What Stole Your "Innocence" When A Child?
I’ll begin: at the age of 11, while riding in the family car one day, I realized my mortality. That one day I would die. Before that, I just assumed that some people had bad luck and died from accidents and sickness. Too bad for them. With the realization pretty much came the end of my childhood. I went from the carefree existence of just being in the moment, to the birth of introspection, thought and self-reflection. Sucked. Come to think of it, STILL sucks!
I don’t ever remember being innocent, in that life was ever without a care for me. However, I remember becoming scared shitless of religion, and because of that, death, and because of that, life in general. I was 8, and a circuit rider was at our Methodist church, and was calling on kids to come up and be ‘saved’. I came up out of sheer terror, and that terror of Christianity stuck with me until I was 39. Then, thank God, I discovered Orthodoxy, and learned what Christianity really is and was baptized an Orthodox Christian on Pentacost in 2010. My mom and dad’s divorce a few years after I was ‘saved’ was the next devastating thing that happened in my early life. Those two events are what destroyed any idea I’d ever had of feeling safe.
Probably when I realized what the adult world was really like. I mean, none of those things ever affected me directly, but at some point I understood that “society” doesn’t mean well at all, doesn’t try to understand things that run counter to it and doesn’t take suggestions, and is run by people who basically manipulate everyone else with misinformation, competition, addiction, and other divisive tactics, and when that doesn’t work it falls back on coercion through good old fashioned threats of violence, for no higher purpose so that they and theirs can stay on top forever.
However I try not to think of these things now, and just put one foot in front of the other to reclaim my innocence….I think it’s just a state of mind, really. It doesn’t have to end with childhood, you just have to set up your life in such a way to let it back in.
@1love, “when i punched that fucker who thought it was funny to talk shit about my mom.”
Good for you, I know it’s not a very progressive thing for me to say but I wish I’d thrown a few more punches back in the day. I was always worried about getting in trouble though, because I figured then nobody would be on my side anymore. I figured once I started fighting I’d have to fight all the time and wouldn’t be able to just play in peace. And I didn’t want to hurt my parents’ feelings, and while I wasn’t a huge fan of school it at least seemed like teachers meant well. I wished we’d all just be able to get along, but I figured later that some people just don’t want to. Oh well.
@theskafish, its an interesting story how I started fighting since I’m a chill and mellow person ever since I was young and I always hated confrontations. However that was hard back then since I was a chubby kid and having gone to a ‘ghetto’ school, I use to be picked on by my peers badly. I would take those verbal abuse until one day when I was in the 1st grade, a 5th grade girl whooped my ass (i dont remember the reason why). I came home and talked to my mom about it and she negotiated a deal. She said she will give me a piece of chocolate each time I fought back somebody that picks on me (I never start fights, only end them). Having always been the biggest kid, I would land haymakers on kids until I finally got the respect of everyone. After that, life was good for a while until I went to middle school where I had to apply the same process.
So my point is, chocolate saved my childhood.
By the time I was 7 or 8, I had already spent lots of time thinking about death. I woke up one morning, curious of what it was like, so I took my dad’s hunting knife from his cabinet and stood with it aimed at the soft, fleshy space between my ribs, about 2 inches from my heart. Ready to plunge.
I “meditated” with that knife for 10 minutes in the early morning stillness, just thinking about death what it would feel like and what it meant to die.
I concluded that stabbing myself wouldn’t work, since I’d probably pussy out. Death would come sooner or later, and thinking about death should be the business of the dying. I also didn’t want my mom to deal with my death, so I dropped the knife and watched some cartoons.
I was weird.
Not sure how old I was (somewhere between 5-8), but it was when one of my absolute best friend’s father left him. Growing up in a sheltered, loving, Catholic home, this came as a complete shock and wake-up call to me. It really opened my eyes to a lot of the darkness in the world.
@1love, haha I like the way your mom handled that, I wish my parents had told me to punch out a few certain people. I think it’s important to learn when you are young not to take other people’s shit and stand up for yourself, because it helps develop your willpower, and also helps prevent confidence issues later. And unfortunately, at some point you have to learn that some people aren’t nice or trustworthy, it’s a bummer but we have to learn it one way or another. When you get older you have to learn some self-control of course, but sometimes, other people leave you no other choice but to put ’em up.