It is hard to talk about my childhood, for the simple reason that it is kind of a bummer. I am, of course, affected by it, but talking about it has all these side effects of, well, bumming people out. I want to start a thread on this site about my earlier years, and I just have to do it. I can’t worry about taking breaks to geek out on something else and not being constantly dreary. I am going to write about what is on my mind.
When I was a child, starting at around 9 years old, I was convinced I would die upon becoming an adult. That also meant when I turned 18. It is an absurd idea to have as an adult, understandable for a child in those circumstances, and amazing that it would persist this long, buried deep down, unchallenged until now.
Among the other things becoming a parent does, I suppose it is safe to generalize that most people experience whichever verb best describes pulling at one’s heart. In my case it dredges. It is like a horrible emotion trawler, with nets weighted down by small sharpened anchors that impales the layer of muck and shit that covers my core, scrapping across it and turning the waters brown and red in its wake.
So, yeah, I’ve got some stuff to get off my mind.
It sounds like that scene in Spirited Away where they clean the river. Or the scene in Ponyo where the boat with the net gets all the trash. But at least in Spirited Away, they are very careful to show us the joy at the end after the pain of the cleansing.
Did you believe that you would do a specific behavior upon your 18th birthday (or would not WANT to do it but felt that you wouldn’t be able to stop yourself despite knowing it would make you die)? Or was it directly about the end of life and not something else causing death?
I believed that I would be powerless. That’s falsely comforting because if you’re powerless, you don’t have to be responsible for anything. It is a crippling belief.
I am going to answer your questions over many years worth of posts, in sharing my past. I think that will best illustrate why I felt that way, and how I am changing.
I would never suggest violence towards Clover, my heart incarnate, age 9.
When I was nine a dishonorably discharged sniper-scout began promising me a fight between the two of us when I turned 18.
Given my anti-harm tendencies even then, I realized my options were likely suicide; I couldn’t take their life, and couldn’t possibly win a fair fight, so to avoid violence I would opt for quick suicide.
Later, I actually opted for running away at age 13, rather unsuccessfully, which triggered a fucked up custody battle for several years while my fucked up legal guardians (for lack of a better term) sent me back and forth between SoCal and Alabama… until I got old enough to just kick out.
Which was a great relief, because I never had to see that fucker again.
Eight years ago I couldn’t quite face how fucked up my childhood was.
Since then I’ve grown accustomed to growing as a person, in the race to become a parent I want to be. Its tough, its the work, its has to be done.
I’m not fearless, but I belong to solid systems, and speaking truth to power, and healing psychic damage, these are tools we need for the future, and I’m working my way through it.