Mighty Maria (Journal Entry)

I have few memories of my childhood. As though someone sifted through my mind and selectively erased the parts I didn’t like or couldn’t handle. The memories left behind are a mixture of a youthful vivacity for the wondrous playground that is the outdoors, and an underlining turmoil that both incites and haunts me.

One seemingly insignificant memory I often return to perfectly illustrates the antithesis of helplessness/hopelessness and gratitude that I feel about my childhood. I couldn’t have been more than two to three years old during this brief snapshot in time. I was living in an apartment with my mother, and the roof was leaking through the ceiling. My mother had carefully placed whatever pots, pans and bowls she could find to catch the rain. Looking back, this was an odd memory because I grew up in California and it hardly ever rained.

Mother made me stay on the bed a lot, which was annoying because I wanted to play in the water buckets. She was always on the phone trying to figure out how we were going the get out of this “shithole.” (Yes, I learned that word when I was two). I remember feeling both helpless and secure at the same time; snugged up in the bed where the bugs couldn’t get me.

My favorite thing to do was wake up at 4 am, when mother was still sleeping, to watch Mighty Mouse. I was fascinated that such a tiny little creature could do such extraordinary things. I wanted to be him. I imagined myself jumping through the screen to become the female version of him. I was so upset when the show was cancelled.

This memory sets the stage of my life. A constant state of feeling like I was barely staying afloat on a snuggy bed surrounded by woes as I dream of a  superhuman ability to overcome any obstacle.

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