Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Wonder Years - Childhood Memories - Part II

I had repressed many to all of my childhood memories and they only come to the surface when I reflect deeply and consistently over time. I sometimes have to ask my older sibling along with other family members to help me remember because I can't seem to remember or figure it all out on my own.

Until I went to school, I had spent all of my time with my mother who raised me and took care of me while my sibling who is four and a half years my elder was already in school at the time. I never had play dates. I remember sitting in front of the television watching my favorite cartoons like: She-Ra - The Princess of Power, He-Man, Spider Man, Transformers and Inspector Gadget. I was always just under my mother's care. I don't remember much during the period of time.

It was my first year of junior kindergarten. I had just turned four years old. It's a vague, faint memory now which I had repressed for years until just recently but I remember my mother walking me to school and dropping me off in my classroom. She began to leave me there and I recall bursting into hysterics. I was crying and begging my mother to stay and then I remember puking all over the classroom carpet.

I asked my mother and sister about this incident several months ago when I was forced to recall the memory and my mother says that she doesn't remember it happening but says she thinks it happened to my older sister and not to me. Incorrect. It was me. When I asked her if she had come back for me after leaving me hysterical in the classroom crying she replied "no".

That was it. It was the first trauma of childhood abandonment I can mentally recall. That must be where my fears and insecurities must have stemmed from; or so I believe. Over the months and years, I had consistent separation anxiety at school and my sister would have to be called down from her classes to calm me down.

I also experienced intense episodes of crying, anxiety and depression similar to this in my adolescent years at overnight camp and sleep overs. I remember being six years old and having been invited to my first sleep over at my then best friends house at the time. She lived about a fifteen minute walk away from my house down a long side street with houses that lead to a major intersection. It was six o'clock in the morning and I woke up in her room and she was still asleep. I remember panicking and getting my clothes on while the whole family was sleeping and left in my denim shorts. I walked home in the early hours of the morning and was so cold and scared that I urinated in my jean shorts on the walk back home. A three week summer sleep away camp two years in a row was a bust too. I cried for the entire three weeks each summer and wanted nothing but to go home. My separation anxiety was nerve racking.

I remember being in the first grade at school and there was a pretty and popular girl who everyone knew and liked. One day, I don't know why, but I recall her being very mean to me and ostracizing me from group play in the school yard at recess. I remember sitting on a bench far away from the other kids alone in a long winter jacket thinking about how lonely and sad I was that no one wanted to play with me and how I had no friends.

In the process of trying to open up repressed memories when I hit rock bottom, I asked my sister about what she remembered about my childhood years and other than her recalling having to come down to my classes regularly tp calm my nerves because of my uncontrollable crying and anxiety, she recalled me once telling her something that made her heart sink even as a child just a few years older than me.

She told me that one day her and I were playing a game at home and I had told her that I had no friends. It was ironic because even three decades later my internal experience still felt exactly the same. It was eerie and sent chills down my spine.

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