Child

Originally written in fall 2012

My earliest memory, you see, was when I was a little less than 2 years old. My mom was sobbing as she dragged me out of the house late one night. I was in overalls. Sucking on a pacifier.Trying my best to soothe myself, trying to soothe her. Because she needed her daughter. She always needed me, since day one. As she dragged me out of the house, I knew this wasn’t the last night of sobbing, the last night of shattered plates, of holes in the wall, of screaming so bad that people called the police on us complaining of domestic violence. No this was just the beginning. And yet, I was naïve. I was just a furry little bundle of some species of adorableness, immune to the chaos as mommy and daddy fought and fought. I was still a child. I was absorbed in a world of Disney princesses who took me to new lands, fighting bad guys, seeing whats around the river band, singing songs about life under water. Good times, yes. I even was a bit mature. I was in love, at age 4 with Danny Zucko. God was I weird kid or what. Naaww, I just knew no one on earth was capable of shaking their hips like John Travolta. But that all ended the moment my parents switched the channel. Serial rapist on the loose. 12 year old girl found dead. 6 year old missing. Shooting spree at local high school. I knew these words better than simple things like “mommy can you make me a pb & j” because you see, mommy and daddy loved to talk about these things. Mommy and Daddy robbed me of my childhood innocence. Mommy and Daddy were neurotic, psychotic, to put it lightly—woody-allen-esque Jews. And when they fought they used words like “provocative, antagonistic, shmuck, hysterical” harsh words that clung to me…because I always believed it was my fault they fought. Me. The child. The bystander. I hid in my closet. Covering my ears, crying and crying saying to myself “its all my fault” “it’s all my fault” If I wasn’t a live they wouldn’t be fighting”—my uncle tells me I started this behavior when I was 3 years old. And then my brother was born. And I brought him into the closest and taught him to cover his ears when mommy and daddy started to fight. We’d rock each other, held each other. It was my responsibility to protect him from the fighting, from the harsh world I came to learn about when I was barely a kindergartener. I never told him about the time mommy tried to kill herself, or when daddy threatened to leave us, or when daddy said we had no more money, things he always expressed in the presence of me because well I was 6, I could handle it….

but of course my parents soon realized I reeked of anxiety. So here came the pills, the doctors, the therapy. I am the only person I know who drank liquid Prozac every day before school—they mixed it in with my yoohoo—before kindergarten started…they did it because they just thought I was born this way. They never thought I was missing my inner child. That I lost my innocence. That I saw the horrors of the world too early in life. That I was just sensitive, like most kids are when they’re young. That it was even there fault. No, they just wanted me medicated. And that saddens me. Because here I am now. A big blob of medicated, emptiness searching for that inner child. Tying to find her, trying to find my childhood, and you know what I get in return? I get mocked. Laughed at. Because I’m grasping at the outlines of my inner child, at the strings of my childhood memories, all of which have been blacked out.

I want no consequences, no anxiety. Just living life with no fears. Just enjoying a worry free existence like I did when I watched Danny Zucko sing to Sandy. My attempts at finding my childhood again, finding that little girl are translated into absurd eccentricities that make no sense to anyone—to you, or you, and especially not to my parents and my shrink. So more medication. More hospitalizations, more therapy, more anti-psychotics and tranquilizers, because well I’m not supposed to feel these emotions. I’m not allowed to feel them….I’m supposed to be 19. Not 5. Not 4. Not 3. I’m supposed to responsible and mature. Capable of handling life’s crap when it’s thrown my way. But I’ve done that for far too long and look where I am now? Well, I’m accomplished, but emotionally, I am flattened, one dimensional, cardboard thin, barely breathing, whispering one thing—help me be free, just for once.

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