Reflective Reverie: When I Was A Kid

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Bad Dreams Catcher by Monica Blatton
Sometime during my childhood I notice the ever present need to please. I need to please and supplicate everyone. Especially those that have control over me. Parents, obviously. And other teachers and life guiders in the form of blood-related adults and this is not some simple shallow need.

I need to have them feel happy and then need them to ooze happiness. And this temperament is such a nuisance that I cannot even begin to tell you the turmoil I have needlessly placed upon my psyche. You know the niggling feeling of guilt that comes from failing to perform to the expectation of another that you hold so dearly. Well, that is the feeling that comes visiting a 7-year-old me.

I remember playing in the backyard of my grandma's house feeling the wind flipping my mullet-style hair this way and that, with my younger brother somewhere in the background. The feeling of being in touch with the present moment is never part of my young mind's vocabulary but it is there. It is light, without effort and certainly without the knots in the stomach associated with intense guilt.

I remember being brazen the way a young carefree child is designed to be, crossing the street from school to get my hands on a cone of ice cream. I have to satisfy my curiosity of getting the ice cream just like a cat that has its dilated pupils keen on a bird flapping its wings outside the window.

I observe the older students crossing the road safely back with an ice cream and one day, I decide to go for it and get myself an ice cream. On my way back, my father who has just dropped my brother off to the same school for the evening classes, spots me and gives me a reprimanding look.

Just a look and the intense feeling of guilt wash all over me until it concentrates in tangles at the pit of my stomach. My fear of getting a mouthful and another disappointed look have me opening the door with such trepidation as I return home from school that evening.

Just eight years old, and guilt in all of its murky depth has buried seeds inside my mind and body violating the lightness of innocence with something heavy and troubling.

At that stage, pleasing becomes a quick remedy. I need to balance the equilibrium. I loathe the idea of confrontations arrived from unfulfilled expectations. I become quick to read minds of adults and seek to please and be the good kid. But this does not stop child-like impulses from leaking. I am still quite the new brood to the big bad world.

I once run across the road from my kindergarten without looking to check if there are any cars. I survive but the look on the face of a teacher that stands on the other side with her arms flailing to shout at me tells me that I have committed something terribly wrong. But, I am alive.

Instead of journeying home in peace, guilt comes to walk beside me. I am just a kid but the brush with tragedy in the look worn on my teacher's face teaches me that consequences follow even when nothing outward takes place.

With this post, I start a regular blog 'challenge' or 'tag' that highlights the little things that I experience in my childhood and up until now to unearth hidden aspects of myself and life lessons in hopes to become better aware of the subconscious elements that play a role in making me, me. I'd like to approach this in a way of a reflective meditation and if you are a reader, please come and join me in this reflective reverie.

Do you ever experience an intense guilt as a child? If so, how did you make sense of the feeling? I would really love to know your thoughts!

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shanaz@RS | 3:35 AM | Labels:

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