20. Three significant childhood memories

Day 20: Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood

1. My first childhood memory that I can remember happened when I was about 4 years old. This was right around the time that my parents noticed that there was something wrong with Matt. Matt stopped talking. He threw wild temper tantrums during the day. He screamed from night terrors at night. Friends of my parents said that they needed to have stronger discipline. They were told it was their fault that something wasn’t right. What they needed to do was beat the autism out of Matt.

That is what happened that day. My dad was in the kitchen with Matt trying to beat the autism out of him. My mom held my younger brother Mark and I back in another room to keep us away. I was afraid but I looked anyway. What I remember most was the haunting screams of adult and child. Matt kicking and flailing with my dad standing over him. The constant ping, ping, ping and rattle of the cupboard doors being hit during the scuffle.

2. The 2nd most significant memory happened when I was 6. It was a warm day in May when my mom left me alone on the lake dock to watch my 3 younger brothers play in the water. I was not to get my clothes wet. I was supposed to call out if there was a problem. Matt was flapping his hands together near the shore, oblivious to everyone else. Mark and Luke kept wading into the water deeper and deeper.

Mark exclaimed excitedly in his shrill little boy voice that Luke was swimming. But Luke was not swimming, he was drowning. Little Luke that just turned 2 was drowning in the lake and there was nothing that I could do. I tried to scream, but I couldn’t hear my voice. I wanted to jump in but wasn’t supposed to get wet. I didn’t know what to do, so I didn’t do anything. I froze with one leg perched over the water. My mom came out to check on us and saved Luke. It took me a long time to forgive myself for doing nothing, but I was only 6.

3. The 3rd significant memory happened when I was around 12. It was the day the fish tank broke. Luke came running through the front door that we never use and the door handle went right through the fish tank. The tank cracked spilling water onto the floor that seeped down into the basement where my dad was working. This made my dad angry. I was afraid of touching the fish, but I had to try to save them. I reached into the broken tank to grab a fish. It was squirmy and slimy. I screamed and pulled out my arm cutting it on the jagged glass. As the blood ran down my arm, my dad grabbed me by the other arm, swore at me, opened the door, and pushed me out of the house.

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