Written and copyrighted ©️by E . M .Rushton 2015
In 1964 in a small rural town, Northville, Nova Scotia, a baby girl was born. Unlike many children, but like so many others, this baby girl had a poor start in life, being born into a family where two other girls five and four yrs the age of and two parents who suffered from alcoholism and drug abuse.
The mother, Victoria, 28 years of age, was an eye catcher with men due to her beauty. She had black hair and brown eyes with a tiny figure. She loved tosocialize, especially after a drink.
Victoria’s mother, Faith had about seven other children besides Victoria. Faith found it very difficult to raise her children due to suffering from depression and several nervous breakdowns.
Victoria’s father, Daniel, was a workaholic and spent much of his time away from home. The family never had much money and all money they did have went towards clothes and food leaving nothing for pleasure.
Jerome, Victoria’s husband, age 32, was a handsome man with wavy reddish blond hair. He had baby blue eyes that spoke for themselves. He was a wanderer, but even more while drinking.
Jerome did not like to work even though he now had a family depending upon him. Unfortunately there is no family history on Jerome’s side.
In Collingwood, several miles from a town stood a tiny shack of a house. From outside it looked unliveable. The outside of the shack was strapped down with strips of wood nailed to the old tar paper. Some of the windows had plastic to replace the panes of glass broken out.
Inside there were two bedrooms, a small living room and a kitchen, but no inside washroom. Dirty dishes fill the sink and they cover most of the counter. They had been there several days. The floor seemed dirtier than the ground outside, rarely being cleaned.
The cupboards looked like Old Mother Hubbard’s, since they were pretty well bare except the odd staples and jarred baby food. The refrigerator was just as bad for there were more beer bottles than food. The dirt took away some of the bareness.
It all set in the woods off a dirt road. There were no other houses in sight.
The children always hungry, dirty and incompletely dressed run wild but knowing better, they stayed out of their parents’ way.
At the age of approximately two years, the youngest girl, Samantha, has her daddy’s eyes of baby blue and hair the color of the sun. She has her mother’s tiny bone structure, where as the other two girls have their daddy’s big bone structure. After Sam’s brother came along, they both slept in the same crib. In the morning when Sam and her brother awoke, they’d cry from being hungry and wet but they were ignored by their parents who suffered from a hangover and could not deal with yapping kids. At the age of six months, Sam’s parents would tie her in a rocking chair so they could go out. All four children wet the bed daily. Well with no one willing to stay home and look after these children or to chase them around as they enter the toddler exploring age, they were sometimes tied up in chairs or locked in their room.
Needless to say the Child Protection Agency authorities for this area stepped in. The Children’s Aid Society which places abused and neglected children in foster homes took the four children and each child was placed in a separate home.
Sam was placed in a foster home in the country area of Golden Grove.
Sam’s younger brother, Colin was placed in Realville, while the other two girls were placed separately, one in Love Lake and it is unknown where the last child was place.
Sam’s first trip to her new home was short due to her natural parents regaining custody of all four children. Within a couple of months, Sam was placed back in the same foster home she had previously been in as the same happened with her brother and sisters. Apprehension date was April 8, 1968; date of Ward ship was July 8, 1968
A small distance from the little village of Golden Grove on an old dirt road stood big old green farm house. There was a long gravelled driveway leading up to the house. Halfway up the driveway, big shady maple trees guide and shelter the upper half.
The house was surrounded by huge fields. Some had cattle them, some were filled with potatoes, others were for hay. There is one big barn with the upper part filled with hay. It sets off to the side of the house asmall distance away. A pasture surrounds the barn form one side and out back.
Out back of the house are an old chicken hut and a big wood pile beside it. The wood came from the acres of woodland at the edge of a huge field behind the chicken hut.
In the yard sits one or two vehicles and farm equipment. To a passerby this looks like the ideal country family home, nice and peaceful but what they don’t see is ugliness and horror that takes place there around the clock. Neither can they see the terrified expressions on the faces or the behaviour of the children in the yard. Throughout the years between 1968 and 1979 people seemed to become blind while passing by this place that is supposed to protect children who have come from unsafe homes.
As adults we as people can see past self–blame of why things happen to us. We can see that no matter how hard we try we cannot climb into another’s mind in order to control their behaviour. In this life one can only be responsible for one’s own behaviour and at time’s that is hard enough. When seeing things through the eyes of a child, self–blame is the primary reason for someone’s behaviour toward them. This blaming of self when the behaviour belongs to a caretaker or an immediate authority figure, the child thinks “It is myfault, adults are always right.”
This is how it is to four year old Sam. She is taught this at an early age. She will accept full responsibility right through her childhood and for many years of her adult life.
She sits there trying to figure out how to do things right. She’s so engaged into her thoughts, she misses the lesson that her primary teacher is teaching. To Sam, what the teacher is teaching is so insignificant compared to what she is in deep thought about. If she cannot survive then what the teacher is teaching means little anyway. Sam tries hard to figure out how she can improve her behaviour so that when she goes home she will be able to survive another evening so she can return to this classroom. She dearly loves this room and her teacher. She feels safer here than home. She stares at the clock on the wall thinking if only she could stop time then she would remain here forever. She then studies the teacher and her every movement, worshipping her. Her eyes and face, freeze with horror as she sees that figure at the door. Her eyes so fixed on the teacher that she did not realize the teacher was walking towards the door taking Sam’s eyes with her.
Time –it must be stopped and stopped fast because if it is not, Sam must walk away with this giant of a figure in the doorway. No she would die first. To the teacher, classmate and the person at the door, Sam had been marked as gone home. Sam’s foster father had been called to pick her up at school because she had a rash over her body.
Sam’s foster father, Peter, is a big man being six feet or more and big boned. Sam’s hand was a pebble along side of Peter’s. Peter was a quiet person most of the time but when he did speak, everybody heard and knew it. His tone of voice was as rough as his hands. He never seemed to be a happy man, always wearing a solemn or cranky face.
Sam sits in the truck with Peter, who seems like a giant to her, she is nervous about swallowing and breathing, thinking he might hear her and look. She didn’t want to draw any attention to herself. Her heart is beating fast and hard and the lump in her throat just seems to be getting bigger due to being locked in the truck cab, plus trying to figure out what might take place when she gets home. She hopes Peter can’t hear her heart and hit her for it. There was little conversation between the two of them and when Peter addressed Sam, he called the “witch” instead of by her name. She knew he wasn’t happy about having to come pick her up but neither was she. The drive home seemed so long because she wanted to get home fast so she could get out of the truck and put some distance between herself and Peter. When Sam went home by bus, the trip went by fast because she didn’t want to arrive home.
When Sam walked through the porch, she hears the washer going. The washer and Sam’s foster mother, Helen, are alike in the way that they are both old and very old fashioned. The washer is one of those ones that have rollers to wring the clothes dry and there is an old wash tub to rinse the laundry.
Helen is only as tall as the washer with short gray and blondish brown hair, curled by rollers. She is heavy set and has a hardened look about her. She spends no time in front of the mirror fixing her up. SHE AND Peter have three daughters, all of whom are adults, some with teenage children of their own. They all live miles away.
As Sam walks through the entrance from the porch to the kitchen, Helen has her finger pointed towards the living room which meant ‘Upstairs. If you are too sick to be in school then you should be in bed” said Helen sarcastically. Sam was not surprised by this statement, nor was she upset over it. She was glad she was being sent to bed, it meant she did not have to have Helen on her back. As Sam walks through the living room, to the stairs, she thinks if only she were in school. Her room is shared with a mentally retarded adopted son, Mitchell, younger by two or three years. Leonard, another younger boy by one year who is or has since been adopted has a bedroom to himself across the hall.
Sam fell fast asleep for a couple of hours after listening for footsteps and deciding Helen would not be up to torture her for awhile. As Sam awakens she fills up with tremendous fear when she discovers she wet the bed. She could not believe she had wet the bed during the day. It was bad enough every night.
Sam has no time to prepare herself for what is coming. As Helen comes up the stairs with an armload of clothes, Sam jumps off the bed and tries to decide how to stand, look, or what she should be doing. She hears the time ticking away. “Oh God, if only she could freeze time”.
Fly My Child , Rise Above .