Julian was a 6-year-old boy who lived in a valley, surrounded by rugged mountains. His affectionate and charming aura got him tons of friends, they liked his bubbly and chatty personality. Julian was very kind, well-mannered, compassionate, and soft by nature. His school was just around the corner around 100 steps from home, he was glad he didn't have to race to reach the school. He was happy to sit by the window and watch people walking by when he could arrive at school in no time. His school uniform carried most of the dark colors, gray pants, a light blue shirt with the gray logo on the right side of the pocket, a gray-blue tie, and gray sweaters matching with black shoes and gray socks. He was never worried about getting his knees scraped when summer days brought gray shorts back.
Julian was an ace student; he spent most of his time in active learning and developing cognitive skills. His friendly attitude was intriguing to the girls and boys in his class. In the evening, children came together to play on the street or by the porch after finishing their homework. Overall, he was enjoying a fantastic childhood while having a great time with his children in the class and neighborhood.
Julian lived in an apartment, provided to his father by the Government. It was a big colony with many building with several apartments. The Government had done this mass construction for their employees and their families, the vicinity included parks and schools. There were street markets outside the East and West gates of the colony within walking distance. The main gates were closed at 10 pm to prohibit the entry of outsiders, the colony was safe and secured within the gates.
Julian saw the structure built in front of his eyes. He was thrilled to see the laborers working on their toes through day and night. They were also building a new school and a big park as part of the development plan. His father had applied for the new apartment well in advance to have a secured spot, while the building was still under construction. The building was right across the park and close to the school, so the family wanted it badly. He was in Grade 1 in another school, he walked there every day with his parents. The idea of having an apartment that was close to school, park, and a few meters away from the East gate had kept them captivated. The months passed and they soon got their apartment on the third floor in the new building. There were no lifts but stairs to access the floors. He was a young and energetic boy who swung the stairs like a Ninja.
As Julian grew older, the children began to gossip during playtime. Someone mentioned the park next to their building was a children's cemetery in the past where thousands of children were buried and cremated. The park was full of colors in the daytime, he visited it with his friends all the time, they went on the slides, and see-saw but as the night fell, his overactive mind began creating stories based on things told by his friends. To his disgrace, their family room window faced the park which was compelling him to freak out at night. He was scared to move from one room to another and always expected company. There was a temple on the other side of the park. All neighborhood children started visiting the temple every Tuesday night at dusk and by the time they returned park got really dark. They recreated horrifying stories while walking through the park leaving him startled. The park was a shortcut to his home, he had to walk through a longer route if he avoided it. He was fine during the day as lots of people walked by, but nights were quiet especially in winters. Sometimes, he ran from one end to the other to skip the park. His heart pounded, and his legs pervaded his mind, his lungs felt out of air. He breathed only when he reached in front of the building and saw the bright lights covering the area. He skipped three steps at a time as he climbed upstairs towards his apartment.
Julian became more stressed day by day; he avoided watching horror movies and won't talk about them. He was frightened of dark places. He couldn't stay alone, he felt someone was watching him or is around. He started having nightmares, one night he woke up with a supernatural dream, he covered his head inside the blanket and thought of all the weird, horrible stuff he could imagine. He found his racing and his body covered in sweat in the middle of the night, but he still stayed in the blanket and started praying so he could finally fall back asleep. His fatigued body commanded to doze leaving him drowsy but his mind said, "No, no, no, remember what happened there?" His brain repulsed and couldn't shut down. The next day, he woke up traumatized by thinking about all the creepy things at night, he was exhausted. The trips to the showers became terrifying and if he ever had to pee in the middle of the night, he'd just hold till his windows reflected sunlight.
As he grew older, these small talks and gossips by the neighborhood children turned his fear into a phobia. He often dreamed of ghosts and monsters; he saw demons chasing him on the run. One night, he woke to the feeling of something heavy over his body, he was trying to wake up his parents by screaming loud, but they couldn't hear him, it turned out to be a dream, he was petrified, he tried very hard to go back to sleep but it wasn't that easy. It consistently bothered Julian. One of his friends told him to count sheep in his mind that could help in sleeping but it didn't help. One other friend told him stories of ghosts coming out around noon so started avoiding quiet places in the daylight. Once, his friends convinced him to watch a horror movie together, the flashbacks left him with sleepless nights, so he never watched them ever again. Julian soon grew into an adult, his career started blooming, he was earning a good living, he got married and had children. He was ashamed to talk about it and never discussed this part of life with anyone though he still had a phobia within him, it was never cured. He never learned to face it, it became a part of his life.
Adolescent minds are like whiteboards, some marks can linger eternally if left untreated in the early stages. It's important to disarm the fears, learning to feel safer in one's environment. It would be wise to identify these issues at the beginning to avoid future mental health issues. Childhood stays with us forever and these incidents can leave a person scarred for life. Julian is now a middle-aged adult man with children, but his childhood stories still haunt him at night.
May be this is something our generation should pass on to the next one. Its all about beliefs which are nurtured in our society but I guess raised the right point and now its up to us to convey this in a right manner!!
Very interesting blog. Loved reading it and I agree some childhood memories leave you scarred for life, if not treated in time.
I have just finished reading this blog you wrote. I really loved it. I look forward to reading your next blog.