Sheila’s Story – Memories of a toddler!

A three-year old can’t write, a three-year old can’t communicate very well at all. She can love you and hug you, but its hard for a three-year old to talk about the horrors she saw.

That is why the first ‘diary entries’ are just thoughts and pictures captured in Sheila’s brain. Pictures that were locked away for a long time, to surface when she was a little older. Maybe the ‘gift’ bestowed on her was because of what she endured as a child.

My mum's roses

Sheila was playing outside on a beautiful day in late May. Early roses bloomed in the little rose garden carefully tended by her mum. Sheila was only three, and in later years when it wasn’t too painful, she would look back on the beautiful rose garden, and remember things she didn’t want to. No one can remember much before the age of three, many people can’t remember being three, unfortunately Sheila can. She toddled around on the little square of grass, surrounded by beautiful pink roses, pushing a dolls pram and singing happily in a language only three-year olds can understand, safe in her own little world.

 That safe feeling came to an abrupt halt with a large bang and the sound of her mum screaming.

My dolls pram

Sheila stopped dead in her tracks, frozen like a statue! She looked up at the bedroom window, which is where the sound had come from and briefly saw the back of her mother, pressed against the glass, and then yanked away roughly, followed by more banging. It sounded like something was falling down the stairs, quickly and noisily, and then there was silence. Sheila was frozen like a statue on the grass, her lips trembling in fear, tears filling her eyes. She had heard this noise before and it wasn’t good.

A neighbor came out of the front door of the next house, paying no attention to the three year old, but looking in the direction of Sheila’s house with a worried expression on her face. Maybe she  heard the screaming and banging too.

There was another loud bang, which was the back door of the house slamming shut. Sheila still stood still, a vision in a blue dress, blonde curls falling on her shoulders, a blue ribbon tying her hair back off her face. The only thing moving were the huge tears trickling down her cheeks.

Sheila’s mother appeared shakily in the front door, she looked at her next door neighbor and they exchanged glances, but said nothing. The neighbor nodded, looked at Sheila and then went back inside her house. Sheila didn’t move, but looked at her mother, who had blood on her knees, and a torn blouse. She stood motionless until her mother sat on the front step and held out her arms, then Sheila ran unsteadily to the sanctuary of her mother’s lap. Her mother winced as Sheila launched herself into her arms, but she felt safe and the two sat there on the front step, and cried.


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