Looking for: the child that was I

I am looking for a child that has disappeared, and neither an advert in the “looking for” section of a newspaper nor reporting the child as missing with the police will be able to help me.

The child that I am looking for is the child that was I 40-45 years ago. With 10 or 11 years, this child and any memory of it disappeared, were locked up, together with his and my feelings. I don’t know where this child is being locked up, and where they keys are to set it free. I don’t remember nothing of this child, what kind of life he lived, how he felt, and if he was happy – at least now and then. I have the sense that he wasn’t happy, or why did he disappear, why was he locked up? I only do remember the street where he lived during the first eight years of his life, and nothing more.

It is true that I myself participated in his disappearance. I never liked to see photos of this child, or to listen to his parents – my parents – when they talked about him, because I always felt that neither the photos nor the stories of the parents represented what this child that was I felt, how he experienced his life. The same as my parents’ stories of my life always were very far – almost unrecognisable – from how I perceived my life. How can I then have confidence in their stories of the child that was I?

Sometimes I think maybe I could find this child in the street where he lived. But I don’t feel able to go to this street. I know exactly where this street is, but when I imagine taking the tram from the station to the street, getting off the tram and entering the street, I feel very scared. Maybe it is the fear of the child, or my fear of finding the child? Or both fears at the same time? Therefore, I don’t feel able to make this journey and to approach the place where this child lived during the first eight years of his life. I have to look for the child elsewhere.

I sense that there are already some cracks in the walls that imprison this child, cracks through which some of the locked up emotions, up until now well guarded, filter through. String emotions that make me cry (something that I have been unable to do since the child disappeared and up to now). So far these emotions without memories, as there is nobody who could tell me the stories behind these emotions, the stories of this child. And these emotions cause me a lot of fear, fear of the stories the child could tell, or maybe the fear of the child? I don’t know, and to find the answer I have to look for the child – the child that was I.

I am looking for a child that disappeared, a child that was locked up, because I feel that I can no longer live without finding him and starting to get to know him. And I feel that the child also can’t cope with much more, that he needs to be set free. I need that this child tells me his stories – the real stories, how he felt and what happened to him. Possibly he was never able to tell his stories, because nobody wanted to listen to him or took him serious. But now yes, I want to – I need to – listen to this child that was I.

Andreas, 29th August 2016

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