Shit Show: The Pool

This one is hard one. And I don’t always trust my memories. But I do have a pretty firm grasp on the details of this.

I had a flash of memories about 10 years ago that I had a traumatic event that I buried.I cannot pinpoint my exact age but gauging the memory and the details in it. I was very likely 11 or 12 at the time. I believe it was the summer before 5th grade.

For 8 years my parents, my little brother and I lived with my Grandmother in her house. It was an amazing chance to grow up with her. I wish some days I could go back and listen to her stories more, as she is now in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s. Across the street was a crazy blended family. 5 kids and the two parents. My brother and I became buddies with the kids and our parents became good friends. Many many fun memories, parties, sleep overs, late night hide and go seeks, all sorts of shenanigans. Even after we moved we stayed in touch.

At some point the family had gotten a big above ground pool. My brother and I used to sit at the end of the driveway in our swimsuits and wait for them to invite us over to swim. We only had a slip n slide, which was cool until you placed it over a rock and … ow.

Like I said, we grew close over the years and our friendship at times was more like a family. I still talk to them, my brother still goes over there for weekend parties. The oldest was a boy (1), he was 5 years older than me. He always seemed so cool, and for a span of time I wanted to be like him. Listening to Nirvana albums, were ripped jeans, flannel shirts. He was the closest thing I had to an older sibling. The next oldest was my age (2), she and I had a relationship like sisters. We go along, we fought. We always seemed to come together and still have fun. Then the next two were girls,both the same age and 2 years younger than me (3 &4), I had a close relationship with 4 for some times because we had similar personalities. And last is the little guy, the same age as my little brother, 4 years younger than me. 1,2,3 were from the Mom’s first marriage and 4&5 were from the Dad”s original marriage. They were all very close and they all were proof that a blended family works, not just like the Brady Bunch, but in the real world!

So back to this pool. One summer when I was in my twenties my parents got a pool put in. They remembered how much we loved the neighbors as kids, and it was always something they had wanted themselves. This thing is a monster in ground pool. It’s beautiful. But when we started swimming in it, I got these flashes. Scary ones. One was of me as a kid being pulled under the water. In the flash I was wearing a while bikini swimsuit with multi colored polka dots. I really had one like that. I got out of the pool. Feeling a little funny. Everyone was asking me to come back in. Asking why I didn’t want to swim. I got agitated. Snappy.

I remember getting back in a few days later. We were playing silent Marco Polo and when my eyes were closed I saw it all play back like a movie.

I was back in the old neighborhood. In the neighbor’s pool, in that white polka dotted swimsuit, swimming feverishly to get out of the pool. Someone was screaming “FISH OUT OF WATER” and I hadn’t made it out yet. But my splashing alerted all the kids to me getting out. So I stopped and just floated. And there came 1, swimming under water, I saw his blonde hair coming towards me. He never surfaced. But in my bikini bottom I felt something moving. I never saw it. But I assumed it was his finger, going inside me. In parts I had never touched like that. It hurt. He did it again but my back side. It hurt more. But I was afraid to movie or talk. He was so much bigger than me, and what if he said I made it up? Would I lose my friends? My parents might be mad.

I opened my eyes. I told everyone in the pool I had to take a break. They all huffed that I gave up. But the flash I had in my head was overwhelming and felt real. I spent time recalling those days. I was so young. 11 or 12 years old, not even a woman. I only swam in the neighbor’s pool one time again after that, and he did the same thing. I distanced myself for some time from that family and I remembered that I never really liked wearing swim suits or going swimming after that, and as I got older I never had a reason. Until now.

I didn’t talk to anyone about this revelation. But I kept thinking about it. I thought about 1 and where he was.

He was in a psychiatric facility. He snapped a few years back. Drove to the pizza shop his best friend worked at and stabbed him. Almost killed him.

Turned out he had schizophrenia and his voices told him to do it. So I can’t blame him too much for what he did and how he changed me. Because he was battling a sickness. I forgive him. I still feel afraid of him, I still don’t want to spend time with him ever. But I hope he finds peace.

And I will continue to hate swimming in pools and wearing swimsuits.



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