Sunday, April 5, 2009


Scripted Sunday time....What brings you back to your childhood?

Good question, not an easy answer for me. I have very little good memories of my childhood. Most of my childhood was besieged with fear and the nightmares of those days still haunt me to this day, however, what takes me back are Blackberries.

My adopted parents divorced when I was 9 and even though I wasn't taken care of real well, it did have some stability because my adopted father at least tried. From the age of 9-14 I was a victim of Sexual/Physical and Emotional abuse. One wasn't more terrifying than the other, they were all equal in their attack.

One of my escapes was the mountain behind the trailer park where I lived. I would go there often and hide in the blackberry bushes that covered that mountain. I would pick and eat until I couldn't eat anymore. I would play on the trails and bring my imaginary friend, Betsy to play with me. Sometimes some of the other kids in the trailer park would go up there, but it was my domain. There were times I would run as fast as I could up that dirt road (now paved) to get away. I would stay there for hours and hours in my own little world that I created. I have perfect memories in my soul of the smell of those sweet blackberries and the paths that weaved in and out of that mountain.

A blackberry starts as beautiful white flowers; so delicate and pure. Then they turn bitter, hard green berries. The green berries change to red berries with a promise of something special coming. Then as if by magic the berries have blossomed into beautiful black, plump and sweet berries that will melt in your mouth. They would last for a few weeks and then they would be gone until the following summer. However, the blackberry bush has nasty thorns that will pierce your skin, scratching it and making it bleed. It is inevitably that you will get pricked at least once, even if you are careful.

In my life I had those bittersweet moments. I had purity like the beautiful flower until they turned into hard green berries. I became hard and small to defend my precious soul from the thieves that took my innocence. I had those times when it was awful to taste the horrors in my life. Then those moments with things were a pretty red and everything seemed quiet and calm. At times I felt black and dirty, but I preserved and waited for those few weeks when all things would be happy, sweet and delicious. However, just as quickly as that sweetness came it was soon taken away just as quick until the next season. I would then lay and wait until happy times would come again, until the blackberries transformed my life, even if it was for a few weeks.

As I got older those thorns didn't seem to prick me as much, as I seemed to have gotten wiser in my age and was able to protect myself better. The pain seemed to be less frequent or maybe I learned to where heavy gloves to shield myself from the pain. As I matured into a young woman my trips up the mountain to escape became less and less. I had developed other coping skills and was able to say no to the pain inflicted on me by my adopted mother. I was able to see past the thorns and stay focused on the sweetness that filled my life, even it was but a few moments.

As in the progression of society and life, things change and evolve into other things. That mountain is now full of expensive homes and I remember how my heart just broke when they cleared away my blackberries and built those homes. I felt like a giant piece of me was taken away, as it was the only refuge I had from the secrets behind the trailer walls. When I go home to Oregon always drive to my blackberry spot and instead of expensive homes I still see my blackberries and the joy they brought to my life for those few precious weeks. They can develop the earth and change the way things look, but they can never take away my memories and the peace I felt when I was in the midst of blackberries.

1 comment:

Me said...

Oh Sweet Debbie! Such heartache, but a beautiful memory! Thank you for sharing your story!! God Bless!