l.i.b.e.r.a.t.i.o.n. theory

love, life, and the pursuit of liberation

sunday scribblings- #147

sunday scribblings- #147

“memory is a selection of images, some elusive, others printed indelibly on the brain.”~eve’s bayou

i’ve always been a clairvoyant of sorts. when i was in the second grade, i distinctly remember being upset during show and tell day because paul brought his stuffed pig again. he brought it already, i told the teacher, and i commenced to retelling the story of how he got it from his grandparents. i remember all the children looking at me weird, but i was used to this. i was the short, precocious black girl, in a room of average white children. so i knew the look. but this time it was different. the teacher assured me that paul hadn’t brought the pig before and allowed him his turn. he told the same story i recounted moments earlier.

it happened off and on during my childhood. mostly as dreams that i would remember once they happened in real life. one time it happened while i was wide awake.

my grandmother had been in remission from her cancer for several months and was visiting family for thanksgiving. on her way back, she got sick with the flu and was taken to the hospital for fluids. on my way to say goodbye to her before i took the red-eye back to college, i had a vision, a knowing, and broke into hysterics. i knew that she was going to be dead before christmas. my aunt, a god-fearing, church-going woman, who was also a nurse herself held me up and told me the cancer was gone. that i was just feeling emotional but everything was okay. i heard the words but i saw the look in her eyes, that same look my second-grade classmates had given me. and i heard the words that weren’t being said. that maybe she believed me but didn’t want to.

fast forward about 3 weeks and i got a call late one evening while i was babysitting. i was to fly home, 3,000 miles, away immediately. the cancer had come back and my grandmother had about 10 days left to live. but she was given that number a week ago. “we wanted you to get through finals,” my mother said. i made it home in time to hear my grandmother speak for the last time. she died christmas eve.

not only do i remember things before they come to be, i also remember things of my very early days. i remember being potty trained and being left on the toilet for what seemed like hours in the hot pink bathroom of my babysitter. i remember when my sister was a newborn (we are 2.5 years apart) and i would sneak in her crib during naptime. i remember christmas when i was 4 and my father let me pick out all my own gifts and then made me turn my head while he wrapped them. since that was the first chirstmas i remembered, i never had a reason to believe in santa claus.

but when i need my memory, of both things seen and unseen, it’s not there. i don’t remember what happened or when it happened. it does come back to me from time to time, the smell of men’s cologne, the sick feeling when my left breast is touched, the way i tense up when i’m touched in certain ways, the fear i felt when my father touched me on the small of my back. 

there are holes in my memory that shouldn’t be there. my mother says i set a hotel table on fire when i was about 4. but i was old enough to remember things around that time, so why don’t i remember it? she said she found my diary when i was 12 and mentioned being mad at her because she made me go there with him, about my cousin touching me. but i don’t remember writing that. i don’t remember that happening. i don’t know who this cousin was. most importantly, i dont understand how she could have read that yet did nothing.

they say that the lack of memories is a protection. i’m not sure whether i want that protection there anymore.


6 comments on “sunday scribblings- #147

  1. msjboogie
    January 25, 2009

    Wow. Remembering what has not yet happened so that you do not have to remember what has already happened is a powerful tool (and borders on something straight out of an Octavia Butler novel). I am so sorry that your father and cousin abused you and that your mother did not protect you when she could. I hope that you find the memories and the peace you seek. One day at a time, one memory at a time, one word at a time. Gurl, that’s how we get by.


  2. Mama Bear
    January 25, 2009

    What a difficult recollection this must have been for you. Children shouldn’t ever have to bear such burdens.


  3. poetrystruth
    January 25, 2009

    Wow Lib, I feel you. I have small visions of things happening and then they do. I’ve also dreamed things and they happened. Freaks the hubster out. I get really afraid when I instantly for no reason think of a persons name and death in the same sentence. I did this and my cousin was killed. Others have passed as well.
    My granny used to call it the gift, but it doesn’t feel like it because it’s never anything good that I see in advance. LOL!!
    Can a sista get some lotto numbers, well actually I’ve seen numbers and played them, just didn’t have enough of the right numbers, but I kept seeing the numbers 38 and 6 played them and some other numbers. 38 and 6 came up, but those were the only ones I got right. DAMN!

    Can’t believe your mom didn’t do something and then told you she knew.

    I was abused by a neighbor and a cousin and I remember all of it. Not remembering can be a blessing.


  4. Rachel
    January 25, 2009

    It’s so hard when these awful things are lurking around your head, waiting to cut you off at the knees. My parents knew that a ‘family friend’ was touching me (and my sister) but they told us that we should ‘just stay away from him’ rather than do anything about it. When I was nearly raped behind the school in junior high by a classmate, I was told to just keep quiet to save myself the embarassment.
    It’s so unfair. We need to do what we have to in order to keep our sanity and hold on to our self resepct.
    And there’s comfort in knowing that we’d never do that to our own kids, right?


  5. Tumblewords
    January 25, 2009

    Excellent post! You’ve written so well of memories and not memories. Brains are amazing.


  6. paisley
    January 26, 2009

    this is about the fourth blog i have read in the ss group that is about childhood sexual abuse.. wow.. i never suffered such as a child,, and i am amazed at the prevalence… i am so glad all of you are coming forward with it,, and hope you will find solace in knowing even if you don’t really remember,, you are not alone in that either…


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This entry was posted on January 25, 2009 by in memory, Uncategorized and tagged .

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