The Sandbox

Amnesia, Art, Healing

Note: This entry pre-dates the Sandbox. The Children were voices I began to hear in the fall of 2013. Precocious, all around seven years of age, uncountable in number, they came to me, anxious to answer any questions that I might have about my growing up, a childhood that was mostly not well understood, mostly cloaked beneath a veil of amnesia.

I found this entry years later and was initially embarrassed by it. With time I see that The Children had many things right. I ended up burying this transcript beneath, quite literally, seven thousand pages. 


I wake up a few times in the middle of the night and ask questions to  see if I can get more answers. 

I ask why the boy likes girls, where it comes from. They tell me the same thing they told me yesterday: the pain is equal to the passion which runs a thousand miles wide and deeper even yet. I ask if the system was born this way or if something happened to make it like girls.  They say they do not know. 

I ask if any of them are sexual and they say yes, very. They are all young so I wonder about this. But they insist. Weird, I know but this what they say and what I transcribe. They say they've been masturbating "forever." I ask if  there's anything else and there is silence. I ask again and they say  they don't know.

They say that the boy is also a girl. Although not always they say if they like someone the boy becomes sexual and wants her.

I ask why, why always sexual and they say they don't know. I ask again. They say they think that sex equals control and possession. I ask where they got this idea from. One says she knows that sex is very powerful, that her father's attraction to her equals power. 

I ask why there is no attraction to men. 

They don't know. 

I ask if they are missing an important woman, if they all miss her and if the boy is  trying sexually to capture her. 

They say it is NOT the mother, that they hate the mother, but they would like someone new. They say that there is desire not for that mother but for a different one. They think the current mother is disgusting and ugly. They do not want to have any children for fear any would resemble her. 

They know about it, they are sad about it, they feel very sad about it and do not like to speak of it. I ask if there are representatives past second grade  and they do not know.

I say I  don't remember Z much at all then and they say he continued hurting us until mostly that final major fight where he rips earrings from our ear holes, when we are twelve or thirteen and run away out of the house. 

I say I am upset at how blank things are and they say maybe it's best this way but they will tell me more if I want. They say to remember the time I went running in the snow, the streetlights showing off the sparkles at night, a thousand tiny,  silent diamonds. They say to remember that instead.

They tell me I hated myself. They tell me I had not one ounce of  interest in boys. They tell me I never went to a dance or had a boyfriend or any of it. They tell me I had no awareness or connection  or idea of the abuse. I ask what happened to my memory of the abuse and they say  they don't know but they are sure of it. They say I was choked a lot.  They say I was not scared after a while because I went away. 

Who was  there then? 

They don't know--not them. They say whoever it was must come and speak to me directly.

They say that my oldest brother insults me, dismisses me. They say I admire him but he is very mean to me. He never hits me, he just makes me feel bad with words. My second oldest brother tries to protect me some times and is good to me. And my third oldest brother Z hurts me with his body but I feel he loves me too. He may love me the most because he knows me the best, He knows me because he hurts me all the time so he knows what hurts where and exactly at what point a finger will no longer bend, where a back will no longer bend anymore either.  It is an intimacy that I accept, that I internalize as being somehow normal.

They tell me Z gets a huge pass for everything because he was the most attuned to me, he was the most attention I got. In a reverse way, Pete is like him except Pete is loving towards me. But Pete's attentiveness is as intense as Zok's was.

I ask them if there was anything sexual with Z and they say no. But that I loved him. I ask why I loved him if he beat me and they say I  did not know anything else and it was my impression that this was love--maybe. I ask why I want to cry and they say because it is very bad what happened and you feel bad for both of you. You and Z. 

I ask if I will  find anyone who will tell me more about the coma, the amnesia and they say they do  not know but that they hope there are representatives who will come  forth.

I ask these little ones why now, why did they decide to come out and talk now? 

They say they like the therapist. That she has good intentions. I ask why it took this long to recognize this. They say it  takes time with complex systems like this. Did she do something in  particular? They do not know. I ask again. They say she is listening  with all senses. I ask what this means and they say they feel her in the universe and it is safe on all counts.

I ask why they always answer as a team. And they say they just come that way. I say why do you just come this way. They say that they are cuter in a pack. I laugh. I ask again. They say the  obvious potential answer would be for protection but that they really don't know. I ask if I will be able to do one on one interviews and  they look at each other and laugh and nod and say yeah, maybe that would be fun.

I ask if they will stick around or if they will dissipate and they say they don't know. They encourage me to ask now, anything, that they won't be offended and will do their best. I am amazed at their cooperation and I thank them. They say sure.

I look up and realize it has been 45 minutes and I was supposed to shake Pete awake for a job but I was in a trance of sorts. I snap out of it and wake him up and he's okay, he won't miss his job.

I will hit send now.