Perhaps the title is misleading. Certain memories are meant to be forgotten. Particular parts of certain memories are meant to be forgotten. Specific sections are meant to be told and retold, and have lessons learned from them.
Most memories, we have for some reason or another. Being unforgettable. Inspires a certain emotion, a gut feeling. A knee jerk reaction…
It’s impossible to tell.
You don’t know that something is wrong until you’re told that something went wrong. I get confused sometimes when people ask if I’ve always been ‘this way’. What is ‘this way’? I don’t even know anymore.
On the outside, I’m the same as everyone else. A self-assured 20-something who finally knows her path in life. Or at least the path that could make her the happiest ever. Something is a constant in her life. Something for the future. It still doesn’t help her past.
I’m still digressing.
It was half a (my) lifetime ago. I thought I already knew the path I was going to follow. I was young. I didn’t know any better (even though, like most children – I thought I was ahead of the game). I was only 10.
I had a friend. He was 4 years older than me, and was headed for great things. A sort of quasi-mentor if you will. We were on the same school bus. I would be the first child picked up, he was the second. He knew a lot of interesting trivia, played the violin, knew a lot about computers and the beginnings of social networking (online bulletin boards for fandoms).
Everyone I have talked to in my lifetime has explained these actions away – him and his friends included. One of the terms he threw around a lot years later was “an experiment in capricious youth.” Is it really a whim if it happened more than once for more than a year? “Harmless fun” someone else called it. Is it harmless if emotional trauma is involved? “All kids do it.” Maybe so – but do all the rest of those kids harbor bad memories from those times? “You were just kids.” And now kids are getting busted for murder or cruelty to animals.
I can’t explain it away. I can’t say that the tickling was innocent. I can’t say that his hands under my clothes was an accident. I can say that if it was one day. One week. One moment. I can’t say it if it was every day for more than a year. I can’t say it was innocent or an accident if it happened every day for two years. I can’t say it if everyone tells me my personality – who I was/am – changed dramatically after those two years.
In a way, part of me is still stuck back then. If prompted, I can force myself to say the bare bones, legally accepted, words that describe what happened. But when I recall, as a child – I explain it the way a 10 year old would. I didn’t have the words back then.
I wanted to tell my story, to say how this quarter life crisis isn’t just when you turn 20. There are things from your past that can affect your life till now. It may intensify or dampen. I don’t know if I did a good enough job.