Learning To Love You More




Assignment #14
Write your life story in less than a day.

Charlotte M
Email Charlotte



I don't remember when I was born. I went to see a psychatrist a couple years ago and before even inquiring about what had brought me into her office, she asked if I remembered anything about my birth, overlooking the fact that I was experiencing what I felt was a fatal pannic attack and wasn't in the mood to discuss inexistant memories. I was tempted answer "Well, I was quite young so it's kinda blurred in my mind" but decided against it. Instead, I got up and walked out. All I know is that I was born on December 25th 1982, 2 months before everyone expected me... us, because I have a twin sister. The first recollection I have is of my little cousin and I playing in a park and he threw sand into my eyes. I can still picture my mom running to my rescue. I must have had glasses even back then. Maybe it was because my sister was spared and that I always felt inferior to her, but I hated having to wear glasses. Or maybe I just hated myself. I had a squint and the doctor figured that putting rubber scotch on the right lens would help fix it, which it never did, it just managed to aggravate my insecurities. Of my earliest days, I have few memories that pop up in my head but I'd be unable to sort them out in chronological order. I remember going to school, where my mom taught, and being terrified of the big unknown world unfolding before me as pictures attest. My sister and I clung to each other as if we were scared that someone was going to swallow us whole or something. Towards the age of 5, something that eludes me now must have happened, because what used to be just a regular controllable fear turned into an overwhelming sense of pannic as soon as my mom wasn't around. I had to be in the same room as her or else I'd burst into tears and wail until her reassuring figure would come back. I have vivid memories of me crying my heart out because my mom had sneaked off to visit the neighbor, and I had to be alone with my sister for a few minutes. I went to see a shrink, but as chance would have it it was a man, and staying in a room with a grown up man, a potential threat (it's men I was the most frightened of), for more than a second was beyond me. Thinking back on it, I must have put my mom through hell, and I wasn't the happiest kid either. My father worked across the country from where we lived. He just came back once every fortnight and always made sure to bring us kids a video, to make up for his absence maybe. One of them was Mary Poppins, which I still quote or refer to a disturbing number of times per week. Across the street from us lived an old woman whom we (Marie - my sister - and I) regarded as our grandmother. Or Marie did at least, cause even though I liked her she scared me. But then again, I was scared of everything. Then we moved to Lyon to join my dad. It's a beautiful human sized town somewhere in southern France, but it sticks out as a bad era for some reason. I couldn't step outside when I lived surrounded with fields, so being thrown into a frantic city with strangers everywhere didn't help ease my fears. Thank Goodness my sister was there, I don't know wether I would have survived without her to hold my hand and comfort me. I always looked up to her, she seemed so much stronger and advanced than me, poor little me who had to make drawings for the shrink to analyze every week. We had a beautiful two storied apartment (I think my parents had money back then) and my sister and I had a big room for each one of us, with creaky wooden floors and a window that overlooked both the sonne and the rhone, the two rivers that merge in Lyon. But after a few weeks spent in our separate rooms, communicating through walkie talkies at night, we agreed to share one together like we had always done until then. We were bored in our spacious rooms. We stayed there for a year and for a reason that's always puzzled me moved back to where we came from. I guess my fears faded with time, they never disappeared and are still there even as I type this as a matter of fact, in the back of my mind, dormant but liable to wake up anytime, but I learned to tame them and live. I loved school. I was brilliant and spent my time reading everything I could lay my hands on. It must have been hard for my sister though, because stupid teachers tend to compare siblings, and she was a bit slower, or I suspect just felt like she couldn't shine with me always there to overshadow her. I remember that I hated meat (I'm a vegetarian) and the woman in charge of the school restaurant forced me to finish everything in my plate, which always ended with me in tears and punished. My sister cried, out of compassion I guess, because even though we've always been very very different we do have a bond as twins, and my torturer told her she shouldn't worry about me because I didn't care about her. Bitch. Then we moved to Avignon, even further down south than Lyon. The reason behind this move I think was my mom's urge for change. I remember she cried one evening - the first time I ever saw her cry - and the next day we started hunting for a new place to live in. I hated Avignon. I missed my friends and my sheds in the woods. But the nightmare didn't last too long because a year later we were back in Paris. I can see a pattern... Now that's when things really began to fall apart. My dad hadn't been living with us in Avignon and when we came back we found out he had been fired and had taken up drinking (even though, thinking back, he always did, but this time I became aware of it, it was hard not to). My mom, because of that, unless that's what prompted my dad's fall, turned to religion and became a different person. I still miss my "old mom" from time to time, even though I guess she's happier now. She started going to church every day, and the closer she rose the lower we sunk. Bills piled up, we ran out of money, I started having pannic attacks... Come to think of it, the situation hasn't changed much since. Except that my sister left home a couple months ago, I always knew she'd be the first to go. We're different. When something's wrong, she breaks free and I break down. Someday I'll gather my courage and make the big move too. Meanwhile, I brood over memories of a time long gone. I just feel like I'll never be able to move on until I've delt with my past that takes up too much room in my mind... that's why I'm trying to write a book I guess, to be able to write "the end" at the bottom of a page and start living.