by Chris de Serres
When I was a child we never stayed in one place for more than a couple of years. Friendships were temporary. Every new friend was made with the expectation that goodbye could come at any time. So I never invested too much in others. Yet, a friendship is an emotional investment, not a rational one. How can I invest and protect mysef from what I know is coming?
I still think about that time in Marina. I was happy. I had good friends. I was liked by others. I felt accepted. Then I was plucked away and I found myself in a horrible place. I was the subject of ridicule and racist taunts. I had to fight or run to get through the day. I felt haunted and terrorized. Even those who pretended they were my friends betrayed me when I needed them most. My grades plummeted and never recovered.
It seems ridiculous but I still think about how life would have been if we never left Marina. If we hadn’t moved around so much. My wife has friends who she has known since kindergarten. Since kindergarten!
If only we could forget the trauma of childhood. If we could rediscover the safety of friendship. If we could invest in relationships without fear. Part of ourselves stays always young, fearing that any new friendship can blow away like dust at any time.
It’s what I carry.