You would think after 33 years, I would be full of memories, right? There should have been any number happy memory for me to look back on.But apparently, I’m not. I’ve been scrambling my brain over the last day trying to think of pleasant or happy memories from when I was a child. I can remember a few things. I had a reasonably good childhood after all. I can remember the odd birthday party with ice cream birthday cake, some funny Christmas day moments. A water fight with my oldest brother where he cheated by grabbing his camera so that I couldn’t throw the bucket of water over him. The Christmas that our family dog, Sasha, ate all the chocolates off the tree that she could reach while we were eating lunch and left a ring of silver wrappers around the base. Trips to the roller skate rink or the little local cinema to watch Pippi Longstockings when they still had intermissions.
But for some reason, all my happy memories as a child seem to be glossed over and vague. They leave me with a pleasant feeling but there is nothing tangent. Nothing in sharp recollection. What does seem to stand out in my memories with sharp focus is the negative memories. The ones where my other brother plays a part. Every moment where he took his temper out on me stands out in my memories. They overshadow the happy ones. That same Christmas that Sasha ate the christmas chocolates, is overshadowed by my brother throwing my tray off my seat and taking my seat while I was putting my plate on the bench. Memories of collecting feijoas from the ground under the tree is overshadowed by my brother coming from behind and kicking me hard. Memories of laughing with my bestie and her brother are overshadowed by my brother slapping my face. Memories of riding my bike are overshadowed by my brother throwing a tantrum when I wouldn’t let him use it and smashing my organ/keyboard to pieces.
As much as I would prefer to remember the happy moments in sharp focus and gloss over the negative ones, all I can do is remember the reverse. My happy childhood is overshadowed by the abuse and bullying I suffered at the hands of one psychotic brother.
I sincerely hope that the memories that my children remember most as adults will be the happy ones. Not the negative ones.