What, then, have you been escaping from?

I feel like an amateur doctor, performing surgery on herself. I know I probably shouldn’t open these doors, but I’m curious to see what’s on the other side. It’s a dangerous strategy, you see. To unlock doors into old memories my mind picked to save. I hope to find clues that could solve the mystery I uncovered last.

“What, then, have you been escaping from?”

My mission could equate to nothing, really. My self harm could have been a result of some genetic defect that I can never cure. I’m aware of that possibility. But, I cannot give up hope that possibly there is something that I’m running from, that’s been running me. And just maybe, one day I can stop the chase and stop my unhealthy addiction.The risk, though, is that these memories are decades old and may have been altered and misconstrued, but I’ll try my best to not be a hero in my recollections.

I close my eyes, I remember:

  • my dad kneels by my bedside, I’m curled up with tears. He comforts me and gives me a dollar if I stopped. I remember a specific moment where I deliberately cried knowing he’d give me a dollar.
  • I was hurt one day, and my dad knew my pain. School would be the next day, he told me not to cry no matter what. When I couldn’t hold in the pain, I was sent to the nurses office, I felt that I let him down and broke down about it
  • When my siblings were chased for their, probably deserved, beating. I’d run and hide with them. Either I didn’t want to just watch as they were hurt or I didn’t want to be alone even if that meant I’d be unharmed.
  • I masturbated very early, before I was even ten. I was a very sexual child, I’m uncertain what provoked it.
  • One time, I rolled up paper and lit it up, pretending it was a cigarette
  • I pretended someone’s car keys were mine, I re-entered my bedroom repeatedly as if it were my own apartment. Dropping the keys off on a table, I loved the notion of independence
  • My dad bought me fried food for some reason, but only wanted me to have it. He favored me
  • I cried to my dad when I felt my mom favored my older brother, he laid me next to him on the couch. I don’t remember what all he said
  • Watching Clifford the Big Red Dog while loneliness loomed over me, my sister ran away from home and I was so sad with her gone
  • Seeing a bowl under Cong’s bed, which I believe was his vomit. Hearing him throw up in the bathroom. Realizing he was as tormented as I was.
  • My sister came home finally, and we had to room together. I wanted to feel like a happy family again, but I knew it was an illusion that we all hoped would become reality
  • I locked myself in the bathroom repeatedly, crying for different reasons. Beth would come in and console me, then the reasons I locked myself up and in there was because she was moving away
  • Eating in the temple’s bathroom almost every Sunday, talking to the spiders on the floor because anywhere else I’d be subjected to teasing
  • Getting the courage to tell my mom the reason for my hatred for temple and didn’t get the comfort I seeked
  • Getting told by mom, dad, and Beth hurtful things others say as well relating to my weight
  • First thing people seemed to say when I was introduced was how big and or fat I was compared to my mom or my sister in Vietname and at temple
  • Having the biggest crush on Cookie, my brother’s friend
  • Moving to an all white school and being so different from everyone else
  • A rice cooker being thrown, a marriage on the brink of failure, a father refusing to separate for the sake of his children. Me, the only victim that fled the scene
  • Wanting so badly to play on a soccer team
  • Wanting so badly to play in orchestra
  • Going swimming on beautiful summer days
  • The strawberry garden in our backyard
  • Hanging out with neighborhood kids, and especially with Mo, picking fruits off of neighbor’s trees

Scattered were times that warmed me and made me the happiest. Dominated were moments where I was consistently teased and when I lost my only emotional supporter, Beth – but even she joined in on the teasing when she couldn’t help herself. Planted were seeds of shame, self-loathing, and guilt. Never would it have grown without nutrients and water. But not only did those who were meant to protect me water it, they gave it light and urged it to grow. And I am so hurt by it.

‘Et tu, Brute?’

This isn’t one of my imaginations or perfect ending stories, I won’t express this to my parents and they won’t ever understand. There won’t be a giant hug and we won’t live happily ever after again. The strawberries in our old backyard, though, will forever stay vibrant in my memories. My parents did the best they could with what they knew.

Knowing that resolution will never come I have nothing left to prove. Proving oneself is encouraged by the expectation for acceptance and my vision will never be accepted by those that matter most. If resolution was even possible, then I wouldn’t have to convince anyone that to take time to dream is ok.

If there is nothing to prove, is there nothing to escape from?

I hear them marching towards me. The something that’s got me running. I’m out of energy and out of fear to keep up my avoidance. I stop and turn around and expected to see my mom, my dad, my sister, even my old boss Steve, and my big looking at me in disappointment.

Instead it was a single figure, it was me. That’s the thing about memories, it starts with reality but ends with you. I’m disposed to remember all the bad things, it makes sense I’m so shaped by it. I can’t continue to blame others for my reality and what I chose to believe.What about all the good people in my life? Why don’t I remember moments of encouragement or times when I’ve been called beautiful? Instead, I focus on the negative. I’ve lived up to now wanting to prove myself to others so that I can tell my sad story and get sympathy. I wanted to collect regrets from those who caused me pain. That’s no way to live a life that I want. What’s done is over and was never put forth with malice.

This is going to be hard, what I’m proposing to myself. And I don’t even know if it will work towards healing.

I will chose to forgive the past, present, and future teasers. I chose to forgive my parents for not being there when I needed them the most, even though they do not beg to be acquitted.I forgive my sister for leaving in search of her own truth and will have a deeper understanding that I too am in search of mine, even though she will try to guide me in other ways. I will work hard in lifting the weight of guilt pound by pound that I feel towards my parents, as an unappreciative daughter.

I will forgive myself for changing my mind, in pursuit of something more worthwhile.So…I will forgive myself for not going to California, yet.

The moments where I felt most autonomous and like myself were created by me against others wishes. Mainly three key points in my life:

1: moving to mizzou

2: moving out of the house

3: quitting Forba

This is evidence enough that I know what is right for me. Although there is no guarantee there is only retrospection and I only have positive thoughts about those three events. Now, I can only go by how I feel in my heart and my gut not what I hear from those who do not understand me..

 

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