Finding Ari – Memories

Posted: March 3, 2010 in dreams, family, fantasy, Finding Ari, friends, identity, life

The dog is pissing me off. He usually only goes out twice a day with no problem. Today he’s gone out three times and has. not. pooped. I just took him out 10 minutes ago. He sat down. Didn’t poop. He’s whining at the door again. He may drive me to real insanity. I wish my husband were home. I can’t deal with this.

I really want to be a mom. Maybe I shouldn’t be.

But that’s the present and this post is about the past. I’ve been meaning to write a book. I always figured I can’t really publish it until certain members of my family die. Don’t want to hurt their feelings. But maybe the only real way I can heal is to fuck their feelings and speak the truth about the past and their feelings. The one I’m most worried about is my mother. She’s suffered from a lot of depression. She’s thought about suicide. She’s considered herself a bad mother. So I don’t talk about my hurt in venues when she can see and hear it. I’m hoping she’s no longer reading this blog. And if she is, I hope she’s found a place of happiness and self-worth that it won’t throw her into depression. I hope she uses her wife as support. If she is reading this: I love you.

Despite the love I have for both parents, and the ever-present need for approval, they have probably–unintentionally–caused me the most pain in life. It’s time I deal with that pain. And screw the therapists, they don’t get it. But you dear readers, I think you do.

Finding Ari – Memories

I don’t have a whole lot of memories before 4th grade. I think I have a lot less than most people. My father says that’s concerning, which leads me to believe he was not the cause of whatever blocked my memory. And my mother would never intentionally hurt me. I sometimes wonder if something supernaturally traumatic happened. I mean, for someone is largely receptive, there seem to be a lot of blocks. I kind of want to go through hypnotic memory seeking, but I’m afraid of what I’d find. Then again, maybe my parents’ divorce and the ensuing tsunami was so traumatic that I can’t remember any part of my life when my parents were together.

So, for now, I shall delve into what few memories I do have.

I remember one incident with a doll that will probably always be a stain in my memory. My father and mother believed spanking was a proper form of punishment. I know many will disagree, but I kind of agree…to an extent. I will never spank my kids because my husband doesn’t believe in that. But anyway, this particular memory I was playing with a doll of mine that I named Christine. Now I don’t know if Christine was her name at the time, as young girls are apt to change the names of their dolls on an hourly basis. I was playing with Christine. I told Christine that she had to be good or Papa would spank her–right as my father passed my room. Yeah, perfect timing. He gave me such a dirty look. That look would become a common sign of I did something bad. I can pull up that look faster than an eye blink. I like to think I inherited it.

I remember one time I was playing in the front yard, waiting for my best friend–who lived in the front house–to come home. She finally came home and I called through the door to my parents that I was going over. I think we went over to each other’s houses all the time, but this is my only memory of her. I don’t even remember what she looked like. I walked over to her house. I don’t remember what we did when I was there. I know my parents eventually found me there. The only reason I know is because I remember walking down the driveway to my father’s signature look: big trouble. Don’t remember if I was spanked, just remember that look.

This was not the only time my parents responded to fear and concern with anger.

I actually don’t remember any particular spanking. I do remember it hurt a hell of a lot. I do remember we only went into my parents’ room for a spanking. I remember my dad used a slipper with a rubber sole. It used to leave marks on my leg. But it was way better than his hand. He’s a strong man with a hard hand. I would have finger marks on my legs the next day. I’m still not sure how he doesn’t have carpel tunnel from it. Some people might call this abuse. I’m still not sure what I classify it as.

Remember that friend in the front house? She was the first lesson that people leave. She moved. I never heard from her again. She was the first of many, but that is for another chapter.

I fantasized a lot as a child. In my early school days I would daydream in class. I was a straight A daydreamer. At home I had imaginary friends. (These were truly imaginary, not like those invisible friends kids have that I believe actually do exist). I suppose it’s normal for children to fantasize. I don’t know if it’s normal for the child to totally live in that fantasy. My imaginary friends were much better friends than my real ones. So was my imaginary family. I took people I came across in real life and created alter egos for them. Perhaps its telling that my favorite camp counselor became a step-sister and my supposed best friend became my rival. I would also incorporate characters. Tommy from Power Rangers became my older brother. I wonder if it’s a symbol of a dysfunctional personality that I was often abused and neglected in my imaginary world. I would use my imaginary world to escape my real abuse to imaginary abuse. Weird. But I was also a world savior. The suffering heroine. At age 7. These fantasies would later become a major safety net for me. But that too is another chapter.

I remember…we must have been moving because we were in parents’ room (which I’ve already stated was a no-no) and the room was empty. I was still wearing my Belle dress that I had worn to a Halloween party. Me, my brother, and sister were chasing each other in and out of the closet. I stepped on my dress and ripped it. I cried.

My father was teaching me how to ride a bike. I fell over and hit my elbow on the brick wall.

On a camping trip, my first time away from anyone I knew, I hurt my elbow on poorly attempted repel down a boulder. I think it was the same elbow.

I was in kindergarten and I must have been watching a movie. My chair was partially separated from it’s base. This was back in the days of plastic seats on metal bases. I was rocking back and forth as children often do on broken chairs. Somehow my middle finger got caught between the seat and the base. I don’t remember the pain from the event, but I do remember bursting into tears when I saw my bloody finger. My finger is still deformed.

My father says I never went to kindergarten. I use the above memory of proof I did. Besides, I remember my teacher. She was also the principal. Of course the only social life I remember is first grade. These days, I’m not really all that sure about the accuracy of my memory.

There is a dream I had as a small child that I do remember. It’s hard to explain. Basically I was this world heroine. There were these witches–I want to say there were three–who had created this potion that took off the top layer of skin. They would dip people in a large cauldron of this potion. I distinctly remember a scene in the dream in which I was trying to prove to people that this was really happening. I pulled up my shirt and the top layer of my skin was gone. I guess I had been dipped in the potion. I don’t know how old I was when I dreamed this, but I want to say seven. It was before the divorce.

These are the memories I have of my life before the age of eight. There are some things I know–that I remember–but I don’t remember in great detail. I know my mom painted ceramics. I know my grandmother made a lot of my clothes and all my Halloween costumes. I know I had a little mermaid birthday. I know I wanted to be a princess. I know I wished I was blonde and rich. I know I got caught in a large wave and had to be pulled out. I know I craved my father’s approval.

I know I had no idea my world would come crashing down.

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