Battered Souls

She craved her mother’s affection whatever the cost, but her mother left her alone, unscathed although it was she who instigated the incident that brought on beatings to her siblings.  She just didn’t know how to explain that she felt unloved.  How does one articulate in a coherent manner that instead of feeling lucky each time one escaped a blow, one felt left out?  Black and blues painted the other two, but they also received extra hugs.  Extra kisses.  Extra praise.  Extra toys.  Theirs was a tightly knit club of the battered ones, and she wanted to belong to it.