Breakfast At Tiffany's




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Childhood Trauma

Part of: LA , Slice of Life

My mother dropped off some things from Costco for me. I don’t know if Costco exists outside of California. They have things in bulk—mostly food. It’s like Target or Wal-Mart—you’ll always find unnecessary items you must have. You can’t leave without spending over a hundred bucks. They have one particularly yummy artichoke dip (among other things) in a large tub. One woman I know can eat heaping spoonfuls of it.

Mom cheerfully informed me that she ran into my 1st grade teacher there, again. I didn’t remember her telling me about the first time, but I could have very likely blocked it out.

I have horrible memories of 1st grade. I wanted to crawl back into the fun and soothing womb of Kindergarten. My teacher, Mrs. M, would sometimes pull kids by their ears when she was angry with them. I swear! She was ultra strict and would raise her voice. I was terrified of ever answering any question wrong. That’s when I learned about anxiety and I was at a public school. Unfortunately, there was no child Xanax.

“Mom,” I said. “I hated Mrs. M. That’s when I started developing nervous habits like twirling my hair. She traumatized me.”

Thank God I never bit my nails.

“I like Mrs. M, she reminded me of myself.”

I looked at her in horror. Here she was, siding with the devil. My mother used to teach. I had her for a substitute teacher a few times in 5th grade. Her strict way did not go down well with my classmates. I had wanted to die.

“Well, you traumatized me, too. That’s why I had to go to therapy.”

My mom and I both started laughing.


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