The sun is out today and the air cool. I lived for 10 or more years in absolute terror of myself. Of what I would not remember. Of not waking up in time. Of forgetting yet another test. Of my “friends” throwing there stones and easy upper cuts – I was defenseless because I felt indefensible.
My lank body and the hair that grew all over — I was ugly and dumb. From the time my head hit the pillow my mind cycled through the dialogue:
“Don’t forget to get up, you’ll miss school”,
“Are you sure you didn’t forget a test? Are you sure you didn’t have homework?”,
“Why do you even try?”.
I would sweat and restlessly twist; one eye on the clock — anxious to wake and dreading the day. Over the last few weeks, unconsciously, those feelings were manifesting themselves. Abigail is going to kindergarten, entering the slow path to her independence. My parental protective nature fears the only experience it knows, related to school, I have but one frame of reference; my own, and what Abigail might encounter.
I was reliving those anxious feelings, without a direct cause, so instead of knowing what was to come, I was anxious and apathetic since there was nothing to fear but the unknown nothing. I felt nothing to protect myself. I realized the other day, my experiences are not Abigails. Yes, I know, it’s obvious; as if no one knows this. I “know” this, but subconsciously I was reliving those feelings just by being in a similar environment (my daughter going to school). We are of different parents, different times, different environments, different schools, situations, siblings, support — everything is unique to us (with similarities but not imitation). Abigail is not me. Just realizing this has made me feel quite a bit better, less dead.