Veneer

Saint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray: and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen

Saint Michael Prayer

Secrets
We all have secrets
Hidden
Just below the surface
Behind the veneer

TRIGGER WARNING: subject matter depicts and mentions domestic violence, sexual assault and trauma

Text and images ©Arrayah Loynd

They seemed like a typical family really

Donald was a door-to-door salesman who worked his way up to area manager. He enjoyed a few beers and a game of poker with the lads every Friday night at the factory. His father before him worked in a candle-making factory in Footscray until made redundant. He had a strict Catholic upbringing, went to a good Catholic school. Bad things happened there, things you don’t talk about, choose not to remember.

Donald left school at 15 and did various odd jobs in factories around Footscray until joining up. Two years in New Guinea. The war was hard on him. When he finally got back home, well, he was never the same again, kept it all close to his chest.

He finally married Betty, a local Footscray girl. 1952 it was and Don Jnr followed 6 months later. They couldn’t afford a place of their own so they settled into a room at his parents house. All their friends left for better opportunities but Donald refused to move, Footscray born and bred.

Betty came from a good family, had a good education. But then she met Donald. When she fell pregnant she had no choice but to get married. It was a rushed wedding with no-one there, not even her own parents. They never forgave her. Poor Betty always seemed so sad and afraid. Of the neighbours prying eyes, Father Donnelly’s sermons, and, most of all, afraid of her husband. She always put on a brave face but her smile never quite managed to reach her eyes. If only someone bothered to ask her. If only someone cared enough to know. Maybe she would have told them. Maybe. Maybe.

Don Jnr was a soft and gentle boy. He was a dreamer that’s all. But he dreamt of silk, satin, flowing pretty things. The dad blamed the mother, said she had been too soft on him. He caught him once in their room, Betty’s clothes everywhere and Don Jnr in his wife’s best Sunday dress.

Then there was the girl Jeanne, largely ignored. She used to be the apple of her daddy’s eye. 17 going on 25 she was. Tempted by so many things and no-one cared.

Secrets. We all have secrets. Hidden, just below the surface…behind the veneer.

Donald

Betty

Don Jnr (Donny)

Jeanne

FATIMA PRAYER
O my Jesus, forgive us of our sins.
Save us from the fires of hell.
Lead all souls into Heaven,
especially those in most need of thy mercy.