of them, believing that things were going to be changing, and their future was looking brighter. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn cut from the cob, bread and butter with jelly and hot tea, was the menu for tonight.

The smells drifted through Dahlia’s nose and soon the saliva started forming in her mouth, as she had not eaten much for so many days, she realized she actually was famished. She climbed out of bed and went across the hall to the bathroom using her hands to guide her through each step. She splashed her face with water, and slowly ran a comb through her tangled hair. When she thought she looked the best she could for now, she went to the kitchen, felt her chair and sat down as if the teacher was her maid or slave.

The teacher said nothing to this, as she was just relieved Dahlia was out of her room. There was not much conversation taken place during this meal. Teacher noticed Dahlia eating and doing not much chewing, and she smiled to herself, as her student devoured each bite.

After dinner was over the dirty settings were placed on the counter top waiting to be washed, but this could be done later. Now, it was time to let Dahlia know of the plans for her future, and her new school. She added hot water to their tea cups and sitting back down across from Dahlia, cleared her throat and sat  up a little straighter, ready to start her battle of winning this war.

The teacher began by letting Dahlia know that what had happened the past week or so was not her fault, that neither of them had planned on this or had done anything to help cause this. She let her student know that she loved her and that she knew she had a diamond sitting here across from her, and she would continue to be of help to get her through her schooling.

Dahlia felt with her fingers until they wrapped around the warm tea-cup and opened her mouth to protest, but the teacher would not give her a chance to speak.

Free Write Friday, August 4th, 2012


When I was a small child, my brother and I were taken from our mother and placed with our father, and his mother and father to live. We lived here for what it seems for about one year.

We lived in a two-story house, which is white and had a wrap-a-round porch on the front. It had very little yard space to play in, and an alley ran on the side of the house, so for children it was not a safe play area. I believe when my mind goes back in time, we must have been between three and four years of age.

The upstairs of the house was where the bedrooms were placed, and although, I do know I was the age of being out of a baby bed, I can still have visions of sleeping in the same room where my father slept, in some form of a baby bed or maybe it was a toddlers bed.

I can remember waking up in the mornings and my father holding my hand as we walked safely down the long flight of stairs. It is strange how we can remember bits of pieces of our young days, but even today, all the pieces are not connected. The puzzle looks put together, and the cardboard waiting for the missing puzzle pieces has turned brown from old age and sitting empty.

It was at this house that I remember much chaos. I can remember a lot of yelling and fighting. I can remember getting strange feelings that I was in the way. It seems like there was words of I am doing what I have to do, not because I want to, but you put me in a position of being a mother again, said by my grandmother.

My father worked the evening shift at the local bowling ally, and his parents cared for us while he was at work. We were not allowed to make sounds, and we could only play with one toy at a time, but very quietly. I can remember seeing my brother laying on the floor, and rolling some sort of car, maybe the size of a hot wheels, back and forth on the floor, never making a noise.

My brother and I never had any bonding when we were young. One reason was for the lack of using our voices. Another was my brother didn’t talk much. His vocabulary was very limited due to  lack of being  taught, or communicated with in any other way than was necessary.

My brother was kept captured in a high chair for a good part of each day, so he would not get in to anything, and I can remember tears and crying from him. I don’t know what I did with myself for most of my days, but I can see now where I am in my own life and Al’s life, that how we were treated as young children definitely helped mold us into what we are today.

I still cling to being accepted. I go over board to try to please others, even when I know I am being used. I hear my brother’s words when he is upset,  saying no one has ever cared about him.

This is not true, but the molding that was formed when very small remains in his mind today. Our stepmother did her best to raise us, and I am pretty sure she loved us in the best way she could. There was never bonding between mom and us kids, in the times that are most important, but there was a love.

I do remember when we lived in the white house by the alley, there was an elementary school that sat right across from our house, and if I was very good, or our father was sleeping  later than usual, or our grandparents felt they needed more quiet time, they would tell me to go to the school ground across the street and swing on the swings. They showed they cared somewhat, because they would always point to the yellow warning sign with the children on the front, this is where you play and this is where you stay. If I look out my front window, and I don’t see you, you will get a licking when we find you.

I would go over and sit on the swings and swing alone. My brother would not be allowed to go with me, because of his age, I think. Sometimes, a little girl about my age would come to the school grounds and swing with me. I am sure we chatted or laughed or maybe we swung in silence, I can’t remember.

One day many years later, when I was grown, or thought I was grown, I worked at a local restaurant burger joint. There was lots of teenagers who worked there. A quiet, taller than most girls, worked there also, and mainly worked my shifts in the evenings. Eventually, she and I became friends, and we got close enough that we even started to stay over at each others houses on the weekends. Remember those slumber parties? This is what we had. Sue, her name, introduced me to one of her friends, and so the three of us formed our little circle of friends.

One night on one of these over night stays, conversations drifted to when we were young. I have no idea of what was really transpired, probably silly things, like cute boys! I do remember one thing though, and will never forget it.

Sue talked about where she lived when she was little and how she used to go to the school-house near her home and she would swing with a little lonely girl. Her mother would see the young child sitting all by herself, and would ask Sue to go over and keep her company.

Sue and I discovered we were each the little girls that swung together when we were very small. She lived one block from the school. I find it amazing how God brought us together once again, after all these years. We were like lost sisters come together once again.

Now, even years later, she lives in a town near by, and I see her once in a while, and we always stop for a moment or two to hurriedly catch up with what is happening in our lives now.

So many times when I go by a school today, and I see the yellow sign warning children at play, I go back to my youth, and try to choose the memories of the little girl on the swing who sat with me, and turn my back on the sad memories of confusion of wondering whether I was wanted or not.

 

Thank you Kellie for offering me another chance to write for your writing exercise prompts!

http://kellieelmore.com