Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Social Insecurity

I am fascinated by memory triggers, those things that bring the feelings back from a past trauma, insecurity, fear, or joy and happiness. There are places I drive by that bring back very bad times in my past. There are scents that carry me back to good and bad times. There are songs that transport me back to high school or college, or other times in my life.

Kristen lives very near a high school, and the corner where you turn to take her kids to school is a gathering place for the type of kids I would never want as my grandgirls' group. They take over the corner, wearing black, smoking, pushing each other around, and intimidating those who need to navigate that corner.
When I am taking the girls to school, I often have to turn that corner.

Two times in my life when I felt very insecure came rushing into my memory, and I could feel the way I felt back in those days.
The first time was in first grade in Arkansas. I was much more shy back then. I was also a very slow eater. We had to walk across the street from the school building to an entirely different building that served as the lunch room. We went by grade, and I was never finished eating when the first graders left; in fact, I was still eating when the sixth graders arrived. That required me to cross the street by myself back to the playground outside the school. I was a good reader, and could certainly read the "STOP" sign, but the sixth grade crossing guard always tried to make me read it before I could cross the street. For some reason, that made me nervous and I did not want to do it. I felt like he was just doing it to show off his "power." At that point, I began rushing through lunch so I could go back with my classmates. That was the beginning of my eating too fast, and I have never learned how to slow down.

The insecurity of my walk to and from school when I lived in northern Minnesota floods back into my body. This town where we lived was a rough place. There were many kids who delighted in pelting other kids with icy snow balls. I was never of a mind to defend myself - I just wanted to disappear from their sight. Fortunately, my sister a year younger than I had a lot more guts. She would actually throw back at them. This school was badly in need of more space, and as a stop-gap measure they instituted a new schedule which alleviated some of the problem. Some went to school from 7:30-2:00, some 8:30-3, and some 9:30-4, if I recall correctly. One year I was the very early shift, and one year the very late. I liked both of them, because it means I walked to school before or after the crowd.

I could write about why I haven't learned to swim, how my fear of heights has affected me, but I would like to hear some of your stories!


Needled Mom said...

Interesting post, Dawn. As I was reading the beginning of it, a memory came back of a hair spray smell. Every time I smell that smell visions of my grandmother come rushing back - all great memories. I don't even know what brand it is.

Karen said...

Oil of Olay reminds me of my mom. It's evokes an indescribable combination of every good, safe, loved emotion a person could have.

grammy said...

Oh dear...I have to come back and write more later (o:
Wanted to tell you that Gram said to give you her address she is not sure why or how it disappeared (o:

Michelle-ozark crafter said...

Yes, many things do trigger memories for me as well.

nancygrayce said...

I have both good and bad triggers. The smell of Estee Lauder youth dew always reminds me of my mama and her sister. (they wore a tad too much!)

I actually was also intimidated by a crossing guard at school once and he lived in our neighborhood. I don't think I like him to this day. Only he always threatened to have me sent to the principal and I was deathly afraid of the principal!

Gram said...

Glad you found the blog. I had commented that I have lived in CO all my life and had never heard of Bobcat Ridge and I haven't looked it up yet.

There are certain smells, songs, items that bring back memories of my parents, or trips or milestones. Sometimes it just seems like a memory will come out of nowhere, but if I really think I can pinpoint what triggered it.

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

That's too sad....there are always bullies, no matter what time in life we live. Young ones, old ones, even adult ones. Swim? Oh, I can tell you WHY I never learned!! My older brother by many years [12 to be exact]...speaking of bullies....he threw me in the river we lived near, in Nebraska. I was 5. I nearly drowned. And from then on, I did not like water above my head. But funny thing is...he ended up being my protective brother as years went by and we became the closest of all 5 siblings!! Amazing. I miss him.

And thanks for stopping by yesterday. I always look forward to your visits and comments----

Come back for my Thursday's post if you find time. Link: Get down...get funky with the Righteous Brothers

Have a terrific Thursday!!!

Midlife Mom said...

Interesting post. I too have things that bring back memories good and bad. The smell of crayons takes me back to 1st grade when my teacher who was old and rather grouchy reprimanded me for playing with the crayons in class. Isn't that strange, I have never forgotten it and it is something so silly. Evidently it made an impact at that young age. Also had a bully in that class that threatened to take my crayons from me. I was terrified of him as he was a big kid and came from a very rough home life.

I have been getting caught up on your posts since I was away. The outing with the children looks like so much fun! What a great place for a school trip, I would love to go there and see everything.

Has A heard anything yet?

Sammy said...

This is another great post. And I know just what you mean about memory triggers. When I drive upstate to visit my mom I often take a drive by myself through the tiny village I grew up in. (My mother doesn't live there anymore.) I see the house I grew up in and think of my kind father who died 9 years ago this June, I see the huge fields I used to run around in, I see the river I would skip rocks in. The memories come flooding back, along with the feelings. It's always an emotional thing to do, but it somehow feels important and necessary.

Maine Mom said...

Watching Zoe play softball several years ago brought back memories of playing myself. I hadn't thought about softball for a very long time and watching her play her first game brought back the passion and love I have for softball.

I hope to hear your stories of swimming and heights soon. :-)