My mom did come and comfort me the first time it happened. And the time after that. In the beginning, she always came. You can probably identify with that, because every kid has some bad dreams. But I had them a lot. The decay of this nightly ritual happened gradually, so I can't say things in terms of 'and then one night,' on this subject. But with time, it took mom longer to come help me. She started giving me a sort of grace period, to see if I'd calm down on my own. That period grew, minute by minute, each couple of weeks. Another minute of calling out for her. Her demeanor became less and less maternally pained, and more straight-faced. I was always happy and relieved to see her, but it became painful in its own way to see that my mother was no longer so concerned by the sight of me in tears. Eventually I could tell she was frustrated with it. She started to resent being woken up by the same high-pitched wails, robbing her of precious sleep when she had work the next day. No sign that I was going to stop calling for her. She started asking me if I was faking the nightmares, and gently pushing me away if I held on to her for too long.
So I finally come to the one not-so-gradual milestone in this process, where I can start with 'and then one night'. Because one night, mom didn't come for me at all. I waited for quite a while, in the darkness of my room, sweating and sobbing. Then, thinking she had slept through my screams, I got out of bed to find her. She had locked the door.
It's the first memory I think I have of someone locking a door on me. As well as the first memory of my mother consciously deciding to not help me when I was in need of something. I threw a fit over this for about ten minutes, slapping my hands against the door and begging for mommy to help me. Then my mother came and unlocked the door. She threw a tantrum of her own. It's very surreal; being terrified of your mother. I kept on having the night terrors. She kept the door locked. I stopped asking for mother to come. Being naive at that age, I started asking for god to come. But god did not come. Then I stopped asking for help altogether. I got good at suffering in silence, and remain so to this day.
If I go back far enough, I start seeing my memories as an observer. A camera. So this next part may be a dream, or an event I just happen to recall while applying dream-like qualities. But it certainly remains as vivid in my head as anything that's ever happened to me.
I'm standing deliberately still in the middle of the school playground, alone. Covering my mouth and breathing the painfully cold night air as slowly as I can. Crying silent tears. I want the sun to come up so very badly... Something warm is running down my legs and audibly dripping onto the ground. I look down and see a pool of blood radiating from my crotch, a deep red staining my pajama bottoms. By the time I gasp, a heavy force rams into my chest and knocks me down. Mother is standing over me with a hateful snarl, screaming so loud my ears hurt.
My face was already contorted into an open-mouthed frown, and I hadn't woken up from the nightmare yet. I saw myself from above, mildly convulsing in my bed. I heard a soft, wheezing breath, growing louder, approaching my bed. Then it walked meekly into my view. A tall person with a malnourished build, garbed in black clothes with a radiantly white porcelain doll mask strapped to its face. Long, haggard hair ran down its back. I'd never met it like this before. But in retrospect, I can see it had been there for a long time. It knelt down beside my bed, resting a leather-gloved palm on my forehead. With that, my body became blissfully at ease. No more crying, or kicking. At peace... My eyes slowly open, seeming to expect the masked figure I find. I lean up to hug it, and it returns my embrace politely.
It doesn't have a name. But looking back, I know what to call it. The role it had in my life. The things that happened whenever it was around... the things it made me do... At that moment, I was looking at the fetus of malice.
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