I was startled at how it felt to be there again.
I thought maybe I'd feel more powerful going back after a "win"
I thought maybe I'd feel sad because of all the death that had happened between growing up there and now as an adult.
I thought maybe I'd be angry because of how people were treated in that house.
But I just felt....empty.
I wandered around looking at walls that held the words callously flung from bitter lips. I sat at the top of the stairs where secrets floated up to my too small to understand ears. I touched the door handles worn smooth by hands that pushed the elderly into walls and I was empty.
The house held a body memory for me. Because the body remembers even when the mind slips into blissful oblivion.
I remember moments in spotlights of sun playing and coloring and digging holes to China in the yard. I remember jumping in piles of leaves and pretending I was lost so Ellen would come pee-pying for me.
I remember playing with my GI Joe tanks and Barbie Doll convertible car and I remember 100 brushes before bedtime. I remember ice cream sandwiches under weeping willow trees and imagination among rhubarb plants.
But I also remember the dirty nasty girl. The stupid silly girl. The you don't deserve this and you are a spoiled rotten girl. I remember the rhubarb plants and willow switches hiding me from the words of angry enraged women. I remember the mustache cup being chipped and her back, curved from years of work, slamming into the wall by the hutch. I remember the stories of how she didn't really love me she was just pretending to until she had a chance to kill me "on accident". I remember the side of the barn with the balls flying at my head while I tried to duck them. I remember thinking, at least I'm being included. I remember the totem pole and the jam-packed full out buildings and the way the lily pads hid things dangerous and unseen.
For the longest time I would only remember the first set of memories. I pretended the others didn't exist at all. Then he was revealed as a liar and I couldn't forget anymore, so I forgot the good and only remembered the bad.
Now, I'm beginning the process of combining the two. I'm working on grieving the bad and the abusive and still holding onto the good and loving. It's really difficult for this black and white seeing girl, much more difficult then I ever thought it would be.
But I feel the old farm house cracking open after what feels like years of being locked inside. I'm working to remember that it wasn't my whole world then and it shouldn't be my whole world now.
it took me by surprise
this old house and these old feelings
walked round and looked inside
familiar walls and halls and ceilings
where I'd dream and plan
every moment of sunshine
this was my whole world
it was all I knew
like the hull of a seed
this old house cracked wide open
as I grew
Sara Groves - This House