On the Split Personalities of Remembering

June 6, 2014 § Leave a comment


Giant MeRebecca Schwab explores her recent Brevity essay and the difficulty of writing about anger, even anger that is decades-old:

Writing “Calcification” was difficult, but not because I didn’t recall what happened that afternoon — it was difficult because I feel bad for feeling so angry then. Little girls are allowed to miss their dead pets. Normal little girls are allowed to get sad and cry to their living mothers. So I almost didn’t write the essay. I almost deleted it when it was written. I almost changed the name of the dead guinea pig, and that of my childhood friend. But then I didn’t. I clicked my mouse and sent it to Brevity, and I sat on the couch and drank some wine and ignored my guilt by watching a home improvement show.

Because it’s MY story. It’s about my feelings in a difficult moment in an absolute shit period of my life. It’s a moment when I realized I was different, would always be different, from my peers with not-dead parents. That no matter how hard I tried to be normal and fit in, I wasn’t and wouldn’t because my mother had died and that was a permanent, sad fact that I couldn’t make un-true by pretending.

So I want to say to that childhood friend, if she happens to read Brevity and get pissed, that my adult self is sorry. I’m sorry I got so weird on you, and on your mom. You didn’t do anything wrong. If you still miss Buttercup, well, I’m sorry for your loss. She’s in a better place, maybe.

Also, my ten-year-old self still wants to choke ten-year-old you.

So no hard feelings.

Except for the ones I remember.

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