As a way to encourage my writing, I had the idea to write about my first times. Hopefully, it’ll be a weekly challenge, and anyone can join in.
Vivid imagination was a gift of mine, very easy to fall into when time allowed. I’m able to get lost in my mind for days; my mood easily affected by the lives that lived in my mind. This is a story of a little girl’s first attempt to write, a story of passion screwed over due to fears.
Years ago, as a child, a story screamed at me to be written, an urge that was not new to me but simply had lacked the self-deprecation that prevented me before from taking such a step. That day the urge was stronger than I have thought it would be, and I wanted to write. So I took out a favorite notebook of mine and wrote my story. I wrote in explicit detail as it would be seen by the eyes of a child. Filled with new burst of emotions, my tiny hands shook but continued scrawling over the papers. The character grew in shape and color with each sentence. I remember the need to show my work to my parents, the need for their pride and love and I remember having this deep belief that they would love my work and would encourage me to become a writer.
Deeming the piece ready, I reread my unfinished scrawny story in an attempt to fix any mistake. I left my room, allowing my feet to carry me to my mother. I don’t remember what she was doing at the time or which room she was in. I reached her and my mother being a supporter of arts, she had in her eyes pride, after all her young child was talented enough to write her own story,
A peak into my childish story, though, and confusion settled in. English not being her native language, she asked me ‘What is it you wrote?’
So I narrated the story to her, I told her of a girl who lived among us. A girl who was abused by her parents. A girl who constantly thought of death and escape. A girl who cried alone in her room, because she was in so much pain. A girl who was too young to think of life and its unfairness.
I remember her gradual shock that was quickly covered up with a strained smile, she forced a nod and fake pride spoke volumes. Not knowing that a child sees and senses just as much as the adult. I remember leaving her and heading to my room, feeling confused. My father arrived home from work, I had at the time thrown the story away. Shredded the paper into pieces, angry with myself for aspiring to be a writer, for getting my hopes high. The child choosing to blame herself for disappointing her mother and later father.
My father called for me later that day, asking to speak with me. I walked into the room they sat in, thinking I was in trouble. Both my parents had grave expressions, and the moment I stepped in I was bombarded with questions: Have we ever mistreated you? Have we ever abused you in anyway? We love you and we would never hurt you, why would you write a story such as this? Eventually, the questions turned into a lecture of sorts, on what true mistreatment is, on how I’m lucky to have parents like them, on how my cousins are not as lucky and as they spoke my guilt and self-hate grew. The child wanted to hide away from the world.
I remember my frustration, my anger for their inability to understand as I attempted to explain that it was just a story. One of the many stories I lived in my mind, that I’m aware I’m lucky. I remember the hurt, I remember not being heard, and I remember, in frustration, quieting down. It was not the first time they hadn’t listened to me; it wasn’t the first time they had assumed on my behalf. Silence was easier as I have learned at such a young age. Finished with their lecture, I was finally allowed to leave to my room. I walked in with an attitude of defeat, I took a final look at the garbage bin where my story laid there in shredded pieces. I remember the silent tears that I wiped away angrily. I remember making a decision that day: I’ll never write again.
I stopped writing ever since and it took me years to gather my courage to leave behind that childish decision. It wasn’t till I had another strong urge for a story to be written, the urge fought me till it became an action. I wrote then and I secretly enjoyed it. I never, though, shared my secret with anyone and every time I wrote a piece, I shredded the paper. It took me years to have the nerve and to break that promise. Looking back to what my parents did, I understand now it was fear. Fear that I was unhappy, fear that they did something wrong, and fear that they were bad parents, and so they mistook my story for a personal experience.