If you’ve been reading for a while, you know Amy plays double duty as our project’s trusty copyediting coordinator, and as one of our up-and-coming seniors (best of both worlds!) I know Amy well so I already knew it’s true: but this story sure shows that she has the uncommon strength to turn every “trauma” on its head - and beat it. You go, girl!
May 14, 2010
“Traumatic Stress Syndrome” and How I Got It
Some things have changed through the years so when I write a story I laugh a little to myself wondering if some of the things that happened might be unusual to hear about. Take for instance the following story:
During my childhood it was possible for adults to purchase cigarettes singly. My mother asked me to go to the corner store to buy two cigarettes for her. I was 7 years old at the time but there was no issue with Miss Bessy, the store owner, fulfilling my request.
Now you probably think I am going to tell you how I snuck a puff or some other “adulthood” wannabe behavior but first a little more of the circumstances around my trauma.
We lived in one of two houses on a corner property. The other house was occupied by the landlady of our property. Even though we lived in a small town, she raised chickens in a special coop also located on the property. These were known as Banty chickens and required two Banty roosters to be in attendance so that the chickens would provide eggs.
Banty roosters, and most people don’t know this including me, tend to be ornery. On my way out of our yard and walking past the next door neighbors house was a waist high white picket fence. There is a rail on the inside of the fence that keeps the upright posts of the fence together, just enough room for a Banty rooster to decide to take a stroll along side of me as I passed.
Somehow a foreboding moment occurred to me and I began to walk more quickly. This somehow enticed the animal and he flew onto my shoulder. As I turned, screaming and running toward the house my mother came to see what was wrong. She brushed me off and seeing no harm was done told me to go to the store. It took every nerve that I had to be a good daughter and I obediently ran the errand without further trouble from the bird.
The incident was almost forgotten as I sat down to dinner. Sure enough mother served a beautifully cooked chicken for dinner. One might have thought that the live creature was standing in front of me ready to attack. I shrieked and ran from the room, stomach directing me to the bathroom.
It was over 10 years before I would even attempt to eat chicken again. There is another story that tells how I got over my trauma, so maybe another time.