This post is the hardest I may ever write. So much so that I thought, right until I opened my post-writing thing, about not writing it. Who’d care about my life story? Who’d care about me, when they got so many files to manage, so many balls to juggle, and so on? So, let’s take that walk way down memory lane. It may be a bumpy ride.
Here it goes.
At birth, I came to this earth with the usual body parts and with an unwanted gift: the Crouzon syndrome (for reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crouzon_syndrome). If being a kid is a challenge, being a kid with a defect is a fucking nightmare. At daycare, I couldn’t close my eyes, since my eyelids couldn’t close, easily. Come Halloween time, I may have avoided wearing costumes, some years, as I was already hideous. Needless to say, I shared many things with the walls, as a kid. It is said that kids don’t always think before saying or doing anything. My past incarnation can vouch for that. I can vouch for that.
One particular story (the core of this post and the main reason why I didn’t want to write it, in the first place) happened in the second grade. A kid laughed at me, the way kids usually do. Yet, that was like the last straw, the final blow. I had enough. I came home that day and cried as if someone planted 10 knives in me. My dad saw that and wondered what was wrong. I couldn’t hide that monstrosity, so I told him. My dad is both the smartest man I know and the man with the deadliest verbal blows I’ve ever seen, in my life. So, my dad told me that if ever either that choirboy or any other kid decided that they’d laugh at me, it was necessary for me to defend myself, by any means necessary. In retrospect, he may have meant “use your words”, or something. The next day, the same kid did the same thing to yours truly. Yet, that time, I had enough. I grabbed him by the neck with all of the might I didn’t have and shook, as hard as I could. Legend had it that if the teacher didn’t intervene, he’d be a relic of the past.
That adult intervention was a thing of beauty. Here’s why. Like always, I ended up in the principal’s office (don’t recall if my “aggressor” was there, too.) and they said they’d call my parents. Remember when I wrote that my father had deadly verbal blows, a few sentences earlier? Well, he tore a new one to the teacher, that day. Let it be known that I don’t usually condone violence for violence’s sake, but desperate calls need desperate measures, and this was one of them. That was the essence of my dad’s speech, that day. From that day on, I had no other incidents to report. People still didn’t play (or rarely played) with me, and I began to grow in my own environment, which I may never leave.
From a physical viewpoint, I no longer have the same defect (thanks to 7 surgeries, last I checked), but the impact it left, on my psyche, is far more deep and hard to erase. I barely make eye contact (or sometimes), whenever I’m talking to someone and I tend to avoid looking at people, whenever I’m on the street. That’s a burden I will have to carry, until the day I die.