Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Monsters Aren't So Scary When You Grow Up

What we remember from childhood we remember forever - permanent ghosts, stamped, inked, imprinted, eternally seen.  
Cynthia Ozick

Several months back I wrote about how, as I grow older, I have become more and more curious to find out what happened to my childhood peers. Actually, my yearning stemmed from a book I was reading, "Soul Sisters" by Pythia Peay, in which the author spoke about those friendships we make in childhood that last a lifetime. I felt saddened when I read this because  I had turned my back on my past many, many years ago and haven't looked back...until I read that book. Then I began my search in earnest.

I had several girlfriends back then, and I'm hoping to find them.  checked out Google and Facebook, but couldn't find any of them. The problem is, women marry and change their names which makes it fairly impossible to find them.  So, I joined a high school alumni group and I also broke down and joined Classmates who actually had a copy of my high school yearbook. Amazing seeing these faces after all these years.  And this weekend, I finally got a 'hit'.  An old classmate would like to be friends.  She was not someone I was ever close to.  We had several of the same classes, but ran with different crowds...but this is a start.  And it just gets better.

On the site,  there is a little box that says "See your visitors" which shows who has checked you out.  And there he was,  my cousin, the monster who had made my life hell.  He'd teased me unmercifully (now they call it bullying) and instigated others to do it as well.  School became a living nightmare  for me as I was forced to hang my head in shame, and eventually I dropped out.  He'd joined the site in April. His picture was there, but it was very small. "Do I click open his box?  Do I dare look the monster in the face? "  

I chose to open his profile, and  I'm so glad I did because he really doesn't look like a monster anymore.  He's become an old man, someone I need not fear.  In fact, it gave me a sadistic pleasure to see that he has not aged as well as I have. I could pass him in the streets and not know him. I also saw that he had checked me out as well, but he hadn't left a message.  That's okay.  I didn't leave one for him either. 

Older now and with many years of counseling under my belt I understand that when he spread those tales about my dad, he was only repeating what he heard at home. Children copy off their parents, and there was a lot of bad blood between his dad and mine.  My dad and his twin were taken from their alcoholic home and raised by my great-grandmother, while the youngest, my cousin's dad, was left with his alcoholic mom.  Resentments were there since childhood, so I can understand and forgive the hateful child that he was, but I can't forget the pain he caused....and  I can't help but wonder how different my life might had been if he had never moved into town.

Of course, though, I know that everything has happened exactly as it was meant to be. It has all been a part of my journey. Each small piece of my life fell into place to lead me to the life I am living now.  Yes, I am who and where I was meant to be.  

On another note, upon going down the list of people who had checked me out, I saw that one name that popped up more than once. He'd actually checked on me at least once a month since January. OMG!!! As I remembered, I was so overcome that I literally began to cry.  His sister and I had been childhood friends, and since he was only a year younger, he played with us, too.  It was a cold and gray November day. I was about 7 years old at the time. We were playing on their swings in their back yard when I began talking about Christmas and Santa Claus. I remember how he broke my heart by telling me there is no Santa Claus. I ran all the way home in tears, hoping my parents would say that he was telling a fib, but they confirmed it, and Christmas was never the same.  I sent a message for him.  I sure hope he responds.

Today I realize that, the magic of Christmas is special, and Santa is real to all those who believe. Keep believing.

In childhood, we press our nose to the pane, looking out.  In memories of childhood, we press our nose to the pane, looking in.  
Robert Brault


  1. I'm glad that trying to "go down Memory Lane," is being good for you.

    I'd never do this. I don't want much of anything to do with any of my childhood or HS or even college acquaintances. :-)

    Oh sure, I get nosy at times. But as far as looking, in a way, I could be "found out," nope.

    I hope this doesn't say something AWFUL, about me. -grin- But, I don't really care if it does. This is me. Now. I choose to be the me, I am, right now.

    But glad you are having fun, with it.

  2. There was a friend I knew when I was very young in which we were actually best friends back then. I searched him out and gave him a call. We had such an enjoyable conversation over the phone that lasted for about three hours. The last time he called me, I thought he should know that I'm a Witch which he didn't seem to mind, but he has never called me back ever since, even though I've tried calling him several of times, until I finally gave up trying. Oh well, that's his loss, for I no longer take it as mine, for I feel I'm not all that bad of a person.

    I do have some good memories when thinking back when I was younger, but overall, those recollections haven't been very good.

  3. Such bittersweet memories most of us have from childhood. I hope you can connect with other friends and fill that part of your heart that needs the bonds. We all do! And good for you that you've moved on by letting go of your tormentor. Karma always happens and it's nice to be able to see that sometimes.

  4. This is a good, thought provoking post. I have quite a few facebook friends from my childhood. Some of them i knew well back then, some i didn't. Overall, it's been fun to share memories, as most of those are good ones.

    College on the other desire to ever go back there even in my mind. I was a misfit. Shy, awkward at being far from home, and my roommate and all the girls on my wing liked to have boys over constantly and were heavy drinkers. Not a judgment, really, just saying. At my age.. just about 50.. i'm comfortable with myself, i like who i am, and am not shy in the least. lol. Sometimes i wonder where all those 'girls' are now, and what's become of them. Karma being what it is and all. They were all what we now call 'mean girls.' I like to think i harbor no ill will, but... if i could cast a spell or two.. watch out!

    I'm glad your trip back in time has been good for you. And you're right about the monsters. They become flies we can swat away. Harmless and kind of pathetic...