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Reflection (1 Viewer)

T

Trinemoon

I remember lying in bed as I had been ordered to do. As I watched my mother disappear behind the closing door, I looked towards the bathroom on the right and suddenly my bladder was full. The bathroom was just a few feet away and what was the big deal anyway if I got up and peed? I knew from experience that when mother said to stay in bed, I was to stay in bed - period. I would be directly disobeying my mother if I got up, but I really needed to pee! I weighed my options... should I risk getting caught, call someone in to help me, or just wet myself. Though I was only six, the thought of peeing on myself was out of the question. As much as everyone had been fussing over me the last few days, I was kind of glad for the break from everyone and really didn't want to invite any attention, especially to ask if I could go pee. I guess I was a bit embarrassed.

So my mind was made up... slowly, as if somehow the speed at which I moved would give me a heads up as to whether or not I was about to get caught, I pulled back the covers... I could easily say I was hot if someone walked in. I was uncovered and listening for any sounds to indicate that someone was coming, my heart was beating so quickly, I had to consciously take a few breaths to calm myself down. I didn't hear any noises outside the door and so I swung my legs to the side of the bed and once again anticipated interruption - I sat still holding my breath and waiting. Nothing, not a sound and logic told me that if I was going to go, I had better hurry up and stop stalling. I was scared to death though of the thought of getting a spanking, I considered chickening out... but in the end I wanted to pee - by myself!

I slid off the bed, my feet softly landing on the cold floor; my focus was on the toilet. In my head I could hear the argument going on within myself - one part of me screaming to hurry the hell up and the other telling me to get my ass back in bed!! Moving quickly across the floor and finally reaching the doorway to the bathroom, I began pulling at my panties to be ready when I got to the toilet. I was in such a rush I forgot to close the door to the bathroom which I regretted immediately after I sat down on the cold porcelain and began to relieve myself. The sound of my bladder emptying was incredibly loud and echoing off the bare walls - I just knew I was going to alert someone that I was out bed. I tried to force my urine to come out quicker and only succeeded in peeing and peeing and peeing some more. I looked down at the feet and noticed that almost with a will of their own they were swinging nervously high above the floor... every part of my body was screaming at my bladder to just hurry it up already.

Finally the "tinkling" stopped and all was quiet again... my bladder was empty and now all I had to do was make it back to the bed. I took a couple of deep breaths while I wiped myself and then pushed myself off the high hospital toilet. I pulled my panties back up and smoothed out my gown and was calm and ready to head back to the bed. I knew now that I was in the clear, it was only a few feet between the bathroom door and the bed - I started to tiptoe quickly, but quietly. I had already decided that this would just have to be one time that my hands would have to suffer being unwashed; still though out of habit I glanced at the sink and then the mirror over it on my way back to bed.

The site stopped me dead in my tracks - staring back at me was a girl that resembled me only in my very worst nightmares. My long blond hair was blackened and matted with blood days old and my face was bruised while my mouth was being pulled down in one corner by a massive bloody black scar with what looked like wire sticking out of it all over the place. The scar dominated my reflection going from the side of my mouth almost to my collar bone. It now made sense to me...

It made sense that someone (my mother, a nurse, a friend) was always conveniently on my right side to walk me to the bathroom and then on my left to help me back into bed. My mother had explained to me that we had been in a car wreck, I could even remember riding in the ambulance. I remember asking her to tell me a story while the ambulance moved towards the hospital and I knew I was going in and out of "sleep." My father sat at the foot of my bed holding my youngest sister - it was the only time I ever recall seeing tears roll down his cheeks. My other sister was on a bed much higher than mine, I remember I was jealous - I was the oldest and deserved to be up top. Then I remember my sister looking at me with an expression I didn't understand, but suddenly I felt quite sure I didn't envy her.

Now I knew what the look was on my sister's face - it was horror, shock, and fear. It was the look I was seeing in the mirror now. I can't say that I remember much after that moment, whether or not I got caught - I think maybe I did, because I remember my mother pleading with a nurse to help her wash my hair. I remember being held up at an awkward angle so that not a drop of water would be wet my fresh stitches. My hair came clean and by some miracle didn't have to be cut to get the knots out.

It was July 4, 1981 when a drunk driver hit us. I remember for some reason I insisted on wearing my favorite dress to go to Six Flags. It was yellow with a big flower on front. My mother finally gave in and told me to wear whatever I wanted. I remember sitting in the car with my mother, waiting on my dad and my two sisters to come out of the house. It was hot and I was excited, I scooched up between the seats chattering to my mother - too excited to care that this was something that just annoyed her like crazy. I remember telling my mother that we were lucky to have never been in a car wreck, and she turned to me with her full attention without the expected annoyance and agreed "knocking on wood."

How did I know? How is it that my jugular vain was severed in half, but I did not die because there was a nurse in the car behind ours? How is it my younger sister was able to sit still and wait for the ambulance to arrive - while fully conscious with top part of her arm laying behind her neck and flat on the top of her back and with my head in her lap? How much love for your fellow human being does it take to hold a frantic mother back while she literally claws grooves so deeply in your arms and face as to require you to later need stitches; but you hold on because you know you have to while at the same time your watching your wife soothing one of the mother's children while using her own fingers to stop the bleeding in the other?

How is it that a family of five was ripped apart by the physical and emotional toll the car wreck would have in store for them, while the man who decided to get into his car and drive while drunk was able to walk away without a scratch and at that time without so much as a ticket. Would the drunk driver ever comprehend the cruelness of a first grader's peers and how having to wear a hat every day for a year and being asked nearly everyday throughout high school about her "hickey" would cause emotional scars that would never heal. Will the drunk driver who hit us read this and know that when he managed to get our address and then get up the courage to knock on our door and ask about me that when my father told him I died, it was my father’s pain that caused him to want the man who had hit us to hurt as much as he hurt – to blame himself as much as my father blamed himself for not avoiding the drunk? My father is a gentle man, but in a moment of weakness, he took the opportunity to exact revenge in a moment that had so conveniently presented itself – literally on his doorstep.

I made it here, maybe to tell my story – maybe to offer the man who hit us forgiveness and closure, and then maybe it was to understand the value of all the good that came out of the bad. I mean that is usually what you are told when something unnecessary and horrible happens. I however believe that the reason I lived, my lesson to carry with me – if you will, was to look deep into myself and find a strength that could never be found on the surface. As my life unfolded and I look back, my excitement over going to six flags was the last time I got to be child – free, innocent, and happy. Had I not been strong enough to learn the lessons that the car wreck taught me; I would not have been strong enough to bear the hard times to come.

On July 4th, 1981 – I never made to six flags, my favorite yellow dress with the big flower was cut off my body, and it hurt to show any emotion what-so-ever. My childhood ended abruptly and looking back, I now know why…

If I was to survive and protect my sisters, then I had to give up my childhood and my innocence. I know at one point I flat-lined on the operating table – I think maybe I was given a glimpse of my future – my mother doing drugs, my sister being beat as my mom’s boyfriend stomped her young body for not eating her corn, the gun being held to my mother’s head – I think maybe I was given a glimpse and then a choice:

Die in my pretty yellow dress with the big flower, with my belly full of burgers and fries and thoughts of six-flags and sunshine… or I could live – I could live, but no longer would I be allowed the innocence of a childhood. I would have to endure emotional and physical pain beyond measure, and often my pain would be suffered seemingly in vain. I was given the choice, because it was ultimately up to me – die happy and in denial or live the life I was put on earth to live; a hard life that would require mastering all the lessons of the car wreck, including looking at my own reflection – pleasant or not so pleasant and realizing that there is so much more to me and that I am so much more important than what painted glass can ever show me – in essence recognizing that what is reflected back to me in a mirror is not a reflection of who I am.
 
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