Stepfamily Issues

Personal stories about stepfamilies, childhood and general family issues.

June 02, 2012

babies do remember!

As a result of being hospitalized for four months with double pneumonia at the age of three, Miranda has weak lungs that prevent her from doing strenuous exercise - but this is a minor disability compared to the huge issues of separation and abandonment that the incident caused her.

"Adults underestimate what children remember," sighs Miranda. "I was only three but I can remember the four months I spent in hospital as if they happened yesterday."

"Developing a lung disease most certainly slowed me down for the rest of my life - I find it very hard to breathe sometimes," explains Miranda "but being abandoned in hospital for four months caused me untold anguish that I cannot get over."

"I had spent the first weeks of those four months in hospital kicking and screaming and crying my eyes out, and by the time my mother turned up to claim me after four months I had settled down and didn't want to know her."

"The fact that my mother did come back and reclaim me should give me comfort that I am worthy of being loved," says Miranda, "but the horrific memory of those four months in hospital - being sick and abandoned - will never leave me."

"I not only have a fear about people abandoning me but also about being torn from familiar surroundings and when that happens I can hardly breathe.”

“Every now and again I am consumed by a burning desire to visit my childhood home - the hospital I stayed in - and the school I attended," confesses Miranda. "It gives me great comfort to see that these places still exist - they haven't abandoned me."

"I do wonder, though, why I ever got double pneumonia to start off with," says Miranda. "I don't think my mother coped well with so many children and being the baby of the family I must have been sorely neglected."

"I get breathless just thinking about it all.”

"It wasn't just being in hospital that I remember," explains Miranda, "but being abandoned there by my mother - without a visit - for four months."

"By the time I had recovered sufficiently to go home," says Miranda, "I didn't want to leave. The hospital and nurses had become my new home and I kicked and screamed again at being removed by my mother from a familiar place!"

"To be kind to my mother, it was probably impossible for her to visit the hospital with four other children to take care of - especially when the journey would have taken up most of her day - so I don't blame her or hate her for abandoning me."

"I never let my mother out of my sight when I returned home," says Miranda, "and when I had to start school I cried and cried because I thought I would never see my family again - I thought they would be taking me away forever."

"I have never coped well with any sort of change," explains Miranda. "And I am torn with fear that everyone I love will leave me."

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