Escape Hatch No. 1

Disclaimer: If you know you’re easily bored by long stuff, shut your eyes and go read somewhere else :-P.

Brandic- This is distraction no. 1

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Looking back on my younger years has been quite the educational journey for me. I would probably make a very good psychiatrist or therapist, if I put my mind to it, considering what I’ve learned so far. According to my father, I was always a talkative child. If there was an awkward question that a five or six year old could think of, I was definitely the first to ask it. My mother’s side of the family, being full of teachers, ensured that if there was a word I could pronounce, I knew how to spell it and use it. At school, my grades were always those delightful As, A+s and 90s that I no longer strive for. With my chatterbug infection, an infectious smile and “precocious” vocabulary, I was apparently a pretty cute kid. It was somewhere along this time that things started to go dark.

I remember always reading. A lot. By the time I reached primary school (elementary for you Americans), if there was a book around, I read it. Religious, romantic, fairytale, scientific dissertation, didn’t matter to me. I understood them. I would be so engrossed in the words and the pictures they painted, that the only thing that pulled me out of them was bodily removing the source. There was just something so intoxicating about the knowledge, the cultures, the science, even sociology once gripped my attention. I can actually say that by now, I’ve certainly read over a thousand+ books (of course I’ve counted all these little skimpy things people call books nowadays). With books as my choice of shield, the only past I dealt with, was the one the characters experienced. This shield worked really well for a number of years. It was perfect. No real friends to disappoint. No parents to hide “wicked” secrets from. No uncle to remember. No guilt, no shame. Just me and the world of books. Then one day, it broke.

I wish I could remember the name of the book. I just know that it was by Stephen King. I love his work. Unfortunately, it seemed I picked the wrong one that time. How was I to know that the library in the story, unlike the ones I knew, was a place of fear? How was I to know that the main character would flashback into a place similar like mine, meeting a memory he had long ago repressed? It was in that moment, as I confronted the demons of that child, that I lost something. I literally threw the book halfway across the room. I hadn’t even read the lines, the implications were enough. The one place that had been a different world, was now contaminated. It was that year, in third form (9th grade), that a little part of the introvert I had become, was seared painfully. It felt like the last bit of innocence I had left was shattered. https://deenakdrowaln.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/shattered-innocence/ (<—a general idea of my overall feeling, not that moment)

Books, novels in particular, let me be someone else. I literally shifted, adapted into the character of the day. I felt the pain, the excitement, the joy. I lived it. My mannerisms would change, my accent would sometimes change. In my mind, I thought like the character. That was how influential my books were. Being an avid reader of anything and everything, it never occurred to me that I should censor or monitor what I picked up. These books were my escape hatch, they served as the perfect distraction. They were my distraction from the past, and the pressures of the present. They trumped everything, school, homework, studying, developing friendships.

Now that I’m older ( well, almost 18 😛 ), I can see that my reaction was not overly dramatic. At the time, I felt like an idiot for being so sensitive. Now I fully understand the world my books created. I get there importance.

Kadeen Nichelle Oksana Waldron

June 20, 2012.

 

20 thoughts on “Escape Hatch No. 1

  1. Wow, thank you so much for your eloquent and detailed answer. I can relate in some ways. I remember that I was an avid reader as a child. I remember the summer before sixth grade, when I was going to start a new school, receiving a “suggested summer reading list” in the mail. It included about 50 books, and it was recommended that we read some of the books on the list. I read each and every one. I couldn’t tell you what most of them were (I, sadly, have an awful memory), but I remember just eating those books up. Somewhere along the way, my voracious appetite for reading seemed to fall by the wayside. I think my life turned exceptionally dark and cold, and I gave up all I things I was passionate for. My love and passion for life was taken away, and with it went my close relationship with reading. We now have an amiable relationship – I’ve worked very hard at rebuilding passion, love, and hope in my life again, but it’s definitely been damaged. Perhaps one day I will read again as I once did.

    Thank you for sharing that part of yourself. 🙂

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    • It was my pleasure. You’ve helped clear a few of the cobwebs in my head. 😀 As for my reading nowadays, well, I don’t seem to enclose myself as much anymore. I’m glad you’re finding your interests again!

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      • It sounds like that experience was a very difficult event in your life that stripped you of something that had provided such a source of escape and comfort. I’m sorry for that. Reading should be a place of safety and bring us joy. I’m sorry that that experience made it so that that world(s) in which you had inhabited didn’t feel safe anymore.

        “I’m glad you’re finding your interests again!”
        Thank you 🙂

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      • Well, I learned from it. So the experience wasn’t wasted, and I’m still a book worm. Just that I read Facebook, yahoo, texts, tweets and twitter, and my ibooks more often than paperbacks 😀 And best for last, WordPress!!!

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      • It wasn’t by choice dear Brandic. It was a compulsion based on my inability to prove that mangoes are better than Cotton Candy, I mean Sugar Clouds 😉

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      • Your efforts are sadly in vain, dear friend. I think those girls are under the Sugar Clouds spell and their thinking defies all logic. I have yet to find a secret to breaking the spell. Meanwhile, I’m quite happy here in Mango Land. I can eat all the mangos I like, and no one will even try to take them from me (since apparently they are so “repulsive!”) 😉

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  2. Your experience sounds similar to mine. All though mine came after a week locked in an institution with crying women. I think stress was a trigger for me. But I do recall wanting to take that memory and discard it.

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