Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Dear Hearts,

Do you ever look back at your childhood, or even young adulthood, and realize that something you believed was a fact was, maybe, perhaps not true? And I'm not talking Santa and the tooth fairy here.

These epiphanies happen to me occasionally.

A funny one I've told you about before is when I watched the musical Gypsy on TV and my dad said he had seen Gypsy Rose Lee perform. I asked him what it was like and he said quite gruffly, I don't remember.

Well, of course he wasn't going to tell his 12-year-old daughter the details of seeing a famous stripper. But I didn't understand that until I was a young adult.

I've come to realize that some stories about friends from the past may have had other explanations than we thought when we were in high school.

I had a good friend who was the middle brother of three. His older brother had died. Another friend of mine told me the police had ruled it an accidental death but that everybody knew this young man committed suicide because of the way his father badgered the boys.

The older brother had died in bed. Hanged by the belt on his bathrobe.


Even when I was in high school, I didn't know how someone could hang himself in bed with a belt. I look back on it now, and I think a more likely explanation is erotic asphyxiation. We'd never heard that term in the Dark Ages, but we certainly hear it now, with some celebrities such as Michael Hutchence of INXS dying from it.

I also had a friend who was extremely thin. She told me it was because she drank bleach when she was a baby. The bleach had damaged her stomach so she could never eat more than a little bit at one time. No big Thanksgiving dinners for her. She also had some scars around her mouth.

I never questioned her about how old she was when this bleach drinking occurred, but I've often wondered over the years if her mother forced the bleach on her. Think about the way bleach smells; bleach isn't perfumed so it smells like fruit. And think of how bleach stings when it touches your skin.

She would have needed to be mobile enough to crawl to where the bleach was and pick up the bottle or her mom's cleaning concoction and raise it to her mouth to drink it. She would have felt the pain the second it hit her lips.

She told me she was at home with her mom when it happened. Even when we were in high school, this girl's mom seemed pretty abusive to me.

And so I've often wondered what really happened. Maybe her mom didn't do anything wrong. Maybe it was some kind of accident. Maybe the belt on the bathrobe was an accident.

But I don't know.

Have any of you had similar experiences? Believing something to be true and then growing older and maybe wiser and realizing something different might have happened?

A point to ponder.

Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Please remember to join us tomorrow for Princess Maggie's take on love and intimacy. It's very well written and insightful.


  1. It's sometimes sad to think of the past and all the wonderful memories but yes the same thing happens to me too and I'm like wow can believe I thought that haha.

  2. When I was little I thought my Paw Paw just didn't like to drive. It wasn't until I was much older did I learn he was a rabid alcoholic. Loved him anyways...

  3. Both these stories are horrid. Yes somethings end up in your head for years that it just doesnt get erased away and then you time to time think of what really happened. Very interesting thoughts.

  4. I can't remember anything like that happening in my life, thank heaven!

    You didn't mean there really is no Santa Claus or tooth fairy, did you?

  5. Baur, I think between about 18 and 25 we figure out a lot, and the information just keeps coming.

    Sush, I'm sorry. It must have been difficult to deal with that knowledge.

    Papa, Yes, they are horrid stories. I'm sure that's why I've never forgotten them.

    fishducky, Just kidding about Santa and the tooth fairy.

  6. When I was young and just out on my own in an apartment an older guy lived in unit beneath me. He had a parade of young boys in and out over time. He always gave me the creeps but I never knew why.

    Looking back I don't think he was mentoring them. EWWWWWW....

  7. Like the penis inspection day at the school?

  8. Boomer, At least you saw them leaving. Can you imagine having Jeffrey Dahmer as a neighbor? Just typing his name frightens me.

    Mis 2 Pesos, I know you're joking. You are joking, right? You're kidding, right? Tell me it didn't really happen.

  9. I remember my dad telling me I ate poop when I was really young and got really angry when he tried to get it out of my mouth because I thought he was trying to take chocolate from me haha.

  10. Baur, I guess all I can say is I hope poop eating isn't a problem for you now. You're an adult. You should be able to eat all the poop you want without your dad trying to take it away.

  11. Oh, absolutely. There are things I've looked back on and thought, "Huh, maybe this was the real story." At this moment, I seriously cannot think of one, but I know they're floating around the brains cells somewhere.

  12. Frisky, I understand. I have a lot floating around in my head, too.

  13. We had a cat that had 3 kittens when I was around 8 or 9 (I think). Two of the kittens ran away...or so we were told. What actually happened is my dad backed out of the garage not knowing the kittens were sleeping on his tires. I found out in my late 20' poor dad must have felt awful!

  14. My mom used to not tell us the real stories when my sis and I were growing up. She didn't want us to have the horrid thoughts in our heads. Like my friend's mom who drown a whole litter of puppies because they weren't purebreds. I can't remember what my mom told us as an reason but when we got older and found out that she one by one drown the newborn puppies, we were mortified. It probably wouldn't have been a good thing for me to know at 5 years old. It still bothers me.

  15. Princess, It takes a sick person to do that.

  16. Ah hindsight.

    This is something I have thought about a lot, because as I spent so long working with kids who were survivors of abuse and began to recognise the signs, so I realised that there were in fact a few kids I knew when I was young who were experiencing it.
    And you can't go back and save them 20 years later.

  17. Jane, Considering the number of children who are sexually abused, I look back and think, Who was getting raped? It's so sad.


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