Lesson 6 exercise ..something you were scared of….
I was a pretty sheltered kid. Most of my early years were spent close by my Mom’s side because she was an overprotective and untrusting woman. Unfortunately, that protection did not extend to herself. She could be a pretty scary person when she wanted to be. She screamed a lot and her face would twist up in a terrifying knot of fury. Still, even when her anger was directed at me, I felt very attached to her. For that reason, some of my worst childhood memories are of times when she was not there.
On several occasions Mom left me in the middle of the night for a visit down to the docks where her boyfriend Randy lived or to go hear music in the little bar at the end of the road. One night I remember waking up and realizing she wasn’t there. I stumbled to the door calling for her but when I tried to pull the lever on it I couldn’t, she had bungie-corded me into the trailer. I felt sick. I was trapped with no understanding of where she was or for how long. I climbed back into bed and hugged one of the cats. It wasn’t enough to calm me down and before I could stop myself I puked all over the bed. I started crying as Mom walked in the door a few minutes later. She yelled at me for ruining the bedding. Now we would have to make an “extra trip to the laundromat” because of me. She was even more angry that I was sitting up crying when I was supposed to be asleep.
Waking up alone was one of my most dreaded experiences but the next time she went out was a different kind of scary. After my “ridiculous fit,” she decided this time she would bring me along and I woke up to her telling me to get my shoes on. When I was ready, we walked out into the night and Mom drove our rusty green Volvo down to the dark side of the harbor. The eerie dim light from the lamp posts cast creepy shadows all around us as she parked at the end of the big pier. She firmly told me not to get out of the car or unlock the doors until she got back. I watched her descend down the B dock ramp and when she was out of sight I pushed down all four lock buttons and jiggled them to make sure they were secure. I buried myself in the pillowy down jacket she had left on the backseat until I felt completely hidden, leaving only a small opening near my mouth for air. I did not want the boat people walking by and seeing me in the car or someone else trying to kidnap me. All sorts of weird scenarios ran through my head as I stayed curled up in my little frozen ball of fear.
I was just finally starting to fall asleep when I was startled by someone pounding their knuckles against the window. My heart started racing but I held my breath and tried to be as still as I could. If they can’t see me, they will go away I thought. Then I heard Mom’s voice yelling “Wake up! Wake up! Open the damn door!” With relief I jumped up reaching out for the door lock on the driver’s side and tugged till it popped up. As I sat back down to put my seatbelt on, I was glad I had kept the coat around me for warmth. A cold draft had rushed in with Mom and it was almost as chilling as the expression on her face. She was already ranting about what a “sonofabitch” Randy was. I felt oddly comforted by this until she slammed the car in reverse down the pier as fast as she could drive. I thought for sure she would hit the railing and we’d plunge onto the docks, or worse -into the freezing harbor water- but we didn’t. I kept silent as she complained the whole way home about how she was really “done” this time and “how dare he” etc. I was just happy to be going back to the trailer again. I couldn’t wait to crawl into my warm minnie mouse sleeping bag and fall back asleep.