We recognize how important it is to engage in creative art forms as a more harmonious and natural way of healing trauma and abuse from childhood. Over at Mama’s Kitchen, we love to use language and storytelling as a way of helping women rediscover their voice and to find and strengthen their self-expression. If you would like to share your story, art or music email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Girl And The Bee is a personal account courageously shared by one of our contributors who survived abuse as a young girl. She is passionate about spreading awareness and encouraging individuals to recognize the signs of abuse in childhood and adulthood and to act on it, as our actions could be a person’s saving grace. We thank our contributor and we hope that it touches your hearts as it has our own.
It’s been a warm summer’s day, the sun shines and blue skies are above me which is very rare especially in the north! I love the summer months, I wish we had them all year round, to be honest. The sun has a great effect on my body and soul, my skin tingles with warmth and my heart beats strong. My bones ache in the winter but when the summer months are here those aches drift away and I feel human again. It’s definitely my kind of weather. I’ve been out in the garden raking soil preparing it for grass seed, it’s not the most exciting job and I’m exhausted but it needs to be done. My plan is to create a beautiful space for those lazy days.
We are on a budget as usual, I bloody hate them but times are hard and I’m out of work (much like loads of people in the UK) so I create my own work, it’s not glamorous but it gives me a certain peace- I don’t want to look like I’m a slacker- I’m always worrying about what other people think. Gardening isn’t all it’s cracked up to be either, too many creepy crawlies for my liking, I don’t mind the dirt and hard work but leave out the spiders and worms thank you very much! Anyway, as I’m out there fighting the battle of “woman vs earth” a bee decides to have its fun with me. I already declared that bees are getting bigger and bigger; I had seen one a few days ago, and in my eyes it was gigantic! However, as him indoors tells me “they won’t bother you if you don’t bother them” and ( couldn’t help but think “yeah alright”.
Mr bee buzzes around my ears and face, and I frantically try to get out of the way but it’s as if this bloody bee has taken a fancy to me and everywhere I run he follows. I panic and start waving my arms and hands about, the bee becomes more ferocious and directs his attack on my face. By now my eyes are closed and everything is flapping in the air, I’m sure if any of the neighbours could have seen me they would have had a good giggle at my expense. After finally realising the bee had gone, I ran indoors and promptly shut the door before I slumped into a chair, safe at last!
‘Him indoors’ must have heard the commotion and popped his head around the corner to see what was going on- I explained ‘the attack’ while still having palpitations as he chuckled to himself! Thanks for the sympathy…typical man I thought! He listened intently, and I could see he was highly amused but he then wandered off leaving me with an interesting question, Why did I freak out so much over one small bee? Small? I thought… but before I had time to answer he was halfway up the stairs, still chuckling. Yeah, laugh it up I thought, it wasn’t a bloody small bee, it was a bloody massive thing. He always takes the piss! I pondered for a while, why should there be a reason? Maybe I just don’t like insects and flying things, I am a girl after all. Anyway, less thinking more doing.
As I risked my life stepping back out into the garden my eyes try to adjust to the brightness. I must have been thinking for a while (I do that sometimes, almost lose track of time- think it’s the ADHD thing). As I blink, a vision appears as clear as day, as if I’m there at that very moment. I look over to where I’v been raking, a tree stands tall, the garden becomes larger and is filled with all kinds of flowers, and the smell of just cut grass lingers in the air. The boundaries of the garden are sealed with neatly cut hedges and beyond those hedges, land out stretches as far as the eye can see displaying green and amber grass that sways gently with the breeze. As I draw focus to the tree with its large outstretched branches and deep green leaves I notice a little girl playing beneath it, she looks so small compared to the garden, it seems to overwhelm her.
I can’t see what’s she playing with but she chatters to herself. She must be maybe 3 years old at a guess, although her eyes look older as if they have seen an entire lifetime. Her skin is dark and her hair more so; neither of which had been cared for. The little dress she wore hung from her frame as if it wore her, the edges were frayed and torn, the colour really didn’t suit her. Her socks were odd and full of holes, they barely fit her. Still, the little girl seemed unfazed. Suddenly she jumps from her knees to her feet and starts to dance, I watch her for a second and smile but I quickly realise I mistook this new type of play, in fact, she wasn’t playing at all, the girl was being attacked by a bee.
She hopped from one foot to another, waving her little hands and arms in the air, she let out tiny yelps as she flung herself around. I watch as the little girl cries out and a woman approaches from the house, I assume the woman will console the little girl as she cries from the sting of that dreaded bee. Instead I watch as the woman strikes the girl over and over, although she never speaks, she drags her across the garden by the scruff of her neck and throws her indoors like a rag doll. I blink, gulp and close my eyes but when I open them the garden has disappeared. A tear falls down my cheek, I’m overwhelmed with emotion and confusion. I take a deep breath and as I exhale I suddenly realise, that little girl…was me!
It’s 4.52 am, I can’t sleep. Fuck sake!!
He’s snoring, dogs snoring, the whole world is snoring and here I am wide awake. I really wish there was a switch for my brain. I can’t stop thinking about the bee and wondering what happened after the garden, I’ve tried racking my brain and I’m going crazy, damn you ADHD! How do we even do that anyway? Ya know, suppress memories? What’s that all about? I’m sure there’s a valid reason but if it’s something we just don’t want to remember then why do we drag it up at such weird times, I’d rather it just stay wherever the hell I put it in the first place.
Time for warm milk!
5.53am WOW…..I’m not sure I want to remember. After drinking my warm milk I decided it was best to go to the attic to sleep cause I didn’t want to disturb him indoors or the dog, the beds not so comfy but I thought a change of scenery might help, plus the view from the window is spectacular. Before I knew it I was asleep and although my body laid cosily on the bed in the spare room, my brain was back in that garden. I stood there, a witness to the story, and I watched as the little girl laid cowering in a hallway, she looked so frightened and whimpered quietly as the woman stood tall over her. I could see where the bee had stung the little girl as her eyelid blistered and her dark skin turned blood red, it looked so painful but the woman never seemed to notice, instead, she swore through gritted teeth and mumbled to herself.
She reached for the little girl several times until her grasp felt comfortable before dragging her like a little rag doll into a room that seemed dark and dingy, it didn’t have much in it except a small rickety bed, a wardrobe and chest of drawers. The air smelt stale as if an animal had peed on the floor and it had never been cleaned up. The woman lifts the girl in the air until her feet struggled to find the ground and then drops her like a sack of rubbish, the girl crashes to the floor and she lets out the tiniest of screams. Her delicate already bruised skin immediately breaks and allows the bone to show through and her blood slowly decorates the carpet. The woman swiftly turns and exits, the door slams on its hinges and then a sudden click. She’s locked the door.