The Sandbox

Amnesia, Art, Healing







Again I wake without being woken. Would anyone like the floor?


Hey look.




The sunrise. You can see it coming up through the bathroom window.  

It's glowing orange. It's cold outside.


Yes, it's beautiful.


I love the cold.


Yes. Me too. Can I ask who you are?


I don't know.


You sound like a girl--are you?




Do you come out when it's cold? Do you like the cold?


Yes. I do.


Do you like snow?


(backs away, shakes head)


So you don't like snow?


I love snow. But I don't like to think about it too.


What do you like about snow if I can ask?


You can ask.


Okay--what do you like about it?


It is the prettiest sparkle-y-est castle-y-est stuff in the entire world. It blankets like hot caramel. My house, the streets, the school. It's like someone sprayed whipped cream on top of my whole world. The icicles are mean shaped and fairy tailed! Sometimes we go out and snap icicles that have formed off the roof. Nothing colder than sucking on an icicle. They are so glassy and oh how they reflect the days inside their skinny sharp bodies!


Wow. You do love snow--and ice it sounds like. I agree. There is nothing prettier than a fresh snowfall. I love how it trims the trees. And icicles--thank you for reminding me.


I'm so glad. We both love snow.


So can I ask you another question?




You said you don't like to think about snow either. Can I ask why?


My stomach feels like it is crying.


Yeah, me too. But do you know why?


I don't like when it is sunny and snowy. I do not like sunshine.


Any idea why not? Most people love the sun.


It hurts. The sun hurts me.




It is sunny when I get hurt.


Do you know who hurts you?


I think it is Z.


Does your father hurt you when it's sunny?


I don't think so. I think it is dark but I am really not sure. I am little.


So tell me more about Z if you can?


It is afternoon. And I know if I am alone with him it will happen.


What will happen?


The Times. You know the times when I go away I think I go away I think  

I go away.


Can you remember anything during those times--like what happens before  you go away? Or right as you go away? Can you remember for me?


It is sunny. Snow piled up outside. SomeTimes we do not even have to go school. SomeTimes Bob is with us and we do things like clean the  

house for mom and then he takes us to eat something.


So when Bob is there you're okay?


Not always. It can be bad then too. Then I watch and feel so bad because he tries and helps but he gets hurt too.


Is it better to be protected or to get it yourself?


Get it myself. I can't stand to see my brother hurt. I hate it more than anything. Times five thousand I want to be the one who gets hurt.


That's brave of you.


No it's not. Because I can go away and he can't.


Okay, so you can go away--can you tell me more about this. Can you describe a sunny day during the times that this was happening?


I can try.


Okay, good.


It is afternoon. But I can't remember if it is early afternoon or later. But I hate late morning a lot for some reason. It is very sunny. So clear my head hurts. The snow is reflecting so hard it feels sharp, like it cuts my eyeballs. The TV is on I think. We are upstairs. We are downstairs. We are everywhere because this is not one  

memory it is many I think. Bob is there. And he isn't. There are so many memories. I watch Bob but hard to describe because it hurts a lot but he throws Z down hard onto a very very hard floor and his head smacks and I can hear it crack. Lots and lots of blood sometimes, roses out his nose all the time. Bob has Z down and makes him promise to stop and he does but he never really does. He never really does. He never really does. He will choke me until I am a big person. Bob's words are no  match for Z's weather.


Are your parents anywhere?




Is your oldest brother anywhere?


He might be somewhere but he remains uninvolved but we know he knew.


Can you see more--can you see how you go away?


I can't breath sometimes. Sometimes I just hurt. My arm hurts from being twisted so hard and I look up to the tiles on the ceiling and put my confidence in them that the twisting won't snap the whole arm off. Sometimes I just wait until the storm passes. Sometimes I am there if it's not too bad. Sometimes I just become the weather outside. Or sparkles in a jewelry box. And when it gets real bad which is mostly always I put on my Someone Else suit. I pick people and I think that I am them--I am anyone else but me--and it feels so good to think this way. I imagine all the time. All the time. I put on my Someone Else suit and I am really sad and happy because I imagine but I know it is just a suit too. 


I remember this as well. How long do you do this for?


Oh, we do this for forever. You do it now even but not as much.


Does this interfere with things? Does anyone notice?


Oh no. I am a good hider. And people want to not notice so it's easy!  

I got caught only once---a sixth grade teacher called my parents and said I daydream all the time--that I'm not really there. But nothing happened. Phew!


Do you remember if there was anyone in particular you liked to be when you put on your Someone Else suit?


Other kids.






Characters in books?


Yes! I would go home for lunch. I would be alone and I would read a book while I ate lunch and pretended I was in the book.


Was it sunny when you went home?


Yes. It was late morning or noon.


Did this hurt inside?




Why? Do you know why?


I was all alone.


So you didn't hurt because someone was hurting you in this circumstance.


Right! I would go home for lunch and make soup and I would eat the whole can and I would read and I would want so so so so bad to be inside the book that it would hurt.


Do you know why you hurt?


No one was home. My mom left.


Where did she go?


She went to work when I was five. She left.


Did you miss her?




So that really hurt?




So the sunny snow days are ones you associate with being hurt by Z hurting you but maybe they also remind you of eating soup alone and trying as hard as you could to live inside books? Does that seem to fit?


I think so. My stomach is so full from soup it hurts really bad. No one is telling me how much to eat so I keep eating and I hurt.


Why do you like cloudy days?


Because it's like the weather is saying we are friends.


Do you mean that you and the weather are similar?




Okay, that makes total sense. We are friends with things that we are comfortable with, right?




Okay, so I don't know your name but I want to thank you for raising your hand this morning and for speaking.