I have immersed myself in writing since the day I got my first journal at 9 years old. My mother and I were at a gift store in San Francisco and she asked me to get something. Out of all the toys, candy and useless junk kids known for devouring in, my eyes gravitated toward a series of journals. It was an instant attraction. The view of crisp journals, which lay neatly on the shelf, told me to compose a story waiting to be unleashed. My selection was a compact, hardcover journal with a picture of Snoopy. I think the journal is still intact, hidden underneath all the junk in my parents’ storage. The journal was the first of many. “Why so many?” one would ask.
Bullies. If someone were to ask me to describe my childhood in 1 word, that was it. It remained a mystery why kids picked on me. All I have to do was exist and it irritated them. I would enter a classroom and kids would notoriously yell out Chinese verbiage and place their fingers at the side of their eyes to make them seem wider. It was nothing but hell and teachers did nothing about it. I moved several times throughout my childhood and the same story goes. No matter what type of school – private, pubic, high class, low class – manipulation of any variable favored the same result. Bullies are prevalent anywhere I went. This realization marked the onset of my anxiety and depression. I have spent nights literally crying myself to sleep and feared going to school everyday because I did not know what new horror story my classmates would improvise on me. I became paranoid and started to think irrationally. I learned at a very early age that I can’t trust anyone. The most reasonable conclusion about my victimization was that I potentially carried some neurophysiological energy that triggered aggression on these deranged kids. It’s a mystery.
Going back to the gift store in San Francisco, I believe there was a reason the journal caught my attention. Despite the trauma, I should be grateful because my troubled childhood introduced me to the healing power of writing.