All stories begin with struggle into being. Mine was no different. I came into my awareness of my life with pain. It was pain of a teenage boy entering my 4 year old anus. I closed my eyes and the darkness saved me. The darkness would save me many more times. When I wanted to feel comfort as a child I would climb into the closet and shut the door. I knew what was around me. I knew I was safe. As an adult there are still times that I climb into the closet.
Those early childhood years have come and gone in my memory. I have tried in therapy to uncover them but some are just lost. Lost or saved by angels. I’d like to believe that they were when god carried me and comforted me.
I remember feeling different from the get go. I don’t believe I ever felt like I fit in. I always felt like I was born into the wrong body, wrong life, wrong circumstance. I would read and watch tv to escape the doldrum of my life on the reservation. I can’t say there were many good times there. I can honestly say, ‘I survived’.
My first childhood memory other than that of being assaulted was me watching my brother in school. My big brother. The one who was my friend. I didn’t know him all that well. He was fascinating to me. He had charisma, a swagger, and sense about him that I didn’t know. I remember laying there during nap time. We went to a small school on the reservation and the headstart kids and kindergarten were in the same room. I remember seeing him from across the room at his desk listening. He was intent on learning. I knew then that I wanted to be like him. I knew I would grow up and be smart. That was something that no one could take from me.
There are flashes of memories from earlier. Memories of me and my sister, Orga, living with my grandmother. I remember playing under the table while my grandmother and her friends drank. It was my job to keep Orga busy. We would fall asleep under there and be carried to bed.
(NOTE: This is a series that I am currently working on. There is much more to this story that covers what I remember growing up. Stories about my first love, sex, going to college, transitioning to life off the rez, community organizing and my deep profound love of my family who saved me and continues to save me everyday. As I edit them I will share them with you.)