Growth Through Adversity

I believe everything teaches us something. This day I learnt they could take all my material things away but they could not take my heart, my mind or my soul, those belong to me and I will use this pain to grow.

Growth Through Adversity
Growth through Adversity

When I was just a little girl

I rarely got to eat

My clothes were torn and dirty

And my shoes di'nt fit my feet

We lived in poverty and debt,

with times of absent lighting

Cold baths meant shaking cold and wet

To background noise of fighting

My father was such an angry man

That Mother tiptoed round in Fear

And We kids dared not to rock the boat

Held our breath when he was near

Our Mum was just a simple thing

No schooling left her dense

She chained smoked like a chimney sweep

And Swore …. so much you took offence

There were many times of hiding... too

Behind the sofa … flat to floor

From aggressive men called ‘collectors’

Who thunder banged the door

I found everything confusing

It made no sense at all

From the language they were using

To the endless drama squall

I tried hard to be a good kid

Practiced manners, studied hard

loved the sharing of my learning

To find it tossed out in the yard

So I became a people pleaser

And cooked and cleaned age 8

But that didn’t work well either

He’d chuck the food ….. and smash the plate

Father had this temper, of crazy scary rages

Would shout, punch doors and break our things

Incensed ….. his blow ups ran in stages

Our Mother often copped it

with a fairly hefty smacking

We’d hide away, try not to hear

the sound of brittle bones … when cracking

It wasn’t safe to say a word

Just tolerate, accept, abide

Give No Show of your emotions

Keep those feelings locked inside

But nothing lasts forever

Soon Mother left and ran away

She took my little sister with her

Where she went - she didn't say

Then Twas only 6 months later

When Father too abandoned ship

He took my little brother with him

While I was on a big road trip

So I came home to find a completely empty house

And Everything I owned chucked out

A chasm that was quiet as a mouse

Neither of them had wanted me

and at 15 years of age

I couldn’t work out what id done

Their moods I couldn’t gauge

Feeling lost and lonely .... fearful sad

Thinking boy I must be really bad

What to do Now, where can I go

Think Pam think, yup I know

Mother always liked that song

Walk tall … and look the world right in the eye

Well That day I grew, and did just that

And I didn't stop to cry

Now that was 40 years ago and

I've done such a lot since then

Worked hard and raised a family

And I began my life again.

Read next: Poem: New Life
Pam Millican-Hartnoll
See all posts by Pam Millican-Hartnoll