4: Boys & The Holy Spirit

I think I got a bit ahead of myself, boys came into my life just before being sent to boarding school, (I’ve been told that it was boarding school or reform school.  God, did they think I was a criminal, I mean, seriously, reform school).

When I say boys, I don’t mean hundreds of them, just a few , and one in particular.

I’d been friendly with Lucas but I didn't like the fact that he was always wanting to kiss me, forcibly at times. One night when a gang of us were playing in dodge ball in the park, he grabbed me by the neck and started kissing me, I tried to break free from his grasp but passed out instead.  It appears that his grip had cut off the circulation in my neck.  Thankfully Mike and Marcel came to my rescue, from that day forward Lucas knew not to approach me!

Marcel was a nice guy, he was fun to be around, he liked sports as did I, not only did he play football he was also on the hockey team.  Throughout the summer we kind of start going out together.  Nothing terrible serious, but serious enough to know that he was my guy and I his girl.

Most of our time together was going to sporting events, the movies, swimming , you know the thing kids do during their summer break .

Come September, everyone when back to school  so we saw somewhat less of each other, but we did speak on the phone daily,  weekends were spent cycling or taking long walks down by the Richelieu River.  It was on one of those walks that he kissed me on the cheek and then proceeded to give me a nice necklace, for some strange reason I felt guilty for having enjoyed the kiss.  We continued walking and talking, and laughing; time somehow slipped away, it was past my curfew, and I knew I was going to get grounded.

Instead of going directly home to face the music, I hid outside in the field behind our house trying to come up with a good reason for being late, it’s not like I could tell my Mon that Marcel had kissed me and given me a lovely necklace, so instead I came up with what I thought was a good believable lie. The lie didn't help, I got grounded, no phone calls for a week, no weekends for a month!

Looking back, I think that’s when I really became rebellious.

Every Friday I’d play hooky to go horseback riding in St-Paul-aux-Noix, with my friend Ella (her Mom had been in a concentration camp back in WWII, she’d shown me her scars where her breasts had been removed, and her tattooed numbers), Ella’s Mom allowed Ella to have Fridays off if her grades were good, and seeing that it was just art and physical education she felt that it really didn't have an adverse effect on  Ella's grades.

My Mom however had not granted me that privilege, therefore I took it upon myself to forge her name to my note which I presented to my teacher the following Monday’s.  As luck would have it, another teacher had see both Ella and I hitchhiking which ruled out that I had been violent ill and had gone to the doctors.

I was sent to the Principal’s Office, my teacher beside me with note in hand; my Mother was called and she said to do whatever they do to kids who disobey school policy.

I got the strap, and being the proud little smart ass I was, refused to cry, the Principal said that he would stop strapping me when I cried.

He stopped when my knuckles were split open and bleeding .  From there I was marched up to the girls washroom and told to “clean up”.  I did as told and didn't utter a sound, not even a little wimp.

Lunch time rolled around, and I escaped by climbing under the school yard fence.  I didn't go directly home, instead, I waited till 3:30 when school would normally have ended.  I’d use those extra hours to figure out how I was going to permanently runaway to never be found.

I was kept home from school the following day, you see, this time around I really did have an appointment with a doctor, one set up by my Mom.

I remember the bus ride to and from his office.  I don't really remember much about him, other than him asking me if I was taking drugs (I had no idea what drugs were other than Midol for menstrual cramps) and if I was engaging in sexual intercourse.  From that moment on my brain went blank, total shut down, everything went to my “Icicle Box Of Souvenirs”, safely locked away where they could not hurt or humiliate me.

And I hated my Mother for bringing me there!

I didn't go back to school till the following Monday. I have no recollection of that week, the world could have come to an end and I wouldn't have known.

While standing outside the main school door entrance, my once best friend, my favorite cousin decided to make it public knowledge that the reason I had missed a week of school was because I was crazy and that I had been brought to see a physicist.

It seemed that everyone in that line turned around and stared at me.

Total humiliation is all I felt, that and wanting to disappear off the face of this earth for ever; no one likes to be labeled as being crazy!

Things went downhill from there on;  the decision was made to send me to boarding school.  No more friends, no more horseback riding, no more sports, no more Marcel.  No more putting my parents through hell.

No more putting my parents through hell, well not exactly, eventually I ran away from boarding school too!

My new found buddies chipped in to provide me the necessary money for a bus ticket.  They even helped me climb over the un-climbable fence.  My intent was simply to go home, to tell my parents that I’d be a good girl if they didn't make me go back to that horrid place where I felt like an outcast and a prisoner most of the time.

But instead of going directly home I went to visit my friend Ella and ask her Mom for guidance on how to handle the situation.   She promised that she would not phone my Mom if I’d promise to phone her as soon as I got home.  She kept her word, and I kept mine.

Even though my folks were angry with me, they were relieved that I was alright, than nothing terrible had happened to me and that I’d made it home safely.

I was sent back on Sunday after a long talk between my Mon and the head Sister of the place.

Monday morning before classes commenced, I was walked to each classroom,  made to get down on my knees with outstretched arms and apologize for my actions and to ask God for forgiveness for my evil ways.

I did as directed, hating every moment of it.  Right then and there I knew what needed to be done.

If you can’t beat them,  join them!

I chose to become a Catholic, to be one of them, maybe then I would finally find some peace inside.  Maybe Jesus was the answer to all my teenage problems.  It seemed to work for the nuns, so maybe it would work for me.

Come Easter, I was baptized.  No great miracle happened, other that the exceptionally nice treatment of the nuns the week prior to my converting.

My upcoming conversion meant that I was permitted to sit among them and to eat what they ate, and let me tell you, it wasn't black, burnt toast !  I was also dressed in white, white lace stockings with shoes to match, what more could a girl wish for!  ............... <Next>