“Truly happy memories always live on, shining. Over time, one by one, they come back to life.”
— Banana Yoshimoto (Kitchen)
Right now I feel like there are two people living inside of me. The adult who has lived the last 39 years and the child who is stuck at age 5. When I say two people, I mean two literal people. I feel “her” feelings and mine. It is the most disturbing thing I have ever been through. Completely irrational child-like thoughts will fight their way out, and when they are expressed my Mother says she can see another person, a child. That is beyond terrifying to me. Instead of getting better I feel like I am going insane. I have an appointment with my therapist tomorrow and we might suggest something inpatient. If my insurance company would have been open today, I would have seen about it today, but they were not, so tonight I sleep in my own bed.
All of that to say this. I am trying so hard to assure her. Calm her. Quiet her fears. All she can do is think about the abuse and what has happened to her and what she missed out on because of it.
Today I went down to my parents to look at more pictures. I wanted her to see pictures before she was five, at five, and after five. I wanted her to see herself happy. I remember happy times, she does not. I wanted her to see that she hid it so well behind her smile that even I could not tell. She does not need to be angry at anyone for not guessing that she was hurting, and she does not need to keep beating herself up for keeping her secret. There was a reason. We may not know that reason in this life, and that is okay.
One of the happy memories I want to share with her is a day vacation we would take during the summer to a little man-made beach called Holiday Beach in Douglas, Georgia. We looked forward to these trips. The beach had two sides, one that was just the beach and one that had a beach and an amusement park, water slides, and indoor games. That beach had the biggest goldfish I had ever seen and I hated when they would swim by my legs. On the amusement park side the beach had a metal slide that you could walk or swim out to. The last time I swam in the beach, I slide down the slide and when I came up from under the water right in friont of my face was a floating human turd. Yep. YUCK!! It was only the amusement park rides and the water slides for me after that, no more beach. Either side!
They had two Rollar Coasters, one kiddie and then the Jetstar. I’ll tell you what, the kiddie was scary in its own rite. It would jerk you so hard and it was right beside the water, you just new you were going to fly right off into the poo water. The Jetstar was nothing short of awesome. You felt like something when you rode it, though it is nothing compared to the rollar coasters of today, the first BIG drop and quick turn would leave you screaming for the rest of the ride. When you first arrive at the park you would get a wrist band so it would not be unusual to ride it two or three times in a row. The park was not really busy.
There were two water slides and one Kamazaii. I think the funniest time was when I was one one of the water slides. The water was running really light, and the foam mat was not wanting to slide well as it was. My next trip down, part of the way down, the water stopped completely, my mat suctioned to the floor of the run and I rolled head over heals the rest of the way down, splashing into the pool at the end, just as the water started back and my mat followed.
So Holiday Beach was your first roller coaster, but it was also your first SkeeBall. Yes, that is were you mastered the art and grew to love the game. Even now, anytime I go to an arcade pizza place or game room, I see if they have SkeeBall, and I rack up the tickets. They had the coolest prizes you could trade your tickets for. I think my all time favorite was my switch blade hair comb. It was just awesome. I felt like one of the Greasers with it.
After we left the beach we would always stop at the same park to eat our ham sandwiches. I can taste the sandwiches now. Tastes like happiness and summer.