11/01/2005

Memories I cannot let go

It's 2:55 p.m., the bell will ring shortly so I better get my stuff together. Daddy will be waiting outside, he hates it when I dilly dally. "Brrrrrrrnnnngg," sounds the bell. I race down the steps, grab my coat from my locker and run full force out the front doors. "Where is he," I say. Daddy isn't here. I look around, up and down the street, I don't see him. I perch myself on top of the last step, and I wait. It's 3:05, he'll be here, he's always here. The buses come and go, filled with kids leaving this place. It's kind of cold out - it's November. I wait a little while longer, now teachers are starting to leave, it's 3:20. My legs are kind of numb, this uniform skirt doesn't cover much. I better go wait inside. Oh no, the doors are locked. I guess I'll just wait here. This building that was filled with screaming kids only moments ago, is quiet - almost abandoned. I guess people have places to go, people to see. Maybe daddy had to stay after school late after all he is a very important professor - all the kids like to stay and chat with him, especially those girls. Mommy hates those girls, she says they are always sniffing around. It's funny, I've never seen them smell daddy. It's 3:55, still no daddy. Maybe I could walk to his school, it doesn't seem far when we drive there. No, I better just wait right here because I'm not allowed to walk on the busy streets. I have some chalk, maybe I'll draw on the sidewalk. Pretty pictures, pretty words, smiley faces - it's 4:15. I like to write my name with curly y's and dotted i's. HATE, that's what I spell. Now why did I write that, daddy said it's not nice to hate people. I have a rope, maybe I'll skip awhile. Cinderella....lost her fella...oh it's no use, I don't feel like skipping rope. Wait...someone is coming, oh it's my daddy's truck, it's 4:35. Oh I'm so happy, daddy is here - no, that's not daddy but that's his truck. Who's that driving? "Hi NWC, your daddy told us to come and pick you up because he had to stay late after his class," the young pimple faced boy called out. "No, I'm not supposed to get into cars with strangers," I reply. "It's ok NWC, your daddy sent us," he answers. Hmmm, they look harmless enough, but no, mommy said I should never get into cars with strangers. Run - as fast as you can, oh where can I hide, there's nowhere to hide. The bushes, I'll hide under the bushes. Oh these needles are scratchy, quiet, stop breathing - he'll hear you. "NWC come out, please, your daddy sent us," the boy yells out. I say nothing. He's driving away, he's leaving, ok - I'm safe. I'll just lay here until daddy comes. I'm so tired, maybe I'll just close my eyes for a little while. "NWC, where are you, come out honey, daddy is here." It's 5:30 and daddy is here to get me, finally. I'm 8 years old but people tell me I act more grown up.

Do you remember the moment that defined the rest of your existence? Maybe define isn't a good choice of word, after all many of us claim to 'redefine' ourselves through many different moments. Maybe I should say, do you remember the moment that changed the way you would live your life? I bet most of us can remember it, but never realized when it was happening that it would have so much power. The day my daddy left me waiting alone in an empty school so that he could 'give extra credit' to one of his students, was the day that I would start believing there were more important things in this life - than me.

I have more to write, but honestly, it hurts. As I type the words I can feel my heart wrenching with the very remembrance of those memories. So this is going to be a process, because that's what therapy is right - tiny steps. You can push and push and push those memories so deep inside of yourself, that you think they've gone - disappeared - loosened their grip on your soul. One day you wake up and you are angry. Angry that the sun isn't shining, angry that the guy on the train has his music too loud, angry that there are too many people on the elevator, angry - angry - angry. And then they come, the memories. It's funny really, because I thought I was past all this. Apparently, I have some things to remember - before I let them go. This is post one, and the next day - they'll be another. Until they are gone, or hurt less. Until I stop letting those memories define me.

14 Comments:

  1. NewYorkMoments said...
    You've got to get that stuff out there or it eats you from inside.
    ~The Goofy Ass Chick said...
    I have a similiar story of walking to kindergarten-- alone. I had to cross railroad tracks and one morning a train was on them. It was so loud and it scared me to death. I was going to be late. A mom and her kid were stuck in traffic and offered to give me a ride. Like you I shouted, "I'm not allowed to get in cars with strangers" and just stood there crying like a big baby. When I got to school I guess I was so shooken up they called my parents. Yeah, defining moments in our childhood. They'll beat us up every time.
    Networkchic said...
    This world we live in - it's a scary place.
    Caterpillar said...
    What a horrible experience for a little 8-year-old. It's made me speechless and so sad for the little you.
    WDKY said...
    Oooh... I felt that. It's quite a revelation when we realise that our parents are fallible... even more of a revelation if we have cause to think that fallible is on a good day. Hope you feel a little better for posting that story, NWC.
    sirreene said...
    We tell our children not to talk to strangers and then on Halloween we let them go door to door and take treats from them.... And We parents tell our children to eat fruits and what do we do on Halloween? We throw away the apples and let our children have the wrapped candy...talk about mixed messages!
    NML said...
    Thank you for this story. My alternative therapy has caused me to realise that I need to address the inner child. She said I was unforgiving and that something internal hadn't registered that parents are fallible. It's good to let it out.
    Sky said...
    Memories suck.

    Reading this reminded me of my own childhood memories that I have tried so hard to block over the years...maybe an entry for another day.

    I do believe it is therapeutic to get it out..not sure why I believe that.
    Networkchic said...
    You WDKY, I do feel a little better but I also am sad when I think back to that kid standing there waiting for someone to pick her up, someone who broke a promise. It kind of set the precedent or the rest of my life. You know what though, I can make sure that never happens to my own daughter - I guess that's the good thing that came out of it.
    laurenbove said...
    Poor little NWC. You were such a good little girl for staying put and remembering what your mom told you about taking rides from strangers. Your father was very wrong.

    Can you talk to your father about how this made you feel? Perhaps write him a letter...even if he's not alive anymore. It might help.

    Give yourself a hug from me!
    k said...
    It is amazing how the mix and message of all those moments define us isn't it? In reading your post, I find myself wondering if this moment was a great one in shaping the "giver" in you -- especially when you say it won't ever happen to your daughter. She is so fortunate to have such a great Mom. Your words have meaning to her, that's a wonderful thing.

    Oh, and just thought I'd let you know I LOVE the new look - especially with Happy Bunny. Gotta love the Happy Bunny (my fav bar-shirt "make the stupid people shut up")
    Shannon said...
    we had a code name as kids. My mom told us too, dont get in cars with strangers, even if thy say thy know me, and she gave us a code word. If that person said the word then we knew it was ok... Thank God I never had to use that,

    One time though when I was 12 (living all wild) I ran a way from my group home and was walking back to my own town. I was walking on the Freeway, going in circles.. (I was never any good at finding my way) it was dark, cold and raining, this guy pulled over... I am alone, I get in. I know better, I am scared tired and ready to go back to the group home, he tells me he will take me to the police station, but first we have to go to his work for something. I freaked, I screamed and jumped out of his car, and ran, he did convice me he was a good samaritan, and handed me his wallet and pocket knife, he did take me to the police station. I am soo soo soo lucky God was there.. I would freak if my daughters ever did that.
    kimmyk said...
    In my head I was thinking "Oh my GOD don't get in the car"....I dont know....my heart was racing with ya ya poor thing probably scared to death.
    Sorry this memory still haunts ya to this day.
    Tosa said...
    Brings back not so nice memories of my dad. Luckily, I was older than you (about 13) but I'll never forget the cold 3-mile walk home because dad forgot to pick me up from a piano lesson. That incident along with many others is why I've had problems trusting men. Learning from your parent's mistakes hopefully means you'll be a better parent yourself.

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