Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Childhood Trauma (Part One)

I was sick (again) over the weekend and I think it is because my immune system has been weakened by an infection I had in my upper gum. It was right above my front teeth and that area has been a problem for me for as long as I can remember. My dentist said it is most likely caused by the accident I had when I was seven years old and slipped while trying to climb out of a window in my parent's car. I managed to step on the door handle instead of the armrest and banged my mouth and front teeth on the window opening. I go and see a Endodontist next month.

Anyway, that got me thinking about other reminders of childhood accidents and illness on my body. Starting from the feet up-

I have an one inch long/ half inch wide scar on the right side of my right heel. This I got at four years old. A neighborhood boy was giving kids rides around the block on his new bike and when it was my turn I managed to get the back of my foot caught in the spokes of the rear wheel. Doing so caused me to fall off the bike and loose my shoe and sock. It happened so fast and hurt so badly I did not cry out and remember sitting in the street watching him ride away.

I was a very active child and have numerous scars on my shins and knees. I cannot remember how most of them got there but two do stand out in my memory. The first is one is on my left kneecap. It happened when I was ten years old. I was walking home from school when some boys started chasing me. I still don't know why. One yelled, "There she is, get her!," and started running toward me. His friends followed. The next thing I knew I was running as fast as I could. Right when they were close enough to grab me I stepped into to a pot hole and fell down. I knew I had scrapped my knee but when I looked at it I was surprised to see something white right before the bleeding started.

When I got home my mother asked me what had happened and I told her some boys I did not know had chased me and pushed me down. We then went to the hospital and the doctor cleaned out my wound, put a gauze pad over it, and wrapped my knee in tape. All this happened on a Friday and by Monday I had forgotten what I had told my mother.

At school on Tuesday I was sent to the Principal's office. When I got there the Principal walked me to another classroom and pointed to one boy and ask me if that was the boy who pushed me. It was one of the boys who had chased me but I knew no one had really pushed me and I hesitated. The Principal asked me again if this was the boy who pushed me. He hadn't pushed me but he was the boy who had yelled and started the whole thing. We looked at each other and I could see he was scared. That made me angry. How dare he be scared after what he did to me. If he hadn't chased me I would not have fallen down and hurt myself. I nodded my head yes.

Out in the hallway the Principal patted me on the back and said I had done the right thing. She said the boy had done this before and was a bully. This did not make me feel any better about what had just happened. I had lied and then done nothing to correct it. Just like him I was a coward and a bully.

Part Two

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