Close your eyes. Hold your intention to find a memory that disturbs you the most. Breathe deeeeeeeep and releeeeeeease. Relaaaaaxx!

While for many of us, these would be a fleeting reel, for me this is a looooong tortuous tape. Really long, so long that if I dig deeper into them any further, I could create multiple movies about them. Wait! That’s not a bad idea 😀

It’s an exercise I’ve been prescribed and trust me, even without knowing what I’d do with these memories, I have performed the visualization way too many times to maintain count. They are my dreams, my subconscious, my anger, my disappointment, my source of energy, my inspiration and they affect every minute of my life.

  1. Fade in. Single storied house in a silent society, surrounding by luscious garden on all sides. The crickets are creaking and every rustle is audible. It’s 10:30 of a dark, silent night and the kids are asleep in the last room of the house. The father is out doing what he does best – earning a living. The red night-lights are on. There is a certain haze across the dining hall that connects to all the other rooms along with the alley that leads to the kids’ room. The sons are about 8 and 9 years old. The elder son wakes up. He has to tinkle. He slowly opens the door to his room and steps out only to hear some noises from the other bedroom. Scared as he normally was of his mother, he sneakily peeks into her room only to see a man unmount from above her. They are whispering something but it is inaudible. He looked closely. HE KNEW THE MAN. He was the neighbor. A father of 3 kids, 2 of whom were his best friends then. The kid never knew what to make of it and returned to his tinkling. Came out of the bathroom, closed the door and slept. He never ever discussed that night with anyone until his college when he first discussed it with his brother who, as it turned out, failed to slay any demons about the incident. I am that elder kid. I’ve forever tried to reason with myself to help myself understand that night, a night full of deceit and resulted in numerous unanswered questions. Why did that happen? Was it my fault in any way? Was my father the reason? Is my mother to be trusted? Is my father to be trusted? Why did I never discuss it with my father? Is it my fault to have never discussed it with my father? How could my brother brush it aside so easily? Or is it just that I’m extra sensitive? Is it that that particular incident led me to being so different sexually and in gender? Did it make me mature very early? How does one process that night? I am somehow still caught at that very moment looking at that red light bulb and that blankness has now turned into hurt. It hurts because I find it difficult to believe another human now. I’m mature. I’m intelligent. I’m sensitive. I respect humans the way my parents never did, still don’t and probably never will. But nothing helps me get past that incident. I’m seeking spiritual help to forgive and forget but the scars flare up every time I talk with my mother or every time my parents conjure up a scheme that reeks of distrust. The distrust is the result of me opposing them at every pivotal moment of my life as I am an out and out rebel. I now understand I don’t trust them either. The only person I have trusted is my ex-wife but even she wasn’t able to help me get past that hurt. She says, whenever I talk, she only sees that child who couldn’t cry standing right under that red bulb and who stuffed his heart with what would be boulders that are extremely heavy to lift or move. I think I can’t ever tell them the hurt they’ve caused me and the issues I’m facing and explaining it to anyone else only leads me to a familiar path of disappointment of the issue still remaining unresolved.
  2. I am often teleported to the instance I was slapped hard by one of the school helpers. That was the first of the only 2 times I have ever flunked school. And I was the same age as above. I unshackled the heavy unguarded school gate, stepped out, immediately felt lighter even while I was crying uncontrollably and started walking. I somehow remembered the way to my home which was about 13-14 kilometers away. I crossed my favorite eateries, railway tracks, bus stand, hospitals still crying. I was about 2 kms away from home when one of my dads drivers noticed me walking alone by the road side. I had started walking at 12:30 pm and it was about 8:30 pm when they found me. I was taken home where my mom was sobbing, screaming, and yelling. I don’t know what prompted me but I repeated the same thing the very next day, this time unprompted. It felt liberating. I was free. I could make sense. That experience remains fresh as a daisy in my head and a source for many of my inspirations.
  3. Another memory that pops into my mind is I holding my brothers hand while he was fetching a ball from a pond and leaning heavily into the pond with just my support. We were much older than the previous incident. He picked up the ball, flung it inside on the field, and I, in the haste to have the game started, left his hand and he fell into the pond. Good thing was the pond was shallow, and I could easily pull him out, albeit with him covered waist deep in mud. Another one that pops up is we were playing hit and run with a group. Not sure of what it’s named but basically it needs players being hit with a ball and in one of the phases of the game, my brother became the target of most other players and I could see his pain and anguish thru his anger caused by embarrassment. He was inconsolable and yet persisted even thru his tears. Even I was one of the culprits for his misery. For both these cases, I’ve asked for his forgiveness multiple times and I don’t feel any guilt any more. And yet, somehow, these memories remain.

I’ll share more when the time comes but till then, this is ample food for thought. Then other incidents don’t involve my family and come more from the space of betrayal and lies and societal crap that I never subscribed to.

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