Friday, 12 June 2009

You weren't there

You weren't there when I first saw the blue line in a little window.

You weren't there when I told her father that we were to be parents.

You weren't there when I felt the first unimaginably gentle butterfly wings against my stomach.

You weren't there when I threw up all over, in the house, out of the house, and the car got hammered too.

You weren't there when I saw the outline of a real live baby on the strange topography of the scan.

You weren't there when the huge force of nature opened me and shook me and bent me and stole my breath in momentous labour pains.

You weren't there when she came out, purple-faced with blue eyes gleaming, raising hell with a piercing demanding cry.

You weren't there when she rose up and tottered towards the toy basket, and then fished inside for something she wanted and grabbed at it with a squeak of mastery.

You weren't there when I dressed her in an infinitely tiny skirt and a miniscule sweater embroidered with the school logo, and told her that she would 'enjoy school.'

You weren't there when her school shoes were put in the shower and soaked in the middle of winter.

You weren't there when she shivered and coughed and felt really ill in P.E. standing about, listening to the teacher drone on about nothing much in -1 degree weather.

You weren't there when the light died out of the gleaming blue eyes because the girls in her class wouldn't play with her or talk to her or team up with her in any games or classroom endeavours.

You weren't there when she bowed her head under the insults and the insolent stares of hostile kids.

You weren't there when they forced her up against a toilet wall, two against one, and pulled her arms back until she managed, thank God, to squirm free of their malice and their hatred.

You weren't there when the lovely girl got paler and paler, and took on the greyness of transparency.

You weren't there when we walked into school for the hundredth time to complain about the bullying.

You weren't there when they said it was her fault that she got bullied because she was 'too quiet' and I said how the hell can you be too quiet, and when was it a crime to be peaceful?

You weren't there when they made fun of her favourite comfortable shoes.

You weren't there when they tried to trip her up in P.E. because they wanted to hurt her and make her fall and make her look stupid in front of the rest of the class, and hurt her and hurt her and hurt her.

You weren't there.

Why are you there now, demanding access to see if I'm abusing her, you infernal condoners of abuse and misery. You two-faced harridans with your human rights that you choose to ignore when it damn well suits you?

Go save the children who ARE there. Those you are supposed to care for. Go. Take up your true responsibilities and leave my family alone.


  1. I can't believe that so many people have posted a link to your wonderful writing and not commented. This spoke to me and for me and is a beautiful and poignant and eloquent piece of writing. Thank you for writing it.

    I want to band together with other home educators and write a repy to the Badman report. If you'd like to join that effort, please email me at caliandrisATyahooDOTcoDOTuk.

  2. So many echos of our experience, put into words in a way I never could. Thank you for writing it.Lynn( with a big lump in my throat).xxxxx

  3. My daughter got angrier and angrier but with us as she was too stressed to articulate her feelings at school.

    She can articulate them now and so can I and we will bore the pants of anyone who against all odds manages to attempt to monitor us.

    This is beautifully put and very touching and sadly still going on for so many children.

  4. wonderful, and heart wrenching.

  5. Thank you for this. Hope you are getting some rest today. Lisa x

  6. Yes, I agree, a beautiful piece of writing that says so much about all our natures as parents. Who ever thought that we would seriously have to fight for our children in this way?

  7. So eloquently written and we too have our own similar story. Thank you for sharing.

    Shirl x

  8. That is the second blog post in 15 hours to make me cry. Lovely. I stll can hardly believe what it has all come to:(

  9. What a heartfelt piece of writing. Thank you for sharing it... I am in tears. Bevx

  10. So simple and so powerful, brought a lump to my throat and my other half is in tears, thank you for sharing it.

    How DARE the government think they have the right to assert that we "could be" hurting our children when they so spectacularly fail to protect the children they SHOULD be taking care of.

  11. Thank you x x

  12. Amazing.. Thank you for putting it into words. I know that pain, and I now realise that it's OK to want to protect my little one from it.

  13. Wonderful writing. Thank you.

  14. Loved it hen and I'll bet it has relavence to a lot of parents me included

  15. I wish someone did not give up asking questions or that I'd gone to school so there was someone who might have noticed, someone I could tell what was happening to me. I was home educated and was lucky when I ran away - I was thrown out by my mum and dad who said I was lying and to much trouble when I got taken back. So I finally managed to escape the abuse and now I'm 16 and being looked after by a great foster mum (she is helping me write this). I know school is bad for some kids and I know most home educators do a great job - but who finds out when not, who asks the questions, who gets in through the front door? My mum and dad looked good parents to everyone and had a nice house. It scares me that nice people don't want this.

  16. Powerful stuff.. It made me cry and poignantly gets the message across.I have linked to your blog from my facebook profile. Thank you x

  17. This brings tears to my eyes every time I read it. I linked to it on my blog the other day.

  18. Very touching. And so horribly common a tale... I'm sorry for your daughter's pain.