Never Ending Nightmares
If you knew what I’ve been through you would understand me. I am tortured with nightmares of a past unlike my own. It is a fading memory of the night someone visited a train of death; a black train of tortured children on the verge of freedom yet insanity. It ran from one station to the next where it picked up children who had been labeled with bright red stickers given to them from the state, “I need help, I have a problem.” I got on accidentally after wandering too far… too far, too far…. too far into the realm of imagination and dreams. Anything is possible but anything can get you into a whole bunch of trouble and a prison of someone else’s nightmares. Those persons’ thoughts melt into your own in the land of thoughts and dreams and you become them….
Children could get off the black train if they passed the rigorous health tests of the state, but there was one exception to the rule. If you could find someone to take your place then you may leave. No matter how stupid it sounds it was the rule and I did it, too young to understand the consequences.
I met this boy, a little bit older than me and consented to his wishes. It was the last stop before doom and he was beside himself to get off. It was a quick switch of name tags and clothes and I was destined for a ruined childhood. We arrived at the station and I watched him walk off and it was then that I understood what I had foolishly done.
I did everything to get off, I was hysterical. I ran up the isle and into the chubby guy who pushed the food cart. After crying my heart out he confirmed to me that in fact those who take another’s place were foolishly trapped on this train, but if you can pass the health test you may get off. Unfortunately he didn’t tell me one piece of information that made me fail. Not only do you have to pass this mental and physical test but prove you are free from all the illnesses of the person you switched with. I signed up for the test, hysterical from the situation, and immediately failed without being looked at. After peeking at the medical sheet the nurse held, I read “The subject is showing signs of unstableness. She seems hysterical and has been known to be so often.” I knew I was doomed.
We pulled into a station surrounded by a large double fence; within the walls were trees, almost a forest of them. I could see a large jungle gym playground to the side of several red sandstone buildings. As each one of us were given new tags and separated, we were quickly herded to the school buildings and given schedules and lockers. It was the beginning to education within prison walls. At nights we each were guarded and it was not long before I broke. I broke down in a mass of confusion of why I was there and why couldn’t I leave.
The next day in gym, during swimming class, I discovered something amazing. We each had been issued new swim suits and I had a yellow bikini, square across the top and the bottoms were small shorts that sort of gave the appearance of being square across the bottom. Being in them gave me a tingly sensation, like magic was in them. Then, when I dove into the pool, I felt a sudden jolt of sensation and I felt like they were trying to lift me up for a split second and then I splashed down into the water. It was really strange. I decided to stay in my new suit for the rest of the day under my clothes and at recess the suit did it again. So instead of ignoring it I jumped and tried to fly. I jumped off the ground and didn’t come down! I just hovered there for a second before I freaked out and fell back down. It was a good thing that I was in a corner that no one else was. From then on I wore my yellow bikini under my clothes everyday and I practiced “flying” and discovered with a little imagination and belief in myself I could do anything. I started skipping classes when ever I was stressed, to go flying. Sometimes I fell asleep on the clouds. I had to be really careful no one saw me, but, it was when I was getting to comfortable with my new found talent that things started happening.
One day I was flying over the playground and decided to land on top of one of the buildings. The buildings had a lot of stones and rocks on top of them because they were flat. One of the stones rolled off and hit a teacher in the head. I was frantic because she called Buildings and Grounds to get a ladder and find out what was up on top of the roof. I couldn’t stay there and get caught but I couldn’t fly off because no one can miss someone in a bright yellow bikini. When the guy was half way up the ladder I panicked and fled. Off I flew and everyone below was astonished at what ever that yellow thing was. I was really scared of what would happen to me.
It was not long after that I was called down to the principal’s office. Thoughts were running through my head and kept coming back to, did they figure out I was the one who was flying? Scared out of my mind I was herded into the office. The dark haired, stern faced principal started in a deep tone, “Young lady, we have been noticing some strange behavior lately. You have been cutting classes and your teachers have been noticing that you don’t pay attention and seem to be in another world. Therefore we are giving you a guard to supervise you. He will be at you side at all times with the exception of when you are dressing and in the bathroom. All of your personal items will be taken from you also. That is all.”
My emotions ran from thank god he doesn’t know to I’m trapped! The guard led me to my first class, science. I had to ask to borrow a pen and a pencil and was horrified when my teacher told me I couldn’t have a pen because I could blow it up. The guard stood in the back of the classroom watching me the entire period. After class I gave my pencil back to the teacher and she gave me a look of surprise that I actually didn’t steal it and take it with me! During Math next period with my new borrowed pencil I started making a plan of escape. During recess I would climb on top of the highest tower on the playground. I would make to jump off and then would fly away.
What I didn’t expect was that I wouldn’t be allowed recess in the first place but I would have to sit outside with my guard. I sat fuming that my plan had failed until I realized I was still outside and I didn’t have to be on the playground to make my escape. Running as fast as I could to be as far away from the guard before I took off I tried to pull off as much of my clothes so that I wouldn't be pulled down by the extra weight. My bright yellow bikini was sending strong waves of tingly sensations through me. I took off and flew as high and fast as I could. But, again I didn’t expect what happened next. Before I knew it I was faced with the guards at the towers on the fence with showers of bullets. Bullets that brought the death I always knew would come from this place of endless doom in an endless realm of dreams.
I have always believed that if you can’t be happy in your home, you will never be happy anywhere. But, family is where home is and my family is unlike any other. There are so many differences and experiences that make us unique, sometimes so brutally painful or just honestly simple. When a physically disabled college girl, born with Spina Bifida, met an entrepreneur-ing out of state boy, my dad once told me “there was a connection that just transcended all the physical levels”. They got married right out of college, had two children, and moved to a tiny island off of
I’m the eldest of those two, an able bodied, healthy young girl. My parents have always worked very hard to support us all. Living in Buffalo, I remember happily piling all my stuffed animals on my bed at night and then watching the stars out my windows, windows too high to see out of. When I got in trouble, my stern mother would send me to time out, behind the kitchen door. It was always my luck to be behind the door when my dad got home from work, because I would be crushed against the wall. It was a terrible time for my mother though, being trapped in the house.
Her birth defect, specifically called Myelomeningocele means that there is a hole in her spine and when she was born, part of her spinal column and much of the spinal fluid was in a sac on the outside of her body. Several operations and a lifetime of physical pain is all she has known. I know that when I was five, she got really sick and was hospitalized. With my dad working two jobs and the social workers concerned about my brother and I, we were shipped off to our grandparents’ house until my dad moved our family to a small farming town south of
For me, I have managed to grow up in a very affluent public school and somewhat sheltered lifestyle. She worked in the school and so everyone knew her and therefore me. But it was a curse for me. Sometimes, having a needy mother makes it feel like I have one parent and two siblings, both taking all the attention. Naturally I lashed out at school, my teachers worried about me, my friends hated me, and my pastor hugged me, until she moved away. We always fought because she always pushed… if she got through her struggle, then my life must be easy and my problems insignificant. Thus, my mother and I are not the best of friends. If I wanted to feign sick or cry to the counselor, I couldn’t… she worked in the Nurse’s office, as well as the Counseling office, and the Main office.
When I was in high school, I realized that my parents and my life were very different then other peoples’. My only real friend had a brain tumor and had undergone major operations. I was a fortunate girl for empathizing with so many people. I even mentored a little girl with deaf parents. But high school drama nearly tore our family apart and my life. Desperate for compassion, I became the victim of an abusive boyfriend and then lost my good friend to the same guy. At the same time, my dad lost his job, and several months later I was involved in a serious car accident that totaled my dad’s car, the most valuable asset to my dad’s new and struggling business, our only hope for financial survival.
Over the past year, our family has learned to live much closer together because we have one car. We each make sacrifices of time and money just to get by. But I have especially started to see a bright light in my future. My experience of life has made me a very unique individual. I have taken what I have learned and become very active in the community and local government, standing up for youth rights. However, besides giving me the most challenging and rewarding environment in which to grow up in, my mother has inspired me to help other people by becoming a doctor.
Do you know that point, when someone you love and have known for a long time does something that breaks your trust, forever? It will never be the same. Do you know that point?
A parents’ love for a child is said to the strongest of all.
What pushes a parent to the point of breaking that trust? Or….. completely backing away, no more part of that child’s life. Detaching yourself.
When that trust is broken, an inseparable bond snaps, it can never be sewn back together exactly how it once was. You may get to know and love that person later on more that you ever did, but that little scar is still there.
Today, I mark this day. A bond, a trust, broken.
At first is hurts, you cry. You don’t understand. It’s like you have lost them forever.
I remember the first time.
You only get two chances. Only two hopes. Only two parents. At first you can’t believe it. Denial. Then it doesn’t hurt as much. Even when it happens again it doesn’t hurt as much.
The bond has already been broken.
You don’t remember the pain. You can’t understand why it hurt so much. Then you begin to trust again. But not unconditionally.
It gets better. Sometimes. My first didn’t. I only have one parent now. But now, today, I don’t know. I know one is lost, but maybe I have a chance.
What do I do?