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Personal Narrative Essay on Self

Essay by   •  April 5, 2017  •  Creative Writing  •  1,483 Words (6 Pages)  •  506 Views

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When I think of how I describe myself now, the first word that always comes to mind is awkward. Whenever I express to people that I consider myself awkward they deny that I am and that they don’t get that vibe at all. At which point I am usually reminded that I may not come off as awkward to other people, and that in fact it is them that makes me uncomfortable. Of course, I being diagnosed with social anxiety contributes a lot to that self-observation. And when other people first meet me they probably don’t see anything out of the ordinary, especially since I was raised by a white, middle-class Christian family in a little suburb outside of Houston. At least from fourth grade and on that is, up until then I had lived with my unmarried parents. Most people would think that moving away from my carefree parents and moving in with my strict grandparents would be the thing that I would talk about when on the subject of something that significantly shaped my life, but in reality it is everything that led up to that change.

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I’m five years old and wondering where my dad is. I haven’t seen him in three weeks, and no one has said a word about him. Whenever I ask where my daddy has gone everyone just gets this odd expression on their face and tells me that he’ll be home soon. Of course no one even seems to realize I asked where he was and that their vague answer did nothing to help with my confusion. When he does finally return home his ponytail has been replaced by a buzz cut and it has become easier for me to wrap my short arms around him. I asked him why he decided to cut his hair, a question that seems to make everyone around us uneasy, but he just laughs and changes the subject like it’s not a big deal. It seemed like a big deal to me though, my mom had been begging him to get a haircut for months and now that he did, she doesn’t even seem happy about it. No matter how many times I ask about it, I get the same reaction. Even at that age I knew I was out of the loop and there was something everyone was avoiding telling me.

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I’m six years old and wondering why no one will answer the door. My mom had told me that morning that I would need to take the bus home from school. She said she had to work but my dad would be home that afternoon. So I did what I was told and rode the bus home from school that day. However, when I got off the bus at my house I realized the door was locked and I couldn’t get inside. I knocked and knocked for what seemed like hours, I knocked on the front door, the back door, and even the window to my parents’ room. After not getting a response from anywhere I went to the backyard to sit and wait for someone to get home, hoping that maybe my dad was just running a little late. The darker it got outside the more I was convinced no one was coming. I had to pee, but I still needed help getting the buttons on my overalls undone. When my mom finally arrived home my pants were soaked and my face was sticky from the dried up tears. The moment she saw me she pulled me into a hug and started crying. When she unlocked the door and we went inside, we found my dad asleep in their room. I was told to go take a shower, but even over the running water I could hear the yelling.

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I’m seven years old and wondering why the cops just knocked down our front door. As a result of nightmares and an absentee dad, I had been sleeping in my mom’s room with her. It was one in the morning and my mom and I were sleeping peacefully when there was a crash at the front of the house followed by the bedroom door swinging open and thundering against the wall. I opened my eyes to a police officer shining a flashlight in my face and yelling questions. I assume he realized how young I was because he lowered the flashlight and his demeanor became a lot less intimidating. The look on his face softened as he struggled to make his voice calming, he told me he needed to talk to my mother alone for a little bit. My mom put on some cartoons, gave me a snack, and went into the living room to talk to the police officer, leaving me in the bedroom. After my snack was long gone and I was on the verge of falling back asleep the officer came back in and asked if I knew where my dad was. I felt my eyebrows pinch together in frustration as I told him that I’d been wondering the same thing. A strange look crossed the cops face, I think he was caught between being amused and being saddened at my reaction to his question.  

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I’m eight years old and wondering why I am talking to my dad on a phone when he’s just on the other side of a thin piece of glass. I’ve been here two or three times now, visiting my dad in jail and I have grown used to the process. I learned to not wear jewelry because it just caused me more work at the metal detector, I learned to eat before going because there was absolutely nowhere for me to get food, and I learned that either the system they use is extremely slow or they just don’t care, because it always took an eternity for my dad to be seated across from us. But I simply never figured out why the glass and phone were necessary. Whenever I asked my mom, she said they did it for safety purposes. Of course that confused me even more, why would they need to keep me safe from my own dad? I asked many times why my dad was in there hoping that would give me some clue as to why the glass was needed. Everyone just told me it was grown up stuff though. I always just nodded my head like I understood, but I couldn’t stop the word “bullshit” from immediately coming to mind. This situation with my dad was clearly affecting my life, and I didn’t understand why I didn’t have the right to know what was actually going on.

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