In early elementary school, we were learning about analogies and such in class. Our assignment was to write what people were “like”. Mine made my mom cry her eyes out, although I didn’t learn that for years. She said it was 100% accurate:
My mom is like the ocean, sometimes stormy and sometimes calm.
My brother is like a teapot, always huffing and puffing and letting off steam.
My dad is like a twig in the river, always going with the flow.
And I am like a deer lost in the forest, who must learn to take care of myself.
There’s a lot I want to say about the last line, but I keep deleting what I write. So I’ll just say that without question, this is how I felt for all of childhood. Anything else I want to say will be for a different day.
EDIT: I was thinking about this poem because of a conversation on blahpolar’s page, which had me thinking about the few people who keep encouraging me to go off of my meds, and how much I’ve argued for staying on my meds (when really, of course I want off of them, but). And it had me thinking that I’ve been depressed for far more of my life than non-depressed. I wasn’t terribly depressed in elementary school, but I was definitely melancholy/sad. The woods and the rain and the caterpillars were my friends. I had built a fort in the woods near my house, and would hide there.
My proudest times were when unsuspecting walkers would walk the trail past me and never know I was there. The most anxious was when their loose dogs would always sniff me out, and sometimes get the people’s attention. At the same time, I liked the visiting dogs. They knew, you know.
Later, my path to the hiding spot became too worn, because these two particular neighbor dogs kept visiting me and they always came up the same way. I would walk around and around in the woods to try and get them used to a different path and throw “people” off, but no. I couldn’t hide there then, because it felt too exposed due to the dogs’ path.
I spent a lot of time there. I know I sometimes wrote sad poems out there. I don’t really remember what else I did. Probably I day dreamed most of the time. That’s what I did most of my childhood anyway, was daydream.
I day dreamed so deeply that people could be talking directly to me and I’d be completely unaware. They could say my name and everything and I would still be lost somewhere in my head.
The book I most identify with is “House of Stairs” by William Sleator (not the plot itself, just a particular character was Was Me Back Then). I hadn’t read the book until middle school, but I knew immediately. If you read that, you’ll know exactly where I was mentally and ashamedly, even what my daydreams were about. I made my high school counselor read that. I don’t think she understood. On the other hand, she kept asking me if I’d had any childhood abuse and I kept saying no, because at the time, I didn’t know it was considered abuse. But I still don’t think she understood the point I was trying to make about my character in that book.
This is so horrible to admit, because my parents are so full of love and they’re great, but yet I was quite sad as a child– that’s how I’ll excuse this: But I used to fog up my window in the back seat and write “help me” signs to the other cars. Sometimes I would press my palm up by the words. Nobody ever responded. At some point, I realized my words would be backwards for the other people, but writing backwards got no response, either. Just as well.
Actually, I spent a ton of time hiding under my bed and also behind a particular couch. No more details.