Friday, September 14, 2012

How It Really All Began

About a week ago, I was thinking about the question, "When did you start writing?", and I realized my kneejerk response is always "At the age of 13, when I wrote my first novel." And although I believe that is when my true lifelong passion began, I suddenly had a memory of the third grade when my class was making accordian-style books. The memory is vague, but as I recall, we were allowed to make extra books for extra credit or some sort of reward. I can't remember how many I made, but I kept churning them out and ended up having the most in the class, I think somewhere between 10-15 books. I wish I still had at least one of them to show off, because this memory made me realize that writing has always been a part of me, even before I really gave it any thought or any real importance.

My third grade memory made me dig a little more into the dusty recesses of my mind, and I remember now that I used to write short stories in fourth grade as well, usually when I was supposed to be paying attention in class. Even then, writing was an escape.

When I got to middle school, life became very difficult for me. I had a hard time adjusting to the new school environment, and I felt childhood slowly slipping out of my grasp. I was teased mercilessly by my peers and didn't really have any close friends, and I developed a lot anxiety which pretty much made me depressed all the time. At eleven years old, I felt hopeless and suicidal. I turned to writing to help me through it, because I felt like it was the only way I could really express myself. I ended up writing a lot of depressing poetry and morbid short stories, just as a way of getting all that hurt and anger and fear out of me. I still have trouble thinking about that time in my life, and that's probably why I never talk about my writing from before I was thirteen.

As a bit of a side note, I remember everyday when my mom would drive me to middle school, I would see that old gray building looming in front of me, and I would have these vivid imaginings of watching the school burn down. It looked and felt like a prison to me, and I just wanted it to go away. A few years ago, they did actually tear my old middle school down and rebuilt it from scratch. For me, it was like seeing hell destroyed, and it gave me some closure. It's a bit surreal though when I have nightmares about that school, and I wake up and realize I'll never set foot in that building again because it doesn't exist anymore.

Anyway, when I started this blog post, I had no intention of delving into that time in my life, but it's been oddly therapeutic. I often wonder if I hadn't been able to express myself through writing, if I'd even still be here today. And on that note, I want to leave you with a poem I wrote during that time in my life. This hasn't been edited, and was copied down just as it had been written at the time.

"Into Your Heart"

They laugh in my face
And slow down my pace
Then I cry all through the night

I lay down in pain
Then go insane
Never winning the fight

Oh why can't they tell
This is the hell
I suffer through everyday?

Are they too blind to see
I'm in misery
I'm lost, alone, and afraid?

If life is a gift,
what is with this?
Why must I pray for death?

If I'm left here to suffer
and strength I must muster
Why do they call this the best?

I'm supposed to have peace,
where's my release?
Why has my soul been bruised?

When I grow up,
will the sun show up
And chase away my sorrows and blues?

But what of today
what can I say
As they kick me and treat me like dirt?

Should I hold my head high
keep my tears inside
And pretend that I am not hurt?

I just can't be that strong
All this wrong
Why must they fill me with hate?

Where are the adults
This is their fault
why can't they ever relate?

So, please, oh Lord
I just can't afford,
to go on while they stand still.

Help me to show them
I just can't forgive them
if they go on crushing my will.

So here are my prayers
they have many layers,
But it's truth from the very start.

I hope you can hear
the fall of my tears
and enter me into your heart.
Copyright, L.M. Pfalz

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