A Child's HeartMy family didn't move around terribly often, but it always seemed to be just when I had gotten settled. We moved away from a family of family friends when I was about 4 and quickly lost contact over the next few years. I made a few friends at my new school and then we moved again when I was about 5. I didn't even bother trying to make new friends and just stayed by myself for the most part, gaining a few friends along the way. And then we moved again. I really liked the new school, but made even fewer friends. Looking back I realize that I was losing trust in people being around and decided to not bother with trying. I was still close to my family though, sometimes irritated at my parents for moving us, but such feelings were fleeting.
Then we moved to Wisconsin from Texas. Up in the north I quickly made a myriad of friends who were initially drawn to question me for my apparently thick southern accent. I was about 10 when I guess you would say I had my first crush. There wasn't really any lust involved, I just felt a desire to be more than just friends with him, it is difficult to explain. The very week I was going to try and talk to him about it, my parents sat my brother and I down and told us that we were moving again, but that they wanted our input, either way my father was going back to Texas. My brother instantly agreed, but I was hesitant. I really liked Wisconsin, I had good friends there and the schools actually catered more to the students rather than shoving a rigid curriculum onto everyone. On the other hand, I didn't want to be responsible for splitting my family up, I didn't actually think they would, but I didn't want to call their bluff only to never see my father and brother but once or twice a year, so, against my heart I agreed to move back to Texas. During the packing period I said my tearful farewells, but never told Sean how I felt.
Back in Texas my spirit was felt broken, anyone I let close, it seemed, was destined to be torn away. My brother and I had been sent down first so we could start school on time and my parents could have time to wrap up everything in Wisconsin. It took a great deal of time but I pulled myself out of the doldrum and at least to a state of neutrality. My heart was brightened by a few of my old friends still being in the area, but we had grown apart and no longer had much in common. We moved into a duplex with my parents.
I became guarded against becoming to attached to anyone and relied on my mother's cat Hanna for a great deal of my social interactions. She had always been there since I was born, curling up on my bed or in my lap, a constant I could always trust to be there. Seeing my brother gaining an ever massive throng of friends sent me into occasional fits of depression that a night crying into Hanna's fur seemed to mend.
Hanna was an old cat, 20 at the time, and in poor health. My mother took her to the vet and they said her kidneys were failing. They could get a transplant, but that might only buy a few months and was $20k. My mother was crying when she told my brother and I. I thought it was a no brainier, Hanna was a part of the family, had been since the beginning and deserved any and every chance at living a longer life.
I asked were we were going to get the money and my parents said we could not afford it. I offered to sell all of my toys and eat half as much food. I offered to sell hand made greeting cards, drawings and lemonade. But my parents said that we weren't going to even try. That is one of only 3 times I ever recall actually feeling rage and hatred together. I spat poisonous words and went and slammed the door to my room shut. My anger was quickly tempered by Hanna sitting on my bed. I stroked her fur and listened to her purr until I fell asleep.
The weeks went by and I refused to show any affection toward my parents. One day at school I felt a terrible weight on my chest and couldn't stop thinking about Hanna for the rest of the day. When my mother came to pick me up I was impatient to go and check on Hanna and irritated at every stop light and sign. I rushed through the door of our duplex, through the kitchen, around the bar, down the hall to my and my brother's room. I saw Hanna sleeping on my brother's bed and smiled, but when I went over to pet her, she was cold. I shook her gently trying to wake her up but in my mind I already knew and tears started welling up behind my eyes. I cried out and my family came rushing in to see what was wrong.
My sadness was quickly greeted with loathing, my parents could have saved her, could have given her a chance but could not be bothered to, greedily purchasing a new car before even trying to save the life of a family member. I no longer felt love for my parents. I could not find it in the deepest recesses of my heart to forgive them for what at the time I considered no better than murder. It was this that I view as what took away my trust and why it is so difficult for me now.
Within a month I had sealed off most all emotion and was cold, logical and neutral. A year passed and nothing changed. Christopher Olsen tried, and succeeded at lifting my spirits at least enough to crack a small smile every once in a while, but he soon gave up as I stayed mostly depressed. Every couple months I went into severe depressive episodes in which I could hardly move for a day and was lethargic for a week. These episodes lasted until I was 16. It took until I was 17 for tears not to come to my eyes at the thought of Hanna and I was 19 before I felt emotionally normal again, able to feel empathy, happiness, pity and regret.
There was a boyfriend who rekindled my ability to trust. Even when we parted ways he said I was always welcome if I was heading back through that town. But for all his influence it is still difficult for me to trust in others, it must be earned through many a great action.