One of my first memories is of getting in trouble in preschool for shoving my friend Korie from behind and knocking her down. I remember she was carrying a basket of blocks when I pushed her, so that when she fell some of the blocks flew out into the air ahead of her, but mostly they fell to the floor in blue plastic bin and she fell on top of that, and I knew it must have hurt her. I felt bad right away, I felt afraid of her tears and cries, knowing I had caused them. But when my preschool teacher came up to me and grabbed me hard on the arm – her name is long forgotten – I wasn’t scared or remorseful, I was enraged.
Yes, I pushed her.
I remember I didn’t cry, I only lifted my chin and stomped over to time-out with my arms crossed over my chest, defiant. My arm throbbed where she had grabbed me.
I learned so early that no one can hurt me for the things I have done. I take care of that job all on my own.