Memories of a Rotten Childhood….

This is a work-in-progress.  I started it last year on a whim and a push from another writer I admire, cervo from ERWA.  Cervo is a fierce and polished wordsmith, with a wicked sense of proportion. I was raw and arrogant and could have listened to him closer.  But we learn too late and so it goes…

Lady Nyo

Part 3

On my ninth birthday during a cold January, my parents organized a party down by the river. The meadow had flooded a few nights before, the water freezing and the whole area was a skating rink.  My father made a bonfire for roasting hotdogs. Children were easy to please then.

We all had second-hand, mostly hockey skates handed down from older brothers, as we tried to skate around the stubble of the meadow, looking for a clearing of ice. The morning was frigid but sunny, and the promise of a winter holiday so close after Christmas was a bonus.  My present from my parents was a pair of figure skates.  This is very funny to me now because I was the worse skater around. I had weak ankles and could never propel myself forward.  I spent most of the time on my ass.

I have written some about Lauren in this series.  Lauren was my nemesis from kindergarten to high school when we finally lost each other amongst two thousand students.  She tormented me all through grammar school. I still carry the scars on my hands where she scratched me.  Lauren loved to hurt, catching my hands and ripping the tops to shreds.   I was looking at my hands the other night and thinking fondly of Lauren and how she would have made a fine Domme. I think she’s dead now and death gives us a way to rewrite history.

The birthday party was a flop, because Lauren, same age as I, started to cry, and wanted to go home.  She couldn’t stand that it was my party and I was supposed to be the center of attention.  But it was a lousy party anyway, because the sun came out, melting the ice on the meadow, and no one could skate anymore.

Life was predictable with Lauren.  I would enter a class room and she would make farting noises. Or walking down the hall, pressing my textbooks to my flat chest, she would stick out her leg and trip me.  All this didn’t seem to stop us from playing together at our houses, and I remember the one bathroom in their small house was papered with huge red roses on a black background.  I was fascinated by that wallpaper because it was strange and nothing my own mother would allow in our house. Mrs. Lauren fit the wallpaper: a black-haired woman with tight- waisted skirts and petticoats underneath and something I only recognized later as peasant blouses with elastic at the shoulders.  I was intrigued by one skirt she wore around Christmas: a red felt circular skirt with a large white poodle.  It was tacky.  I was horrified to open a present from a neighbor and find the exact skirt, this time in green, with the same damn poodle.  My mother made me wear that skirt all through the holidays.

Lauren was a talented pianist, banging away on an upright, playing the testosterone- driven  Tchiakovsky and other 19th century pieces that boys should be playing, not girls. I heard a neighbor whisper that to my mother during a school program.  Lauren was also a talented artist, and on top of that, probably a sadist, or she would have been had she lived more years.  She was a perfectionist and I think that may be one of the qualifications for sadist.

I remember one day when I got on the school bus after being laid low by the death of my horse, I walked to the back of the bus, weak and pale with grief, and heard Lauren say out loud:  “Well, now she can’t brag about her horse anymore.”

Then the hatred began in earnest.  Soon after I was standing in line in the hallway, and crying with her torment.  She was scratching my hands with her pointed little nails. With tears coursing down my cheeks, I slapped her, not so hard, tentatively across the face.  She slapped me back, harder, and to trump that, grabbed my hand, and bit hard.  I broke into further tears and ran from the line. I was such a sissy.

I think I cried all through fourth and fifth grade.  Then I learned disobedience got me attention, especially from Mr. Blessington in fifth grade.  These were the years of corporal punishment.  Parents expected the teachers to ‘reform’ you and if you didn’t come home with punishment, the teachers weren’t doing their job.  The 60’s were a tough time for fannies and teachers.

I would act out, and Mr. Blessington’s ears would open and his antenna would rise up on his head.  In all truthfulness, he did let me pass on a lot of the back comments, but I pushed it, knowing what was coming.  A public spanking.  At first, I was mortified, enough to shut my mouth for a few weeks, but then the urge for attention and laughter was too great and I would do something he couldn’t ignore.  I can still remember the gleam in both of our eyes as I walked towards him, both of us knowing damn well what would happen.  He would make me lean up against his desk, and then slap me with his ruler over the fanny.  I would either bear it silently, or would cry with grief, depending on my mood and claim for sympathy. I got to go to the girl’s room and spend ten minutes collecting myself.  I spent ten minutes in a bathroom stall doing other natural things, and after a while, this became routine for both of us.  It was the spanker and the spankee living in a particular balance.

Mr. Blessington was my teacher in sixth grade again, but by then my brother, one year behind me, had ratted on both of us, and Mr. Blessington never spanked me again.  A visit from my mother stopped all that.  By then I was a grown-up girl with other interests than being class clown.

Lauren was still my tormentor, but she had her own issues at home.  Her little and prettier sister Audra for one.  For about five months Lauren left me alone and I began to breathe easier. I wasn’t ever sure just what was going on with Lauren and Audra, but I was glad for the respite.

One day, during the summer in this wide-spread farming community, there was a gathering of little girls at Lauren’s house.  I was part of the party in the basement. Lauren had a big collie named Prince, a beautiful ‘Lassie” dog, yellow and white and a corn field right outside the back yard that stretched for miles. I remember us taking a corn cob and lip-synching songs pop songs from the radio.  Then we all ran amuck in the corn field, the stalks high over our heads.  I remember seeing a silver streak in the sky, and standing in awe of the sight. Of course it was a plane or a jet, and what I was seeing in that blue sky was the exhaust.  But at that age, I didn’t have any knowledge of such things.  It looked like an omen from God.  Perhaps it was, because one of the girls screamed and we ran towards the sound.  Prince, beautiful dog, had dropped dead in that cornfield.  We formed a cortege to carry his warm and lifeless body back to the house, wailing out our grief like a miniature Greek chorus.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
Copyrighted, 2008

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2 Responses to “Memories of a Rotten Childhood….”

  1. shia1 Says:


    What a sad little story. For you and the dog.

    I wish we didn’t have to remember when kids were cruel to us. But, we never forget.



  2. ladynyo Says:

    No, we never forget.

    The whole “Rotten” series is based on my childhood…and actually, some say it was a pretty ‘good’ childhood at that.

    It was…until adults messed it up….as we always do.




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