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About the Book:
Here, at the end of my journey, I have come home. Finally, exultantly home. The quiet Irish countryside encloses me, cradling me like a baby. This is what I searched for, longed for, all my life. I can feel the bones of old Ireland, the ancient peoples who lived, loved and died here: ancient tribes who knew all the ways across the bogs into their safe structures. Their bones are strewn across Ireland, forming a network on which hangs the knowledge and homeliness of these people. My search has led to many places, and people who turned out not to be my own. Restless, never satisfied with what and where I was – moving, planning, seeking, I fled Canada to the U. S., to London, back to the U. S., and finally, here where I belong.
This is my story:
CHAPTER 9 - Lost childhood
How I can bear to remember the next thing that happened to me, one of the most devastating in my life? It was something that I remained ashamed of, hated to think of, and somehow blamed myself for many, many years. It was only after years of adult therapy that I was able to realize that none of it was my fault; I was a victim of circumstances and beliefs that had come out of my dysfunctional father, that women were no good.
The mountain up above the highest farm was being logged of the old-growth timber. I was quite accustomed to seeing the giant trucks loaded with logs grinding down the hill. The driver would wave, and I would wave back. No one ever told me this could be dangerous, and I thought nothing of it. I had met the owners of the mill, who had sometimes talked with Dad when we were fetching the groceries that had been delivered to the foot of the hill, to a box put there for them. So I had seen him many times before. I had received my first kiss from his brother who had been delivering something to the farm with his truck. He leaned down from the rear of the truck, where I was standing talking to him, and suddenly kissed me. I just looked at him, and he exclaimed ‘God, you’re sweet!" I said nothing. I felt nothing, but always remembered the sweet smell of his tobacco. I was 11 years old. So when I entered Bay’s truck, I thought nothing of it. It was nice to not have to walk part of the three-and-one-half miles to the village. We were forced to stop at the railway tracks for a long freight train going through. Before I knew what was happening, he had pulled my panties off and was on top of me. It was all over before the train passed. What did I think? What could I think, I had to obey men, as I had been taught to obey Father. Silently, I picked up my panties and replaced them, we drove to the store, I stepped out of the truck, gravely thanked him for the ride, and went to buy the groceries. My usual habit of not examining anything took over, and I completely ignored what had happened. I felt no pain, no fright, nothing impacted me, I was numb. When I got home, I did not mention the incident. I thought that since my parents could not solve their own problems, they would not be able to solve mine. I was not going to add to them. In retrospect, it was a fortunate circumstance that I did not mention what had happened, because I realize Father would have taken his 303 Lee Enfield war rifle and shot Bay. No, it was better I had kept quiet, otherwise Father would have been up for murder, however justified it was, and just maybe, in an asylum. I also realized that Bay probably thought I was around sixteen (not that that excused him in any way), as I looked very adult, never child-like.