(note: this is an answer to a Plinky promt, “Start the first chapter of your memoir”)
Where to start? Do I start at birth? No, since it’s a memoir shouldn’t it be about what I remember? I don’t remember my birth or most of the twelve years that followed.
Sometimes, when I say that to people, they are amazed and ask me if I had a troublesome childhood. I think that is a bit of a stupid question, since I just stated I lack memory of it. But no, my childhood wasn’t awe-full, bad, or even sad. It was as normal as any I guess.
We lived in a nice house, my parents and my big brother. Later my younger brother was born and he was the most perfect boy you can imagine, little fingers and little toes and a smile to make your heart fill with all the love in the world. Me and my brothers all differ about eight years in age, which suited me fine. It was like being an only child with siblings, just enough years to torment and protect one another. Just enough years to ignore each other completely and to give each other good advice.
When my parents separated I felt nothing but relief, with my fifteen years I was aware enough to see that this was a chance for both my parents to be happy again, instead of leading unhappy separated lives together.
My older brother didn’t agree, he blamed my mother for not trying I think. But he hadn’t noticed how she tried for three years and that it broke her. He hadn’t noticed my fathers inability to change or compromise. He hadn’t noticed that with our mother being as unhappy as she was the whole house was unhappy, especially my younger brother and I.
My younger brother was too young to be much aware or maybe even to remember.
So mom moved out, taking my younger brother to live with her, while he kept spending the weekends at dads. My older brother stayed with dad and I, well I moved between the two homes every other week.
I kept this up for about a year and then I was tired and, having come to the conclusion that spending a week with mom for more than a few days at a time was a guarantee for troubles, I asked the one teacher I always had arguments with for advice. I guess I knew he would be honest and wouldn’t come with that bullshit of doing what feels right, because that was my whole problem. I had no idea what to do and what would feel right. I didn’t want to disappoint my mother but I didn’t want to be in this constant war either.
All my teacher said was “can you live at your fathers house and would you want to?”
The decision was made and from then on I lived with my father and my older brother.
Before living with my dad I never really saw him as such, but things changed one night I went out. After asking him for some money and having bargained for a comfortable curfew, I was walking down the stairs and he called after me: “watch out for scary men! Oh and…. I love you!”
It was one of the happiest moments in my life, my father became my dad.
And around the same time because me and mom weren’t couped up together so much my relationship with her became so much better. Suddenly we could talk, really talk about things. We could discuss our thoughts and our lives, we spend many nights talking about philosophy and religion.
I came to know my mother as a wise woman, with her own troubles and flaws. And my father as a sensitive and pragmatical man, also with his own troubles and flaws.
I realized my parents were only human.
As a child you view your parents as these super beings that know everything and can do anything.
As a teenager you think your parents are these awful people that don’t understand you and are only in your way. You don’t see that they actually do know and understand what you’re going through and just want to guide you through what seems to be the hardest years of your life. You have no idea that in a few years you will be looking back at that period with a deep sigh, wishing you could go back to that freedom.
Years went by, birthdays came and went, Christmases, New Years, boy friends…
It all went by so fast.
But the funny thing is I’m starting to notice is that years are slowing down and still they go as if they where never there. When I look at old pictures of myself, all the styles and hair colours I went through, I see I have changed but I am still me.
Sometimes I feel that with all the things I already went through I’m old with my 28 young years.
All the things I can’t even write about in my memoirs have shaped me to who I am now and I can honestly say I am proud…