Death Of A Paedophile and Other Small Things Such As Sexual Assault

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About this time Avery kicked the bucket, good riddance to bad rubbish. If it was left to me he would have been fed to the vultures as lunch, but my mother had made arrangements for me to attend his funeral. Due to misplaced sympathy the school had granted me an unscheduled weekend off. Since the divorce my mother had not had a car and had been getting a lift in with Granny to her new place of work every morning. To attend she had arranged that Teddy would fetch her from Johannesburg and pick me up on the Saturday morning so that we could attend the funeral late in the afternoon. As they were late in picking me up, I went into town and bought some deep fried chips and half loaf of bread and sat on the pavement outside the fish and chip shop eating this feast with my friends.

 I did not know Teddy’s car so I did not notice them when they drove past the first few times, my mother did not think that one of the urchins sitting on the pavement could ever be her son so she did not see me either. Finally they stopped one of the children and asked if he knew where I was, he pointed to where I was sitting, and my mother almost died of shame. Her precious son, held so high in her esteem, acting like a homeless street urchin.

It was back to the hostel to wash and change and then off to the funeral in Komatipoort. We made it to the church with minutes to spare and were given very cold stares by the other friends and relatives that were there to say good-bye to a great man. The eulogies still ring false in my ears today. Personally I found great solace and comfort in his passing and if I had been allowed I would have happily pissed on his grave.

 I was returned to the hostel on Sunday evening, fortunately after dinner, as Teddy had treated my mother and me to a meal at the hotel in Barberton. That is when I found out that the change in the teachers attitude to me was not only because of my prowess in the game of rugby, but because he knew them all from the local rugby club where he too played with some finesse.

Teddy was a train driver, and lived in Nelspruit, but was often in Barberton and used to have drinks with a lot of the teachers when he was there. It turned out that my mother had asked Teddy to do something about the teacher who had cut my hair off, Teddy had. He beat the teacher up and warned all the teachers that if any harm came to me he would be the one they would answer too, my hero.

After Avery’s death I had this need to tell someone what he had done to me, I chose the wrong person to open up to about Avery’s abuse. It was one of my older friends that I thought I could trust with my life, I was very wrong, he spread the story around the school, which was bad but not the worst of it. One night I was woken up by one of the meanest and thickest Dutchman in the school, one of the few that could never get enough of beating up on me. He was not alone, are bullies ever?  He asked me if I was missing Avery and no matter how often I said I did not the more insistent he was that I did. The next thing he had his friends hold my head while he forced me to open my mouth by holding my nose closed. He then forced me to give him a blow job, making me swallow cum by having his friends hold my jaw shut and pinching my nose until I did.

When it was over he said that his girlfriend gave a far better one and swaggered out of the dormitory. He had managed to wake up the other nine boys and they all watched but no one interfered or helped. If my life had been hard to bear up until then, it became utterly unbearable after. It never happened again, but that was very little solace, the worst is I could do nothing about what had happened and nothing to stop him if he decided to do it again. There was no-one to turn to, the teachers would never believe it.

Lots of Hugs and more,

Peggy-Sven

Lack of Self Control

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All our house masters were Afrikaans except one, the English Gym teacher. If I had one really bad failing as a child, it was the inability to shut my mouth when some bully espoused some stupid comment about me being English.

The Afrikaans students in the hostel far outnumbered the English ones, the reason being that their fathers tended to be farmers and the farms were out of town. The townies tended to be English and their fathers owned most of the stores or businesses in the town of Barberton and lived within the town limits, so most of the English speaking students just walked to school.

We borders also walked to school as the hostel was about two kilometres from that sanctity of learning. The Afrikaans hated the English, still do I suppose, due to the concentration camps during the Anglo-Boer war where some twenty-eight thousand Afrikaans speaking people had died, of which more than twenty-two thousand were children under the age of sixteen. Understandably  they had their reasons to hate the British, but to them all English speakers where British, which of course was not exactly correct.

I was of German extraction, my mother was brought up by my Granny who was Swedish, and I had no ties to the British. My father had decided to bring us up as English speaking as it was the only international language taught in South African schools. Shamefully whenever one of these ignorant oafs started with me, instead of agreeing with them, which would have been the safest thing to do, I proceeded to give them a piece of my mind and to remind them that they were a bunch of mongrels made up of Dutch, French, German and anything else that happened to be passing through South Africa at the time. To say that I was beaten on a regular basis would be like commenting that the sun rose every morning in the East, or that the Pope was catholic. So I had plenty of time to enjoy the bucket parade.

Lots of Hugs and more,

Peggy-Sven

The Death of a Child and Lack of Humanity

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This arrangement was to carry on until Onus’s achieved eighteen months in age, and then he became very sick and was admitted to Baragwaneth’s ICU for the last time. For the next couple of months Hubby, John and my mother visited Onus three times a week, Tuesday and Thursday evenings and the usually Saturday afternoon. The fact that Onus died, is not the issue here, as it was expected and Hubby, John and my mother were resigned to the inevitable, but the utter callousness of the hospital staff when he did. 

I have alluded to the dedication of the doctors, but that did not apply to the hospitals administrators. In the last few weeks of Onus’s life he had been admitted to ICU, and the visits of the intrepid three had been curtailed to one on Saturday afternoon. Onus died on a Monday and even though our home telephone number was on record, not one of the hospital staff thought that the mother of the dying child would like to be present in his last hours. So needless to say no telephone call was forthcoming. Hubby, John and my mother discovered that Onus had passed on to what some believe is a better world, all alone attached to tubes, wires and in total indifference to his suffering by the very people who had taken an oath to uphold the dignity of their patients, two days after his death. 

Some would like to blame the Apartheid regime, and point to the degrading laws that kept the natives subjugated and in dire poverty, but I cannot, the very same subjugated people were in charge of Onus and they were the ones that could not find in their humanness the compassion to notify the mother of a dying child and offer the solace of just being there to attend the last hours of her beloved offspring. Today I often hear the words uttered by the liberated blacks of this country that they are, “a human being just like you”, I have a small problem every time I hear this phrase. 

The problem is that to be a human being one has to understand the meaning of humane and by what is happening in South Africa today, the rape of babies, senseless murders and a general middle finger for the laws of the country, but not least, to the way the death of Onus was handled by the very same human beings. So Onus was returned to the very earth that he is supposed to have originated from. My mother did not attend the funeral as it took place in Soweto and the Apartheid police were not in favour of whites entering the township and definitely not a white woman. I have no idea in which cemetery in Soweto Onus was laid to rest, but the chances of finding the grave are slim to none. 

Onus died in my fifth year of life and hardly disturbed the rhythms of our family life, in what manner it affected Hubby I have no idea as after taking a weeks leave she was back at work her usual smiling self. The stoicism and fatalistic view that is taken and observed by the natives in Africa has never ceased to amaze me. Whether it is drought, pestilence, or subjugation either by Apartheid or their own indigenous governments, the general population just gets on with their lives, almost mirroring the concept of karma. 

I am not suggesting that there are not members of the population that do not agitate for change, but that they are in the minority. As long as there is a promise of a better life for all, the majority of the population is prepared to carry on their lives irrespective of their own personal circumstances in the belief that their leaders will work for their up-liftment and economic salvation, it never occurs to them that the people that make all these promises are lying or worse are only working for their own enrichment. 

Lots of hugs and more,

Peggy-Sven

My First Brush With Death

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It was about this time that Granny moved in with us for the first time. The house that we lived in at 22 Westmeath, had three real bedrooms, and the previous owners had build a sort of play room onto the back of the house with a passage between Karen’s bedroom and mine. It was also the year when my mother started working for my father, or should I say started her slave position as she was never paid.

Just before Granny moved in, the room had to be painted and spruced up for her. So my mother was excused from her unpaid position to paint and make sure that the place was ready to accept the rather prim and proper lady that my granny was. What I did not know at the time, was that Granny had given my father the money to buy 22 Westmeath, and that she had called it a wedding present to the two newly-weds  although she had insisted that the money be paid back over twenty years. The reason that she was moving in was so that my mother would not be left alone as often as she had been as his business was growing and that he would be spending more and more time away from home. With what I know today, there was very little “Work” involved, unless seduction of every woman that wore a skirt/trousers is considered work.

As could be expected my mother painted the whole place by herself and naturally had thinners to clean her paint brushes. We children were not allowed to go into the newly painted room, and my mother kept the door closed but not locked, which was in her mind enough as we were too small to open doors at that time. What she did not realise, is that if I lifted Karen and worked as a team we were more than capable of opening any door.

So it came to pass that one afternoon, just after we had arrived home from school and mother was busy having a cup of tea with hubs in the lounge, I think also listening to some radio play on Springbok Radio. Karen and I sneaked into the newly painted room. What you the reader may not remember, is that back in the sixties plastic was something new and was not the packaging of choice. Dangerous chemicals like thinners were sold not in supermarkets in bright labelled plastic bottles, but from your local hardware store, that were not at all like the ones of today. They were more of a general dealer’s store where you would buy all hardware as today, including paints but you could also buy things like fireworks, bicycles, bicycle tubes and tires, mouse traps poison, and a hundred other items that are now sold in specialist stores.

Thinners was sold either in twenty gallon metal barrels or decanted into the glass cool-drink bottles that the customer brought along. My mother had taken a 7-UP bottle to the hardware store for her thinners, and naturally had left it just inside the door near her cleaned brushes. Being only four years old, the only thing that I saw was a cool-drink bottle filled with cool-drink, I did not know the distinctive smell of thinners, so naturally as I was thirsty I drank the bottle of 7-Up as I recognised the bottle as my father’s favourite soft drink. We as children were not allowed sugary drinks; we were only allowed milk and Oros orange cordial.

You can imagine what happened to me a few minutes after I had consumed the rather strange tasting drink. I could not breath and I had the most horrendous stomach cramps, Karen went rushing through to the lounge, yelling that I was dying, she was rather melodramatic in those days and as one of our pets had died only a few days before, death, was very  fresh in her mind. Mind you I probably would have died of poisoning if my mother had not been there, so maybe she was not being so melodramatic after all.

Mother at that time did not drive, and panicked a little, crying that I was dying just like Karen, she had Hubs carrying me as she ran to the telephone and phoned our house doctor, who was not available as doctors in those days treated their patients at home and not in their surgeries. As is the case today where they make appointments and are invariably thirty minutes to an hour late for each and every appointment, as though their patient’s time is worth nothing and only the doctor is a busy person.

Fortunately the doctors nurse was in and she told my mother to make me vomit and to try and get milk down me so as to neutralise the effects of the thinners. That done, to get me to a hospital as soon as possible. Hubs took me through to the bathroom, where she proceeded to put her fingers down my throat, where in her words, “blood mixed with thinners gushed all over the toilet seat and covered half the floor of the bathroom”. My mother meantime was trying to get hold of my father so that he could rush home and transport me to the Children’s hospital in Braamfontein, unfortunately he was not in his office, and my mother was only able to get hold of Daphne, a friend that lived in the same road as us, who at the time did not have a license but at least could drive.

Years after mother always related that she was not sure whether she was more afraid of me dying or all of us dying in some rather gruesome car wreck. Needless to say they managed to get to the hospital without any further incident. That was to be my first visit to a hospital as an in patient, there were a few further visits in my future, but this was the shortest, only one night away from home.

Hugs and more,

Peggy-Sven