Fear was a constant companion. It directed my every move and thought. Beginning at the age of 4 or thereabouts, I was indoctrinated into the familial society of Fear. It was not a good thing.
We lived pretty much to ourselves, my siblings, my mother, and I. My father was there sporadically, as his job took him often away from home. Perhaps that’s where it started. My father’s sudden absence from home, leaving my mother in charge of us all.
A sense of duty and responsibility must have gripped my mother that was overwhelming. Just keeping us fed and clothed was a monumental task. We accepted no help from the state or churches, or anyone that I can remember. My mother would have seen it as a weakness, and this she could not and would not tolerate.
As my brothers and sisters reached the age of 16, 17, 18, they began to leave. I suppose anywhere was better than being at home. I had the sense that it was expected for them to leave. I know that I missed them terribly when they had gone, and keenly felt the circle of isolation tightening.