CPR Section House

CPR Section House

Friday, February 25, 2011

The First Trials in Mattawa

After leaving Snake Creek in 1948 and moving into Mattawa , Dad and Mum spent about a year there . It was not the easiest of times socially but Mum made the best of things as they were . One benefit , to her , was the fact that she would be able to attend Church on a regular basis .

When she was still living in Stoke , England , from preteen until after her Father had been warned off , and before she went to work on a farm , Mum had spent every Sunday going from church to church , from village to village in her area . She would start off at an early mass at a Catholic Church at 7:00am , take in a Church of England service at 9:00 am and finish with a Methodist service at 11:00am . After the last , she would go to the public library and read ...her other pleasure .

When I was young , she said it was because there was tea and biscuits after the services as charity for the poor who attended . It was a time of rationing in England and her father took the largest portion of what was allotted . Biscuits and tea three times on Sunday was a real treat .

 Years later , she confided that it was also an escape from her father of whom she was in constant fear...that at anytime , she would be attacked , especially if he was drinking . He would be asleep by the time she got home , or out . After being threatened by her great aunt , her father spent more and more time 'out' , of which Mum was glad .

Even later , Mum talked of how at that time she had felt such anguish caused by guilt that the Church visits were a quest for forgiveness for somehow having brought on the assault ... that she was a ' bad girl ' ( of which her father continually reminded her ) . Mum was unaware as a child that she was not his first victim or of the mental 'game and tricks' used by perpetrators to protect themselves from public view  and punishment . Techniques used to keep control of victims knowing full well that what they themselves have done was wrong and want it never 'found out'.

 Socially , she remained aloof of personal closeness for fear of being rejected for what 'she had done', but always remained civil and friendly with everyone . Mum had learned from her experiences that trust was essential and this became the basis on which she developed all her relationships . Still , she gave everyone the benefit of the doubt until they proved otherwise . She rarely rejected people outright , no matter what they had done , but would rather adjust interaction to what she felt the relationship , such as it was , could handle . She believed fully in 'Forgive but never forget' and 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you .'

Despite the rifts and hurts that had torn apart her own family and kept them apart , Mum maintained a relationship with every one of her siblings . She did the same in Mattawa with her new relations ...each one unique and based on what it could handle .

One or two relatives were extremely judgemental making "ugly" accusations based on nothing done , but on "who-knows-what-they-were-thinking" as Mum had explained to me once .Because of Mum's perceived lack of retort and defensive response , these people felt free to begin expressing their opinions further afield . Eventually , Dad was given a full rant of what was wrong with his 'new wife' by his family . It was at that point , he made the decision to leave Mattawa .

 The other thing learned and used by Mum , her silence. " Give them enough rope , they'll hang themselves ." Mum could wait a long time for the 'truth to out' and it always did eventually . The only time Mum would not wait was if she knew harm being done to someone ,especially children, then she would intercede . She had many techniques ( from ice to fire ) and employed them wisely for the most part .

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