I looked out the window of the attic and saw the clouds turn gray and the trees moving in the uncontrollable lashing of the wind. My heart began to race, and the sound of my fast beating heart filled my head. At that moment, I knew that something was wrong. Really wrong.
My mom seems to know what I feel whenever I need her to. And yeah, I do get irritated and frustrated with her sometimes, but don’t we all? I never really cared enough to actually listen, but this… this was different. When she was talking. I felt calm. I was perfect until it came again.
I could not breathe and my body decided to shake uncontrollably like a rattlesnake’s tail. My head was pounding, and for some reason, I wanted to go to sleep. These episode things were changing my life and not for the better. I tried to explain how I felt, but I could not find the right words, and nobody understood me. Not even my mom.
After learning that these episode things were going to continue for a long time, I began to hate everything and everyone. My mom told me that the more I think about the ‘thing’ happening, the worse and more frequent they would come. So, I began thinking of all my different memories that were made with my friends, which were not a lot. I could not remember many memories, but it was probably because I was all worked up and everything.
My favorite memory was made just a few days ago. It was when my best friend, Georgia, laughed so hard on a rollercoaster at Six Flags that she peed her pants and had nowhere to go. Usually, I burst out laughing when I think about that, but not today. It seemed like nothing could make me happy. My mom said this stupid thing all the time to me and it was “memories for centuries”. She said that memories will stay with me forever, but I never believed her because my memories just disappear after a week or so.
The storm outside began to fade, and the clouds were no longer gray. The trees no longer whipped in the wind. For everything was finally not falling apart. At that moment, I saw how beautiful the sky could be. This taught me that, even after a storm, a rainbow was going to show, and everything would return to its natural beauty. Now everytime I have an episode, I remember that the rainbow is just on the other side and the storm will fade away.
After my moment of realization, I walked through life a little more confidently. That was, until I learned about my past and what my parents did to “protect” me.
I began to cry uncontrollably when my mom explained my past. Parents are always going to be protective of their children, and I definitely knew that, but what my parents did to me when I was younger ruined who I was. It took away my past. My identity. My childhood.
Now, before I tell you what they did, I must explain something. My family is not a normal family. No. We are not superhumans or anything. I come from a long line of kings and queens, so we are very wealthy. Everyone in my town thinks that our lives are pretty and perfect, but we have our ups and downs as well.
This conversation with my mom came up when I realized my memories were only from a few days ago. Why could I not remember anything or anyone from my childhood? As soon as I asked my mom that exact question, she froze.
As I stared at her, I was filled with anger and sadness because I knew she had something to tell me. She stood frozen for another moment and then came back to earth. I repeated the question to make sure she heard me.
We then sat on my bed and she began explaining things about which I already knew. She went on and on about the same things.
“And...are you even listening to me?” My mom asked me with a tone of pure frustration.
Of course I wasn’t listening. Why should I listen? I already knew everything she was explaining, so I just zoned out. It is like listening to one song over and over again. It gets annoying, but I cannot tell her that.
“Yes mom, I hear you.” I was not lying when I said this. I could hear her. I just was not listening to her.
“Good, so I was saying that your father… um, well he did not die from a heart attack. You killed him three years ago.”
Frozen. I stood frozen. Shivers shot up my spine like a rocket taking off. My mom tried to comfort me and tell me that everything was okay, but it wasn’t. Nothing was okay.
So many questions began to swirl like a tornado in my head.
“Mom, why can I not remember anything? Why, why would I kill him. Why would I kill someone so important to me?” I did not care anymore about being respectful because I was infuriated and just wanted answers. I wanted to know who I really was.
My mom wanted to leave the room. I could see it in her eyes, but I could not be left alone with nothing but my thoughts.
My friends and family said they understood what I was saying and knew exactly what I was going through, but they do not know. If they knew what I was going through, then why don’t they help me? Why don’t they tell me how to handle it? Why don’t they tell me exactly what it is that I am going through?
It seemed like everybody had the same secret. Everybody knew what was “wrong” with me, but nobody cared to tell me.
“Mom, tell me now? Why do I have no memories?” I was really getting irritated at this point and did not care if I was being disrespectful or anything.
“Ok, come and have a seat. Now, just remember that I did not do this to hurt you.”
My mom tried to act like she has only ever been supportive and loving, but that was not going to work. I knew that she was trying to change the subject, and I was not going to let it slide.
“Just tell me, mom!”
My mom sat for another moment. Thinking. And thinking. Finally, she began to speak.
“Sweetheart, I...we. Your father and I did this to help and protect you from the world. We took away your memories. You only remember things that occurred a few days ago. Then, they leave your mind. We did this to help you get over your past.”
I hated her. Wanted her gone. She did not even feel like my real mom, and I was right.
“My past? What is so bad about my past?”
“Honey, you are adopted. You had a very bad family. They hurt you physically and mentally. We tried to get you to see a counselor, but it did not work. You had severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from what you saw and what you experienced.”
“But, why did you take away my memories? I need to know why you did that!” My emotions began to take over me. I was angry. Sad. Irritated. Dead. She was dead. Their feelings...dead. She felt nothing. Did not care about what I thought. Her soul was dead.
Her answer was not good enough for me. I needed more. I needed to know her thought process. I needed to know everything.
“Maria, listen to me.”
That was the first time she called me by my real name. I think. I can not remember. No surprise. I can not remember because she took away my ability to have memories. For all the people who have memories, do not take them for granted. Not knowing where you come from is terrible
“We decided to take your memories away because you were not getting better. We thought it would help you.”
“Why did you think that was going to help? Now, because of you, I don't know where I come from and have no positive memories. Memories stay alive for centuries? They do only for people who have parents that let them have memories! How long did you wait after you adopted me to take away my memories?”
“Maria, we took them away just a week after you came into our lives because we could not stand to see you living in fear.
“A week? Are you serious? You expected everything that was bad to just go away after one week? It does not work like that mom!” The anger that had been stored inside me was finally ready to come out.
“I know now and I am sorry for not giving you more time. I just could not stand to see you in pain.”
“So you decided to just take away everything I had!? You thought it was better to see me live a life without having all of the joy that comes with memories?”
“It was to help you Maria!”
“But it is my body! My mind! My memories! You had no right to change me! My mind is mine to control, not yours!”
I had won. My mom knew that I was right. She did and still does not have the right to change me.
She slowly stood up and glanced at me with a look of sadness. She was ashamed.
“Don’t stay up too late. It is a school night.”
I was so confused because we just had a big fight and she is acting like nothing even happened.
“Wait. What was dad like?”
She stood there in my doorway like a statue. Still and quiet.
“Well, he was very brave and kind. He always did what was best for you and...are you okay?”
Again? Not again. My body was no longer in my control. My head was pounding and my heart was racing. This was no episode, this was them. My memories were trying to come back alive. That is when I figured it all out.
“Mom, they are coming out. You did not take them away, you tried to kill them. But, memories stay alive for centuries. My memories are still alive and they are going to escape!”
She did not respond. Not one word. Was it my fault? Can I control it? I could control it. I felt it beginning to happen again, but I stopped it. I kept my memories in. That is when it hit me. My father was a good man and I loved him very much. He was not hurting me or bad to me. He did nothing to make me want to kill him. I was having another attack or whatever it is and got out of control and bang… he was gone. Erased from my life. I killed my father on accident all because of my mom. My mom is the reason I killed my father.
I know it sounds crazy but if you think about it, my mom did make me kill my father. She tried to kill my memories, which gave me these attacks that made me out of control. If she had not tried to kill my memories, I would have never had these attacks and would have never killed my father. If. I hate that word. If only it happened that way. IF only. That word tricks your mind into thinking it is not your fault. Makes your mind believe things could have been better If something happened differently. It deceives you. It gets you feeling good and innocent until you realize that it did not happen that way.
“Mom, I did not kill him. You did. You tried to blame me for your mistakes but I… I REMEMBER.”
I did remember. I remember looking into my father's dead eyes and apologizing. My memories were finally back. I was a normal kid with memories… but I have bad memories. My memories tell me my past which, as my mom said, is horrifying.