When asked what my childhood was like, my response is positive, delving into snippets of the past and how my mum used to take me to ‘Wimpy’ for a teacake and tea. Gosh, remember ‘Wimpy’? That place started off my love of cups and saucers – I felt so grown up eating my two halves of toasted teacake with my perfectly coloured cup of tea with a saucer.
Or I would respond with how magical Christmases were, holding my mums hand to go down the stairs with my beloved teddy, Susie Bringnals (yes I named her that!) tucked under my arm. There would be times where I reminisced over my birthdays and how I would exclaim every.single.year about every.single.present, that it was something I had always ever wanted! I was a happy little girl on my 5th birthday with the little chalkboard that I had always wanted.
Talking about my childhood always put a smile on my face because I remembered little details like walking in on my dad in the bath, or recalling the outfit my mum wore on my 5th birthday when she was 30 (blue jeans and a white t shirt with an aztec style print in the middle, just FYI), or even being given a huge bag of cheese and onion crisps after leaving nursery, by mums friend Terri, because I screamed the place down and quite frankly wouldn’t shut up. I also remember the film that scared the absolute shit out of me, and to this day I cannot even watch it or look at thumbnails from it because I’m still scarred by the devil that is Edward Scissorhands. Sorry, want me to wait while you finish laughing? Done? Awesome. In my defence I was three! So yeah, my childhood was magical because of my mum, however if someone were to look at me right in the eye and ask, ‘Kaisha, how was your childhood really?’, my response would be the same as I’ve just said, however an additional sentence would be added…..
‘I was a child who witnessed domestic abuse, and lived through sexual abuse’.
During a time which spanned about ten years, I saw my mum different colours. Sometimes she was covered in so many bruises she looked black and blue, other times she had hints of green added to her skin due to older bruises changing colour. Nighttime was when it began, the tell tale sign that something was going to erupt was the clanging of the crockery, or the slamming of a drawer. Sometimes it went from 0-100 and all I could hear was my mum shouting ‘please don’t’, and her cries travelling up the stairs. There were times where I would be on the landing absolutely petrified, wondering if my mum was going to be killed, or hearing noises which made me scream down the stairs ‘MUMMYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!’. As soon as I knew the perpetrator had gone to bed, I would rush down the stairs to get to my mum, feeling sick at the thought of not knowing what I was going to see when I opened the door. I was a little girl mopping up my mums tears night after night, hugging her close, telling her that the events of that night were never her fault, falling asleep with her on the sofa only to then get up the next morning and do mine and my brothers packed lunch for school and head to a place where I was being beaten.
I was beaten up and bullied all throughout my school years, getting called fat which started two eating disorders, to getting bullied for having hair on my arms – SPOILER, I still have that hair!! And so, so much more. So, whilst all of that was going on personally and with my mum, the same person who made my mums life a living hell, also decided to sexually abuse me. What a lovely fellow he was! Sarcasm, he was a wanker and I’m glad he’s dead. JUST SAYING.
To this day, 20 years down the line, my mum still blames herself for what happened to me. Do I blame her? Do I heck! Not one iota and I never will blame her because it was not her fault. I still have flashbacks from those times, naturally, and the way I respond to situations isn’t sometimes ideal, but I can’t help that.
My mum has taught me many things over the years, such as how to bake, strength, courage, the ability to stand up for what’s right, but, most importantly, she’s taught me how to be myself.
So when someone asks me how my childhood was, I always say that I had a brilliant one because I did, its just that some fucker decided to piss on us along the way.