As I said in my last blog post, discovering that gymnast Dominique Moceanu was beaten by her dad when she didn’t train hard enough was triggering to me. This happened before bed last night, and the issue just came up again. But by “the issue”, I mean something stranger than usual. I got close to remembering something.
We all know I was physically and emotionally abused. Last night, when I was reading about Moceanu, I felt close to recapturing a forgotten memory. I’ve always sensed that I was beaten more than the two times I recall. I just have a strong sense that there’s at least one, maybe more than one, other incident(s) that I’ve completely blocked out. I often feel a certain terror that carries only vague underpinnings of being tied to any given event. There’s no better way to describe it.
As precedence to show that I have blocked memories, I clearly remember the time my mom had me arrested. However, my dad’s convinced he had to bail me out at least once. The only time I remember being arrested, my mom bailed me out. (I should’ve just stayed in my cell, ya know?) So there must be blocked memories of other ridiculously needless arrests when my dad came to save me. (Do I seem like a criminal? Only to my mother, people.)
I was looking over my memoir earlier and delineating chapters when something strange happened. I was reading about ballet, which I quit before high school because I was never promoted to the next level. And I mentioned rather randomly in my memoir that at one point near the end of seventh grade, I could almost do the splits, which would never happen again in my life. Not even close. I have no flexibility at all, but I came so tantalizingly close that one summer.
And then I remembered what happened: I quit going to ballet for several weeks that summer–the summer after seventh grade–because we went on another family vacation to the beach. When I went back to ballet after vacay, my closeness to doing the splits was lost.
I have no memory of this vacation, but I sense it’s inside me somewhere. I know we went to the beach after fourth grade. I have lots of memories of that week, and it was disastrous times a million. But there was another trip to the beach when I was growing up, and it’s mostly a blank in my mind. What’s hiding there? Broadly speaking, vacations don’t bring out the best in my mother.
How could I block out a whole vacation? How strange. The more I think about it, the more I’m sure of it. I’m seeing those flat round shells, whatever they’re called, and T-shirts we bought. And I’m seeing myself as a teenager, not a fourth-grader.
Very odd. The lost vacation.
Ohhhh, remembering. My mom deloused my sister. (Yes, you read that right.) She had Ellen’s hair cut off that week at a salon, and then she used lice shampoo on her. Ellen wasn’t too bothered by it all. The rest of us were upset that she’d potentially given us lice.
Nothing more traumatizing than that is coming up. Hmm…. how curious. This just goes to show that memories can come back.