Childhood Trauma

When I was six years old, I wanted a Batman toy.

Well, maybe I wasn’t six. Maybe I was younger. But it was a long time ago, and this Batman toy was literally the coolest thing I’d ever seen. It had Batman, and Bane, and Robin, and a bunch of cool accessories. If you were me when I was very young, you would have wanted this toy, too. You would have begged and begged like I did, told your parents, “I don’t care what else I get for Christmas. I just want this one toy.” You would have begged, and cried, and written Santa sixteen wishlists if you were me, because I know I did.

And on Christmas Day, when you opened presents and the Batman toy wasn’t there, you would have been heartbroken, because I know I was.

“Shelby,” my mother told me, “the Batman toy isn’t real. I think you made it up.”

“No,” I said, “it is real! It is so real, you guys!” And then I probably did something excessively dramatic, like trying to run away from home because my parents don’t love me. When you’re six years old, you have a tendency to do things like that. I sure as hell did.

In retrospect, however, I am now fairly certain that the Batman toy never existed at all. I think I did make it up. But it wasn’t until recently that I came to this conclusion. For the longest time I was convinced that I was somehow a horrible child whose parents didn’t love him enough to get him the Batman toy he so desperately wanted, and that changed me. I latched on to this idea and I carried it with me everywhere I went.

Sometimes perceived truths can be more powerful than actual truths, and the smallest things can garner the largest reaction and the most feelings of self-worthlessness.

~~La Stranezza

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3 thoughts on “Childhood Trauma

  1. You laid that out well. I had the same “all hope is lost” type feelings when I didn’t get as much as I wanted. All I could remember throughout my teens and twenties were the times my Dad said no to me whenever I wanted something purchased. Some of the times, I wonder if it affected my ability to express desire. Some of the times, I think that if I did get everything I wanted, I would be a spoiled brat right now. Some of the times, I think that I would’ve had to work my way through either mental malady my Dad chose to impose on me by now, and I’d probably end up in the exact same place I’m in now regardless.

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