Saturday, January 07, 2006



In many ways I had an idyllic childhood.  My parents did not get divorced or separate.  My father did not abuse my mother; neither did he abuse we children.  My father retired when I was 8, so he was at home.  We lived in a big house, with 10 acres of paddocks and garden.  We had ponies and other animals.

But there was something missing.

My parents were not sociopaths.  On the contrary, they were on every church and gymkhana committee, they organised, hosted and attended local fundraisers, and they gave shelter to every lame duck they could find.  But they did not like society.  They refused invitations to parties and they never hosted them.  When my sister and I were very small, I can remember a few birthday parties with jelly and ice cream, but as soon as we approached the dreaded teens, parties became taboo.

And whereas children, who live in a street, may play in the street, with other children, we did not live in a street, and we did not have any immediate neighbours.  At the end of our drive were the gates to another drive, which led to an even bigger house, but the children there were younger, and they kept themselves pretty much to themselves as well.

I believe the security of my childhood, the stability of my parents marriage, the stability of the home, the security of having both parents around, gave me an inner strength.  But also believe the social isolation gave me a social timidity at work and for a long time in life, which was not advantageous.


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