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29 Oct 2014
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Childhood Experiences

Anne Jones recalls with generosity, some of the painful aspects of her childhood.

When Anne Jones was 6 months old she went to live with a foster family, who later had a son Michael. The situation was a difficult one, and as Anne grew up, she began to understand that her foster mother was mentally ill and her foster father was, what would now be described as a battered husband.

When Anne was 12 years of age she decided she couldn’t cope any more " I went to the local welfare where I was put into the hands of what would be a social worker today and I went to tell her that I couldn’t take any more and they sent me back with a letter. They didn’t come with me and of course being very dutiful I didn’t run away I went back to the house and handed in the letter ."

The saving grace in Anne‘s childhood was her foster father "He was special. He was a very loving man and from him I learnt the value of fathers. He was the one who cared for us. He was the one who held us and loved us, he cooked our food, he did the washing up. People think that in violent situations that people should get out but there is an incredible courage in staying and I know that he stayed because he would never have left Michael and I."

Despite having observed, what Anne describes as cruel behaviour towards her foster father, she speaks with compassion about her foster mother "She’d talk about her horrendous childhood and I just felt so sorry for her because she did not know how to give love or receive love. I was lucky because my dad was so loving and that was the greatest thing in the world.

The impact that this childhood experience had on Anne was profound "I made a conscious decision that there was another way to do this. I couldn’t bear the pain and the hurt that I saw the people around me suffering because actually they were all hurting underneath and they hurt everybody around them"

If you think your childhood experiences have shaped your character in a way similar to Anne’s, and you’ve turned a difficult situation into a positive one, then the Home Truths team would be pleased to hear from you. Just click to the Home Truths Next Week page

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