Self Improvement Non-Fiction posted May 13, 2014

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Short Story-Contest Entry-I Remember

But, My Mother Is Crazy

by michaelcahill

I Remember Contest Winner 

I remember when my mother tried to stab me with a butcher knife. That is a spectacular statement isn't it. It could have an enormous impact on a youngster only ten-years of age. Hell, even if it didn't, it could be referred to easily to gain sympathy. "I'm sorry, I reacted poorly, it must stem from MY MOTHER TRYING TO KILL ME WITH A BUTCHER KNIFE WHEN I WAS ONLY TEN-YEARS-OLD!" That is hard to argue with.
My mother had nervous breakdowns before I came upon the scene and after as well. Schizophrenia had little treatment in the 1940s and 1950s. Treatment consisted of large jolts of electricity administered in an unscientific manner. 
I knew that I didn't have a mom that behaved like most moms. It didn't bother me. A schizophrenic mother and all that comes with it constituted the norm for me. My family tried to hide the truth from me. I allowed them the comfort of their deceit and pretended not to notice. It put them at ease.
By the age of ten, I had a full awareness of my mother's capacity to over react to situations. I learned how to deal with it. When my mother began to get worked up while chopping onions, I had a full awareness of the danger inherent. Her mother, in her own ignorance, often berated me for less than stellar grades or behavior. My mom would parrot her and before long, she would be over the top. I could sense it before my grandmother could.
As the scene unfolded, I could see that instead of a hand slapping at me, it would be a hand with a butcher knife in it. As the hand, holding the butcher knife came towards me, I grabbed the wrist and the knife clattered to the floor. Then, my grandmother, realizing the situation, intervened. It could easily have been a butcher knife in the chest of a little ten-year-old boy. But, I knew that possibility didn't exist. It had no effect on me. I never felt in danger.
The butcher knife scenario could be an excuse. Having a schizophrenic mother and no father could be used as excuses. Being poor is an excuse.
Therein is the choice that I had to make. Would any of those factors be an excuse? Would I use those factors to try to gain an advantage?
I decided that my life would be a result of what I did. I appreciated the fact that my mom loved me. That has to be considered a good thing by any reckoning. Her being schizophrenic, not having a father and being poor are simply things to write about one day and dismiss as not being relevant to who I am.
This is my opinion of the effect one's childhood has on their life when they become an adult. I say that not to be uncaring, but to challenge. Every day spent in the past is a day of one's future wasted.

Writing Prompt
Begin your non-fiction autobiographical story or poem with the words 'I remember...' Complete the sentence conveying a moment, an object, a feeling, etc. This does not have to be a profound memory, but should allow readers insight into your feelings, observations and/or thoughts. Use at least 100, but not more than 1,000 words. The count should be stated in your author notes.

I Remember
Contest Winner


Word count 499. I hope this doesn't come across as uncaring. I do realize that things that occur in childhood have a profound influence on our lives. I have run across people too many times that have let that define their lives. I simply think that the direction to move is always forward. As long as there is time left there is no telling what can happen. Think of the best year of your life. What if the next year is better. Does it matter how old you are? The "artwork" is mine.This is written to be read by all ages. So, hopefully the language is simple enough for school age individuals, but not too simple for adults to garner meaning.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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