The Early Years

My story starts in a VERY small town in the Berkshire mountains up in Western Massachusetts.  I was adopted as an infant into a very devout French Catholic family.  Have one sibling, my darling baby sister by two years of whom I’m extremely proud. She’s a NICU nurse down in Miami with a heart as big as Texas!  It was just the two of us growing up so we’re very close. My mom and Grandma were devoted Catholics who raised us to believe in, trust and always walk with the Lord, seeking Him in prayer for every need. We attended parochial schools until the 8thgrade, when they “unleashed” me on public schools!   Annie, my sister was the shy one growing up….always behaved, never sassed back or got in trouble with anyone, anywhere, for anything.  Then there was me….sigh.

Very early on, it became apparent that TROUBLE was going to be my middle name.  Even though Mom dressed us and treated us exactly alike it was obvious that my Irish temperament bore no resemblance whatever to the meek, mild attitude of the other women in our family.  I’m sure I caused my mom many sleepless nights, oceans of tears and I know for a fact that Grandma Rose wore out several rosaries praying for me over the course of my growing-up years!!

I have good and bad memories of my early years in Mass.  No family is perfect and ours was no exception. For the first twelve years of my life I was subjected to chronic sexual abuse by a family member, followed by severe physical abuse during my adolescent years.  I can remember, as a little girl, maybe 7 or 8, laying in my bed at night,waiting for what I knew was coming down the hall, praying as hard as I could for God to make it stop and wondering over and over again, why He wasn’t answering my prayers if He was, as Grandma Rosie insisted, always listening! That question wouldn’t be answered for many years, until I was in my 50s and learned the value of Unanswered prayers!!

As a teenager,the abuse turned strictly physical and quickly became pretty bad, so if there were things I could do to annoy, humiliate, anger or embarrass my parents, I made it my personal mission to indulge in those particular activities.   I was a regular TERROR back in those days! Consequently….by the time I turned 18, I had some serious anger issues going on and rebellion was my middle name!  As soon as legally possible, I hit the door running and did not look back for many years.   I can remember telling lots of folks back then that if anything kept me OUT of heaven? It was going to be my total inability to forgive the individual who had caused my suffering for all those years.

He had never even admitted any wrongdoing…..insisting that I was a pathological liar, etc…. so I just assumed he certainly didn’t deserve the forgiveness he obviously wasn’t seeking. And away I went out into the world!


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