Long forgotten things rush back sometimes. They take over the mind when you least expect it. A pain you never knew was there fills your spirit and you wonder why you never realized it before.
I was little when my cousin started to teach me all about sex. He was young, too, but not as sheltered as I was. He knew what he was doing.
This was when my anxiety started. I remember it as clear as day… the panic attacks and overwhelming feeling of guilt. Only I was too young to realize what it was back then. I was so guilt-ridden that I “confessed” to my mom. She did nothing.
No, not nothing. She told me “don’t you realize that’s how you get pregnant?” I was too young for that. I was too young, too sheltered, to understand any of it. She told no one, so as “not to upset anyone in the family.” I spent the next many years of my life burying the whole series of events, fighting the memories when they did come back because I thought I was the one who did something wrong, and I didn’t want to feel the guilt.
Then one day I realized a few things:
I was little, and sheltered, and didn’t fully understand what what happening. I had no reason to feel guilty.
He was young, but older than me, and knew exactly what he was doing. He should be the one who feels guilty.
My mother failed me. She was cowardly and cruel – and it wouldn’t be the last time.
These revelations, when I allow them to, thrust me into that dark place. They also tend to keep me there when I spend too long focusing on them. It’s tough when you realize that the person you thought always had your best interest at heart really didn’t.
People are flawed, I understand that. But there is a difference between a good person who does shitty things once in a while and a shitty person who does good things once in a while. I realized recently that my mother is the latter. It was a hard pill to swallow, and I’m still not sure I have.
Memories are a heartless bitch sometimes.
So are realizations.