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Child Memories

Childhood Memories

How it all started…

I would say I had a normal childhood. I LOVED Barbies, Beanie Babies, American Girl dolls, and Lisa Frank. I am the baby of the family, and I had a GREAT time harassing my older siblings and getting attention from being silly. It also may shock you to find out I played soccer and basketball. However, from a young age, it was apparent that I was more sensitive, fearful, and cautious than most children. Most kids grow out of these stages as they get older, but these traits stuck with me. One of my earliest memories of this is when I was 4 years old getting a flu shot. My mom remembers me whining the day before, saying repeatedly I did not want to get the shot. Well, I did get the shot, and 10 minutes later, I began to feel dizzy and I fainted right there. I soon came to find out, like many people, that I passed out from getting a shot. At the time, I don’t remember this affecting me much. Little did I know that it would become a bigger part of my story.

In elementary school, I was very social and talked WAY too much, which sometimes got me in trouble – what a shocker :). I had quite a few friends, and eventually, we all started having sleepovers. However, with each sleepover, there was always a recurring theme – I got scared and would always call my mom to come pick me up. I told her that I was scared everyone would fall asleep except me, and I would be alone. I also had a fear of the dark. Again, these all seem to be normal childhood fears. Being so fearful and young, I gravitated to my mom a lot, and I became very attached to her. It wasn’t until a family trip/reunion in December 1999 that the anxiety really started.

It was the end of 1999, and I had heard non-stop on the news many different things that could happen in Y2K. Growing up in a Christian family, I had read the full kid series of the Left Behind books (based loosely on the book of Revelation and dealing with the Rapture). There were theories that this could happen on Y2K, so naturally, I was nervous the entire time we were on our trip. I didn’t want to sleep alone, but that was nothing new. My main fear was that I wasn’t truly saved and that the Rapture would happen, meaning I was left behind and alone in a very dark world. One night, I went to my parent’s room and had my first panic attack. I got in their bed, and my legs started shaking uncontrollably. My thoughts were spinning out of control, and I felt scared and helpless, and I wasn’t sure what was wrong with me. My parents thought that I might be hypoglycemic and just needed to eat something. But this felt different, like nothing I had ever felt before. Of course, the clock struck midnight on January 1, 2000, and nothing happened. But, I was still uneasy about the panic attack that had just occurred the night before. I stuck close with my mom and would barely leave our cabin unless she did. I did not want to be alone in case "it" happened again.

The trip was over and we made it home safe. I put what happened out of my mind, and things would return back to normal for the time being. As a result of these events, my fear of abandonment intensified. Then middle school came around...

Did I mention I started young with handbags??!!
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