Surreal. I didn’t know the definition of that word at the time. I was only in first grade. But, when I look back on being physically and emotionally abused by a dwarf in a habit, that is the first word that leaps to my mind.
Her name was Sister James Albert. Don’t ask me why nuns used to be given male names. But, that was what we called her.
At the age of six, I used to imagine that she sensed some evil in me. It was the only way for my young mind to rationalize the nasty treatment I got.
My actual crimes were almost unspeakable, but I’ll try to list them here in their entirety:
1. I was late to school on several occasions.
2. I dropped my pencil in class.
3. I daydreamed – a lot.
That’s it. Pretty awful stuff, right?
I trusted that she knew I must be capable of much worse things than these or she wouldn’t loathe me so much.
In her righteousness, she would hit me with a ruler and call me a “big baby.” That title was mine alone. There’s nothing like being singled out for unwanted attention to drive an already shy little girl even further into her cocoon.
The ruler she used as a weapon wasn’t just for me, though. Not by a long shot. She’d whack at least four or five of us with that ruler before lunch time. Whoever she might have missed before lunch, she smacked before school let out for the day.
I wasn’t aware of the fact that she was just a sexually repressed, sadistic midget*. As far as I knew she was a representative of god. As a result of my good Catholic education, I had nightmares in first grade that I was Caine and had killed my brother Abel.
If you know the bible story, you have some notion of how screwed up it is for a little kid to have that in her subconscious.
Many years later, I spotted her in the mall when I was out shopping. She didn’t recognize me. Why should she? I was probably only one of many thousands of kids she had traumatized during her dark reign.
I was amazed that someone only four feet tall had managed to inspire such fear in me. But, I was pretty short myself in first grade and she had wielded a ruler of power.
It was quite an act of restraint for me not to smack her on top of her head.
She had it coming. Yeah, I know it looks bad to hit a nun. But, this nun deserved more than a smack on the head; she deserved a good ass kicking. She didn’t get it. At least not from me.
When given the opportunity, I didn’t hurt someone smaller and weaker than I was just because I could. If that kind of basic decency is any indicator of the true measure of a person, then Sister James Albert comes up, well, short.
*Please note: This post is not meant to offend little people. Any derogatory remarks here are intended solely for tiny, wicked old nuns who torture young children while masquerading as servants of god. If this is not you, please don’t be upset by what was said here.