Just Shiela

This is the story of a young girl growing up in the 1960s and 1970s in small-town suburban Connecticut. Come along with her as you experience the trials and tribulations of her sometimes-quiet, sometimes-noisy, adventurous and interesting life.She was born as the second daughter to a family of four children. Maybe you can relate to the way that she amused herself with the other neighborhood children. And maybe you can relate to the way that her parents would tell her, “Shiela, you can stay outside after dinner and play, as long as the streetlights do not come on. However, when the street lights come on, you must come home immediately.”Kickball, hide and seek, and jump rope were some of the common pastimes kids enjoyed in the neighborhood that she grew up in. Long, warm summer nights were spent systematically pursuing these activities with the other neighborhood children who happened to be around (mostly the regulars).Shiela was lucky to have been born and raised in such an idyllic setting. A cul-de-sac surrounded by light woods was a safe, protected place to be. However, when you scratched beneath the surface of her life, you will see it wasn’t what it appeared to be.The relationship that her mother had with her was certainly less than ideal. It was as if her mother had said about her when she was born, “I will never love this child, I will never help this child.”

--Shiela Reichardt