For the first few years of my life no one was mean to me. I had siblings, but they were old enough to find me charming for at least the first four years. I was used to older kids being helpful, so the first time I was treated badly by one was very upsetting.
The first memory I have of this kind happened when I was about four years old. It was my one and only visit to any kind of jail. It didn’t seem strange to me that we were there. We were visiting a relative who I knew and loved, and I had no conflicting thoughts about it. I think sometimes as grownups we are unaware of how children take things at face value. I had consequences for my actions all the time as a way to teach me how to behave as an adult- so I would learn, and never have to experience serious adult consequences like jail.
In my four-year old mind, my relative must surely have been sorry and wouldn’t make that mistake again. I held no judgment. I couldn’t wait to visit, and was extremely thrilled to be patted down and searched by guards. Also, I had been promised another child my age would be there, and we would be outside by a play area.
And it all came true. There was a nice little boy my age, and we did have fun on the playground….until some bigger kids came. Continue reading