"Mom, Heygo flew out the window." My unseen friend, Heygo had been with me for almost as long as I could talk. I was about five and would soon start school and the process of becoming a properly assimilated, westernized human citizen.
We were riding in the car, back when kids could ride in the front passenger seat and seat belts were not yet standard. Heygo flew and I was matter-of-fact rather than surprised or sad. She noted in my tone a sense of acceptance. That was the last time I had anything to say about Heygo.
I may have mentioned Heygo, my "imaginary" friend, before but there are other details I have omitted and it might be helpful to fill in a few blanks as I better understand the circumstances now and for others who had childhood companions that didn't fit the norm and were therefore considered "imaginary".
Fortunately for me, my Mother treated my friendship as a normal part of our daily routine and didn't discourage me from sharing the experience if and when I chose to talk about it. She could not see Heygo. I'm not sure if that made a difference to me; I could see Heygo and that was fine.
Time has passed, details about Heygo and what he looked like are missing. What remains is the knowing that his presence was necessary as a transitional assist to help ground me in my new assignment.
While still very young, I experienced a difficult time and some significant trauma with the birth of my younger brother. A lively two year old when he was born, Mom had been required to be hospitalized for a short term as was common. Then there were other complications with him that necessitated finding someone to care for me. I had initially been dropped off for a brief stay with my Father's Mother. When my brother required life-saving emergency hospital care, that stay was extended.
From the moment of my Mother's return with my brother, she was greeted by a child who had changed dramatically in behavior. Perplexed and frustrated, it made no sense to her, my reaction. I had been speaking before she left and exercising my language skills, bubbly and excited.
When she arrived to take me home, I simply parroted her words and offered nothing further. I had adopted a new pattern. If she said something like, "I am so glad to see you, I missed you," I would repeat whatever she said in the same inflection right back to her.
What had happened? Why was I being so petulant and obstinate? Jealous of the new baby? It was a mystery.
To her maybe but not to me. I wasn't there. Part of me had simply checked out.
Having been left with my Father's Mother, the trauma wasn't a thing I would mention or even understand until much later when I was an adult. I didn't block it. I just didn't know what it was. My memories of that time and the events were and are very clear.
Grandmother rented out the basement and part of the upper floor of her large, two story, turn-of-the-century house. The shared second floor included a private studio apartment for a woman who lived alone and from my later memories occasionally spoke to us if we saw her in passing but kept mostly out of sight when my family visited.
Having been through a lot of forgiving and releasing in regard to these events, it was a complete and total surprise while reviewing my notes, the anger I still carried and had not connected to the one person at that time who could hear me screaming at my Grandmother to "Stop," ... and yet, chose not to act.
|Nightlight enigma. 10 yr. anniv. - Yard light cameo.|
Remained on for several days. Switch stayed off.
Unseen can engage when the interest or the need is present.
I pleaded with her to stop. Nothing worked. Screams and tears were ignored. Bath time was unavoidable and a nightmare.
That another person could permit the scene to continue was even more baffling and dis-empowering. The second floor tenant's living space was right next to the bathroom.
Hindsight: Displaced anger and a judgment
that needed resolved. There was no indication
my Grandmother's tenant had any idea about the inappropriate actions of my Grandmother
nor did I attempt or know to give her a sign I needed help.
My assumption was full of expectation that she knew more than would have been possible without putting her at odds with her landlord.
I was two years old. At that time I saw my options as limited. My Mother and Father were unavailable. I had been deposited with my Grandmother, a person I quickly learned to protect myself from. Children are much more perceptive in their early lives than they are given credit.
Given that there appeared to be no one to rescue me from the unpleasant circumstances, I chose to manage the situation in my own way. Claiming a different sort of protective power, I opted to disassociate and step aside. Parroting was me, exercising my armor. Wendy went somewhere else.
Heygo stepped in ... to coax Wendy back.