Terry's Dream ch1

Terry
By Jayme Ann
©December, 2007
My History

I started out this tale in Northern Salt Lake City Utah at the North Star Elementary but had to move due to two problems. Firstly, my mom couldn’t find a job that allowed her to work a schedule around me going to school and coming home, mainly because she didn’t want to send me to a daycare while she worked, not to mention the added expense. Moreover, the second problem was with me, well not really me but the other children at school with how they treated me.

I really don’t want to remember how I was verbally and emotionally terrorized as the other boys grew bigger and I didn’t. Mom even tried taking me to the doctor out there to find out what was wrong but he said that I was a late bloomer and I would eventually grow. (Man, I thought that doctors had to be smart!) He didn’t even do any tests; all he did was feel around my body then tell mom “There’s nothing to worry about” (his words not mine). Well that was four years ago and I still haven’t grown past the forty-eight pounds, three feet six inches; it seems like I just stopped growing.

Mom trying to do her best decided to move to Washington for a fresh start. She even found a special doctor for me, his name is Edward T. Goldman and he specializes in Genetics. Dr. Goldman was the first one to find out that I had PAIS or Partial Androgen (resistance) insensitivity syndrome; actually, he called it Reifenstein syndrome. This is one of a group of diseases where the body is unable to respond appropriately to the male sex hormones (androgens), which include testosterone. After finding this, he ordered an MRI of my abdomen but had the results withheld from me. Dr. Goldman says I have fragile bones and my muscles won’t develop normally, because of my genetics. He says that’s why I have so many problems and why I don’t have strength and muscles like the other boys. He goes on to explain to mom that this is relative to the drugs, she took during her pregnancy with me, and that it is not her fault. He stresses that nobody knew what the side effects if any would be and the risk was worth her taking the medication.

The move seemed to work out well during the summer but I knew the peace wouldn’t last after school started. Enough brooding I actually tried to make some friends during the summer. I just wasn’t honest with them about my real age and let them see what they wanted. A four-year-old kid that was trying to look ‘all grown up’, it would have worked except I had to register for the new school and that’s where all hell breaks loose…

It turns out one of my friend’s older brother was there and found out I was really in the fourth grade and was as smart if not smarter than some of the sixth graders that went to Evergreen Middle School. Life would never be the same. I know I am smart enough to skip to the next grade, but I don’t want to. I enjoyed school (when I wasn’t being used as a dumping ground) and wanted the experience of working through every level not jumping ahead (yeah as if I NEEDED another reason to be the butt of EVERY joke) like the teachers wanted me to. I still managed to learn more things that I didn’t really understand well as I sat in class waiting for the rest of the students to catch up to me, (the only place that I am the fastest) and I had the grades to prove it. Not that it mattered to the rest of the class. Most of the others saw me as a freak. I was smart and small… the perfect target.

Another reason that I’m put down is that I had to have a note from the doctor so the teachers at school would let me go to the rest room right away and not wait. I was so embarrassed! However, I get to go right away and don’t have to risk any accidents at school. That would have been too much! Still there were many narrow escapes and there was this one time during lunch where I was forced to have an accident since some of the countless bullies had ganged up in the bathroom to waylay me. I was embarrassed beyond all belief about that because not only was I teased by the bullies in the bathroom, but also during the miserable walk to the nurse’s office, I heard every snide and rude comment not to mention the catcalls from every other student there. I wished the ground would open up at my feel then swallow me whole. I wanted to die; I was so embarrassed that I started to run away from all the laughing, jeering, and humiliation as fast as I could. However, that only made it worse as I wasn’t paying attention to where I was running and ran into the Principal himself! By this time, I was a blubbering mess and I couldn’t tell left from right. The Principal wound up carrying me to the nurse’s office and calling my mom to pick me up.
(No, I won’t go into any more detail about that as it still disturbs me today) I felt so alone, as if it was just me against the school, as if there were no helping hands held out to me.

Every hand that was held out to me had a price tag attached to it. Being an eleven year old boy trapped in a body the screamed to everyone else that I was a preschooler, made things that more difficult! Even my clothes did little to show my actual age. Try finding clothes in the toddler sizes that would help me look like an eleven-year-old boy. No way, you can’t find them anywhere! The adults always assume what you appear to look like. They treat you accordingly, and that means they all treat you like a preschool toddler! That is until you let them know, or at least try to let them know. They will usually laugh and think you are fibbing, and they respond with a wink, a chuckle and smile, or just laugh and tell you you’re a nutty kid.

When they find out you’re telling them the truth, the men are very uncomfortable, and tend to ignore you. The women just love you and want to baby you just the same. They can’t help themselves! The girls want to treat you like their own living baby doll, and the boys treat you as if you’re a freak, ignore you completely, shun you and ban you from hanging with them. The worst of the worse will do everything and anything to humiliate you privately and publicly. These bad ones are both boys and girls. The girls are the worse of the lot because they tend to get away with a lot more than any boys would.
As the boys are a bit more obvious and crude, whereas the girls are more subtle and do things with your hair, nails, clothing, and their mothers can even be worse!

I remember back when I thought I could trust people in my class, there was one girl Sarah who actually made an effort to get to know me. Not the toddler that everybody else saw, but the real me the eleven year old. I was surprised and let my guard down. This would seal my fate and forever tarnish my trust of fellow classmates. It started out when she asked me to help her with her homework; she was in theater productions and needed to practice her stage makeup and costuming. Well trying to be a friend, I volunteered to help her and be a “test dummy”, not realizing what she had planned. After school had ended, we went over to her house and got started. She had me go into the bathroom and change into a robe to protect my clothes from the stage makeup. My mind was screaming something’s wrong but I wasn’t about to back out and lose a potential friend just because I got cold feet.

As she was putting the makeup on I started to fidget because I had to go to the bathroom, well Sarah was not listening to me as she had the stereo up loud and I couldn’t talk over it. As she stopped to change from the foundation to eyeliner I jumped up and ran towards the bathroom, but I never made it. The belt on the robe had come untied and I stepped on it tripping me. I fell flat on my face and almost broke my nose. The feeling of intense pain shortly overrode my need to use the bathroom and I lost control for a fraction of a second, unfortunately that was all it needed to cause me to have an accident. I was embarrassed beyond all conscious thought, here I am eleven years old and I just wet my pants like a toddler! Sarah was laughing at first until I stood up and she realized that I had had an accident, and then she got mad. I was wearing her robe and she didn’t let me forget it.

She had me take a shower to clean up myself then she got a chance of clothes from when she was babysitting the neighborhood kids. I didn’t realize that she had a complete toddler girl outfit, including diapers. After my shower, she dressed me in those awful clothes and then re did the makeup I had washed off in the shower. Sarah also curled my hair and made it look like I was no older than a three year old. When her mom came home later that afternoon Sarah told her about my fall and embarrassing accident, how she thought to use a diaper because my underwear was soaked. She even placed my clothes into a plastic bag so they wouldn’t get everything else wet. I was upset because my clothes were dry but she placed them in the bag anyway. Her mom wound up taking me home because I had to stay dressed in the toddler clothes and it would have been a disaster if I had tried to walk around the block to my house.

How could I ever trust another adult or another girl who claimed to be my friend? I was betrayed by someone who acted like a friend all for the sake of getting me to be dressed as the little girl she wanted me to appear to be. Even her mother got into it! Her mom gushed at how cute I was and tried to treat me like the toddler I was dressed as. I had no clue that Sarah had taken pictures of me dressed like this, but I found out later that week as one of the pictures was sitting in my locker at school. Sarah even had the nerve to write on the back “Baby Terri, we should do this again next Saturday. I’ll call you Friday to set up the date”

Someone always found a way to trip me at every other corner so it seemed to everyone else that I was either a klutz or worse a ditzy blonde-haired person. I am the only fifth grader who looks like he belongs in first or second grade in my school. I am an eleven-year-old-boy who chooses to play with the girls all the time, because I am too small to do guy stuff. I can’t play sports very much, because my bones are too soft. Just what I need my doctor telling me; that I will never get to be like the rest of the boys and that if mom hadn’t taken those drugs I wouldn’t be here today, life is just peachy… NOT!

I felt so alone, I had been betrayed, I had been manipulated, lied to, and even made to do things I did not want to do. All because others wanted me to appear as what they perceived what I should appear to be. Life sucks for a child when they are tiny and can’t fight for themselves. I never minded the physical pain of trippings and punches. What hurt the most was the betrayal and the manipulations I had no control over.

The good news, well the day after the disaster with Sarah, mom got a phone call, it seems that her application was accepted and we were moving to Washington on Monday. I was permitted to spend the rest of the week helping mom pack and we left the Hell of Northern Salt Lake City behind!

I wake up with my mom gently shaking me and saying.
“It is time to wake up Princess.”
Princess, now I’m confused, I know I’m a boy, but did mom just call me Princess? I open my eyes and expect to see my blue room with Spiderman posters on the wall, but am shocked to see there are Barbie posters, Faeries, and horses on PINK walls. Looking down at my bed, I find I’m in a pink toddler bed with Tinkerbelle sheets and a pink comforter with Tinkerbelle looking happy on it. Shaking that off I look at my clothes, I went to sleep wearing my blue Spiderman shorts and top, but wake up wearing a long shirt with Tinkerbelle on it.
I start to ask mommy (wait what is with this “mommy” she is mom) what happened when I am startled by my voice. It is different, it’s higher than when I went to bed it sounds just like a little girls voice. It all seems too real, I can smell the baby powder in the room, and it is starting to make me scared. Before I can start to protest about the nightshirt I’m wearing mom goes to the dresser and pulls out this pink shirt, a pink dress, and some small white socks, and some shiny pink shoes that look like they were freshly painted, looking at me, mom says “Let’s get you all pretty for your class pictures today.”
Trying to think I look at my mom and see that she is smiling as if I am really a girl so I decide to play along. I think to myself ‘it is only a dream, I can wake up when I want,’ that was till I went to get up and accidentally stubbed my toe, ‘Wait a minute that hurt’ my eyes start to water, and I start to tear before mom can say anything. She looks down and sees where my foot is starting to turn red and says. “I’m sorry honey; you need to be more careful.”
She kisses my cheek, but I am not crying about that, my mind is racing faster and faster, after all I am a boy not a girl. I am in the sixth grade, I have always been a boy I AM NOT A GIRL!
Looking at my surroundings, I can see that all of that is gone, but I still remember everything I did last night. Doesn’t mom remember that I am eleven not five, let alone that I am a BOY! Doesn’t she remember that today is picture day at school? I can’t be seen in school in that dress! Everyone would surely know that I am a boy in a dress! The teasing I would face from my ‘peers’ would be ten times worse! As I sit there, letting mom dress me I try to cope with what I am seeing and what I know is real… Nothing adds up, something is wrong… this is a nightmare!
As mom puts on my socks with pink lace on them she stands me up, I get a good look at the ‘little girl’ in the mirror and cannot believe that the reflection is me! I slink up towards the mirror as mom is looking in the closet for something. Looking at the little girl in the mirror there is no way that that can be me. Of course, I know that I am a boy, but looking in the mirror all I can see is this cute girl staring back at me. As I get closer I can see that there is definitely something wrong with my reflection, it looks like it is reaching out to touch me, as our hands meet I feel this strong pull as everything goes dark…
“Terrance you’re going to be late for school!” My mom yells waking me from that weird dream, at least that’s what I thought I heard. I look around expecting to see the pink room I was just in but all is see is my blue room. It was just a dream.
I wake up with my mom gently shaking me and saying.
“It’s time to wake up Princess.”
Princess, now I’m confused, I know I’m a boy, but did mom just call me Princess? I open my eyes and expect to see my blue room with Spiderman posters on the wall, but am shocked to see there are Barbie posters, Faeries, and horses on PINK walls. Looking down at my bed, I find I’m in a pink toddler bed with Tinkerbelle sheets and a pink comforter with Tinkerbelle looking happy on it. Shaking that off I look at my clothes, I went to sleep wearing my blue Spiderman shorts and top, but wake up wearing a long shirt with little ponies on it.
I start to ask mommy (wait what’s with this “mommy” she’s mom) what happened when I’m startled by my voice. It’s different, it’s higher than when I went to bed it sounds just like a little girls voice. It all seems too real, I can smell the baby powder in the room, and it’s starting to make me scared.
Before I can start to protest about the nightshirt I’m wearing mommy goes to the dresser and pulls out this pink shirt with buttons up the back, a pink dress, and some small lace socks, looking at me she says.
“Let’s get you all pretty for the pictures today.”
Trying to think I look at my mommy and see that she’s smiling as if I’m really a girl so I decide to play along. I think to myself ‘it’s only a dream, I can wake up when I want,’ that was till I went to get up and accidentally stubbed my toe, ‘Wait a minute that hurt’ my eyes start to water, and I start to tear before mommy can say anything. She looks down and sees where my foot is starting to turn red and says.
“I’m sorry honey; you need to be more careful.”
She kisses my cheek, but I’m not crying about that, my mind is racing faster and faster, after all I’m a boy not a girl. I’m in the sixth grade, I’ve always been a boy I’M NOT A GIRL!
Looking at my surroundings, I can see that my blue room is gone, but I still remember everything I did last night. Doesn’t mommy remember that I’m eleven not five, let alone that I’m a BOY! As I sit there, letting mommy dress me I try to cope with what I’m seeing and what I know is real… Nothing adds up, something is wrong this is a nightmare!
As mommy puts on my socks with pink lace on them she stands me up, I get a good look at the ‘little girl’ in the mirror and cannot believe that the reflection is me! I slink up towards the mirror as mommy is looking in the closet for something. As I get closer I can see that there is definitely something wrong with my reflection, it looks like it’s reaching out to touch me, as our hands meet I feel this strong pull as everything goes dark… **
“Terry you’re going to be late for school!”
My mom yells waking me from that weird dream, at least that’s what I thought I heard. I look around expecting to see the pink room I was just in but all I see is my blue room. It was, just a dream.
The Beginning
I awake to the pre-dawn, remembering the crazy yet all too real dream. The best question I can think of is would anyone believe me if I told them? I roll over and see my alarm clock reading 4:55 there is no way I can be late for school, it doesn’t start for another three hours. Confused I pull off my Spiderman sheets and pad to the bathroom. Stopping to look at the mirror, I carefully look at my reflection, looking pleased with myself that I really am awake this time. I continue on to the bathroom relieve my bladder of what little is in my system then continue back towards my warm bed after washing my hands. Even after the weird dream, I was soon asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. Thankfully, the dreaded nightmare that calls itself a dream did not return.
The alarm starts screeching with that programmed beeping noise at seven sharp, I can’t seem to remember the dream I was having after waking from the first one, but it must have been good because I’m not screaming my head off running from my room. Eating a normal breakfast of Captain Crunch, with a small glass of OJ I quickly head off to the bus stop where my classmates are waiting. Ignoring some of the taunts, I lose myself in the adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer as they’re on their raft headed down stream. The bus arrives a few minutes later and the boring ride to Ponderosa Elementary begins.
School is just as uneventful as every other day so I will not go into much detail, as I don’t really want to remember the teasing, taunting, and other horrific deeds done to me by my peers. The only real friends I can think about are in the library found in many different novels; yeah I mean the books, because they don’t harass me like my classmates. Between being the smallest person in fourth grade standing at three feet six inches and weighing forty-eight pounds soaking wet, and a loner, life at school was hard.
I have never gone into depth about school, because I was always alone. For the first week in school, everything seemed to be fine, then it was discovered that I couldn’t play as hard as most the boys and the teasing starts. Being as small as I am it is hard for me to keep up with anybody, and trust me I tried my hardest. (I know I’m bouncing around but it will make sense later) The P.E. teacher seeing my difficulties and the fact that I try my hardest while the other boys seem to be sloppy in comparison, asks me to stay back so he can talk to me after class. When we get to the office, I see the principle Dr. Safford sitting there waiting for us. Before I can say anything, the P.E. teacher starts with the standard line “Terry, I know you are trying your hardest to do the activities, but…” Dr. Safford cuts him off at this point “We feel that it will be better for you to pursue another option that will be safer for you.” All I could think was that they didn’t want to see me fighting to keep up with the rest of the class, as I was always the last person done in every activity, and it wasn’t by a couple of seconds, usually it was at least five minutes maybe more. They gave me a note to give to my mom and bring back allowing me to drop out of the P.E. class. This led to the resentment of most of the boys in class; I guess they saw it as me getting a “Free Pass” to get out of P.E.
Of course, I have a much higher reading level of most sixth graders, partly because all my free time, I’m found here in the library away from everyone as this is the only way to keep myself from being beaten by the bullies during lunch recess. I have found it easier to cope with the issues I have to face daily. Of course, I really did try my hardest to ‘fit in’ with my peers, but they seem to tower over me and I don’t like it. I’m petrified that again I’m the smallest, and the smartest kid in class. As the final bell rings, my teacher has to escort me to the bus because often the other students in school bully me. Hey, I would give up almost everything to be ‘normal’ by my peers.
Safely on the bus I’m dropped off at my after school program (I hate the term daycare) where I’m again teased because of my lack of abilities. (Some days I wonder why this had to happen to me. I didn’t want this, I mean who in their mind would want to be stuck looking like a three year old for the past six years? Why am I the one cursed to be stuck as a “little kid” for my school life.) As I walk in the monitor looks at the door and sees what she wants to see, a toddler on the loose, as I’m taking off my backpack I feel this presence behind me and hear.
“Just what do you think you are doing little one?”
I turn just in time to see a new face looking at me, (Great just what I need a newbie thinking I’m a toddler) with none of the regular caretakers present she picks me up and starts to walk towards the toddler room, I struggle to get my bearings and stammer out.
“I’m Terry from Ponderosa Elementary.”
Stopping dead in her tracks the new person is starting to do a great impression of a gold fish. Seeing that her mind is starting to make the connection, sheepishly she puts me down and starts to apologize to me; however before she can start, I interrupt her and inform her that it happens all the time with the new people. She stammers that her name is Ms. Julie and she is new, they did brief her about me but she didn’t believe that I would be this small. I have gotten used to it somewhat, so instead of letting it bother me, I just pass it off as a natural reaction that most adults have. (I know that for a sixth grader I have a rather large vocabulary, you should have seen Ms. Julie’s face when I explained in full context the meaning of irony…) Anyways the afternoon passes without too much torment and soon my mom is here to bring me home.
Finally home I can finish the adventures of Huckleberry Finn before dinner, it’s only 5pm and dinner won’t be ready for about another hour and a half.
Family life could have been better; I never knew my dad and he never knew me. Jack Roberts (my dad) died in an accident involving a drunk driver, when he and Amanda (my mom) were coming home from the movies. They say my dad never knew what hit them. Mom on the other hand spent almost six months in the hospital, where she found out she was pregnant after the Emergency Room doctor ran a basic pregnancy test because she was complaining about her stomach hurting. As they did the ultrasound to check they found something disturbing and discussed the problem and how there was little chance of her keeping the baby due to the accident, yet there was a “new” drug on the market to help women found in this situation. Nobody knew of any side affects so she agreed to use this medication to save her baby. After she was discharged, she followed the doctor’s instructions to the letter and kept all of her appointments. Eight months later, she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy naming him Terrance Jack Roberts after his father.
Dinner is uneventful and it is getting closer to the dreaded hour, bedtime. Being a typical child I try to weasel out of going to bed soon and manage to stay up fifteen minutes later than usual, I guess being “little” has its advantages. Finally, the dreaded time approaches, I cannot stall any longer and have to face the music. As I get into bed, I pray that the nightmare of a dream doesn’t come back.
I snap awake in my bed, completely confused the scream locked in my throat. I seem to be having the reoccurring dream where I’m young again but this time it is different, instead of being a boy, I’m a girl. I was freaked out about something but now I can’t seem to remember. The dreams are starting to make some sense for as a boy I’ve never fit in, I can’t physically compete in sports because I’m so small, I haven’t gained any weight since I was four I still fit into 3T clothes even though I’m eleven almost twelve years old. My mom keeps telling me that I’ll grow soon but I don’t know. I don’t want to be this small for sixth grade, I mean it is already hard enough when a substitute teacher comes in; they always seem to think I belong in the kindergarten class with the rest of the children my size. After school is worse because my mom works until late in the evening, I have to go to the local Daycare’s (I really hate that word, it makes me feel weird) after-school program. Even there some people try to treat me like the little child they think they see. I’m glad the caretakers were finally informed about my ‘problem’ so they would leave me alone. It’s not my fault I still can pass for a three year old I just hope I don’t have that dream again when I go back to sleep. I wonder what’s going to happen tonight, as I get ready for bed, after I have had my shower, and brushed my teeth with great unease I head towards my bed. I wish I could be happy for one night but I don’t ever think it will happen.
Today just seems to be getting worse, first it starts with that weird dream, now some bully I don’t even know is picking on me. I am roughly shoved more like thrown into the wall face first with no warning. I can feel my arm make a funny popping sound and I hear the boy say.
“What, the little baby wants to fight? You can’t even handle P.E., what makes you think you can fight me?”
Just as I turn to face him, I see him turn white as a sheet and start to run away. I know I am crying and my nose is running so I go to wipe my nose when I hear a scream from the teacher who just turned the corner. I find myself being picked up and I can feel the teacher running with me in her arms. I try to squirm out of her arms, but she is just holding me tighter and won’t let me go. The teacher has run all the way to the nurse’s office with me in her arms. The nurse walks in, looks at me, and calls the principal into her office while getting two icepacks out of the freezer. By now, my face is really starting to hurt and I start crying harder. The nurse presses one of the icepacks onto my face the other onto my left arm, telling the teacher to hold them there. The nurse then proceeds to pull out the emergency card folder and then asks for my name. Sobbing I can’t seem to answer her so she opens my back pack and spots my homework, pulling my emergency card from the book she goes over to the phone and starts calling someone. By this time, the principal has come in looking like he is ready to explode. Dr. Safford looks at me seeing the icepacks, the swelling, and the now developing bruising on my face and sternly asks what happened. I try telling him what happened but it comes out sounding like
“I godd pussed indo dhe walb by sode sidth grabe boy.”
The teacher explains the events she saw to Dr. Safford spelling out the bloody nose and possible broken arm thinking I am a kindergartner, when I scream
“I ab not a kindergardner, ab I know whad you saib,” then the world goes black.
I wake up finding myself in a strange room with a weird smell in it. Startled I look around and start to notice some odd things; First I’m laying down on a bed with rails, Second I have a pounding headache, and Third there is this strange beeping sound coming from above my head. I don’t remember anything after hearing the teacher say I had a bloody nose and am wondering just what is going on. I go to rub my face and I can see that my arm is wrapped up in something that makes it almost impossible to move it. Just as I am about to scream I hear a new voice call out,
“Honey now that you’re awake, I’ll go get your mommy for you”.
Before I can say anything, she is gone in a flash. A few minutes later mom is standing by the door with a tear stained face.
“Baby are you feeling better, you had me so scared, when I showed up at school with a change of shirts for you I found the Ambulance outside and the paramedics were loading you into it, I was so worried.”
During this, she had managed to get to my bed and pick me up. She was still holding me as if I was made of glass when the doctor came in to check on me. I found out that I had broken both my nose and my arm when I was slammed into the wall at school. Being Friday I was allowed to skip the rest of school for today. I had the option of going to daycare or home. Surprisingly I chose to go to the daycare center so mom could go back to work, besides I liked the little kids there, they didn’t treat me like a punching bag.
Back at Ponderosa Elementary, the principle Dr. Safford called for an assembly to be held for the sixth graders as I was being taken to the hospital. He turned around and lectured them for half an hour for what happened this morning.
“I will have the person responsible for this attack in my office by the end of the day or there will be grave consequences for every boy here.”
He then released everyone to go to his or her classes and asked the girls of my class who knew me well to stay behind so he could talk to them about this. Dr. Safford found out that this was not the first time I had been bullied at school. Then he asked the girls to look out for me as I was going to be somewhat weaker until the cast came off.
As we pulled in the parking lot mom reminded me that if it gets to be too much I could have someone call her to come pick me up. As we enter, Ponderosa Pines She informs the staff there to call her if I ask them to. I place my backpack in the closet where it goes and make my way to the toddler room. Ms. Julie sees me coming and opens the door and then I feel weightless as I am picked up and embraced in one of the best hugs I’ve had all day. I am told that today I am to relax and have fun. I don’t have to help if I don’t want to but she won’t stop me. Still feeling tired, I look around seeing that it’s naptime, so I carefully pull out a spare mat and start to lie down. Closing my eyes, I can feel the stress floating away as I now feel safe. As my head hits the pillow the stress from the day seems to pour out as fresh tears freely fall from my face, nobody is here to see what happens as I finally succumb to the demon called sleep. A valiant fight with the sandman is lost as I drift off to sleep; the tears are still falling staining the pillowcase as I slowly drift off.
I woke to a itching feeling on my face, as I reach up to scratch it I feel the bandage on my nose and am instantly reminded of the horrors that happened earlier this morning. Looking around half expecting to be in class I see the familiar surroundings of the daycare. Taking a moment to calm myself I try to get up by rolling onto my arms and am painfully reminded that I have a splint on my arm where some bully broke it by slamming me into the wall. I try my hardest to hold back the tears and a small cry as I get up slowly, but my body doesn’t want to cooperate with me. Ms. Julie sees me get up and sees the tears in my eyes walking over to me; she picks me up and holds me soothing me as she would most the toddlers there. Strangely, I am not upset by this. Usually I would be squirming out of someone’s hold to get back to the ground, but strangely, I am more relaxed by this attention than anything else today. Usually I don’t sleep during the day like this but the stress of today mixed with the drugs given at the ER made for a weird combination. I wound up sleeping through snack and was only remembered when I tried to get up and apparently whimpered. Mom was due there in about ten minutes so I asked for a small snack just to tide me over until I could get home. Ms. Julie was happy to get me some cheese and Ritz crackers and came back with a small plate full. I wound up sharing with the two children that were left, but I really didn’t care. Megan and Adam were two of the toddlers that were usually picked up after I left. They looked like twins and I am starting to think they are. Both are dressed, and act alike (I will have to ask Ms. Julie about them).
As we finished our snack, I heard my mom talking with the adults and went over to her. Being careful, she picked me up and held me close finishing her conversation. As we left, she asked me if I knew who hurt me this morning, but I had no clue and told her that I would remember his face and if I saw him, again I would know. She reminded me to be careful at school from now on. I still must have been tired as I fell asleep on the way home.
I was dreaming that I was back at school this morning, but the bully didn’t run away. When I pulled myself off the brick wall, he pushed me hard and I fell to the ground. Seeing that I wasn’t getting up he kicks me in the side and runs off laughing. Trying to curl up into a ball to protect myself I get dizzy and collapse against the sidewalk, hearing the distinct crack of a head bouncing on the pavement. I snap awake in my bed, completely confused curling into a ball screaming don’t hit me in an almost blood curdling shriek.
Startled by the sudden scream, mom snaps up from the book she was reading. Looking at me seeing the terror in my eyes she gently picks me up and starts to rock me in the chair she had brought in. Starting to relax I feel the need to tell mom everything about the dreams I have been having. As I unload on mom about the different dreams I have had she is shocked.
“Why didn’t you come to me sooner?”
That was all she could manage at that moment. Feeling as if I was in trouble I just hung my head and started silently crying. I feel a gentle pressure under my chin pushing my head up so that I have to look into the eyes of my mother. I am confused; I don’t see any disappointment in her eyes just love. I know that mom is going to say something, but before she can open her mouth, I give her the tightest hug I can with one arm, as my left is still splint bound. Mom then tells me that whatever happens she will always love me no matter what I decide.
I don’t remember what happened after dinner. I guess I am still shook up after the events at school this morning. I feel upset about what happened. As my head hits the pillow, the stress from the day seems to pour out as fresh tears freely fall from my face and nobody is here to see what happens as I finally succumb to sleep. A valiant fight with the sandman is lost as I drift off to sleep the tears are still falling staining the pillowcase as I slowly drift off.
** “Princess, sweetie wake up”
I feel the faint presence of my mommy at the side of my bed, I don’t really want to open my eyes because deep down I know I’ll be in my pink princess room.
“If you don’t get up now we won’t get to go to the theater today.”
For some strange reason I really want to get up and go see a movie, but I fear what I’ll find as I open my eyes. Pretending to sleep I turn away from the voice, only to feel the blanket firmly removed from my body and the feeling of weightlessness as I’m picked up. The soft plastic of the vanity seat reminds me of what happened yesterday and I shudder… (Why me, why is it always me who gets the raw deal of everything. I’m so tired of the confusion in this dream.) I open my eyes to meet the day. My mommy cheerily greets me as I open my eyes, I still want to crawl into a hole and disappear, but I’m lured out of my thoughts by the prospective chance of spending part of the day at the movies. Looking at my arm and expecting to see the splint, I am surprised that there is nothing there; it is as if yesterday didn’t really happen and it was just a dream.
“Terri, we have a busy day ahead of us.”
My mom explains as she dresses me again in a skirt and blouse.
“First we have to go see the doctor, and finally we can go to the Movies.”
At the word doctor I freeze, I really hate the doctor’s office it is cold and scary. The people there always poke and prod; you are stuck with needles (I HATE needles). I start to tear up and whine about the doctor but it seems to be ignored.

As I’m placed onto the bath, a piercing buzzing sound emits from the wall next to my head. ** I blink my eyes a couple of times expecting to be on a cold exam table but find myself in my warm bed. Now I’m really starting to get worried about these dreams they all seem too real. I can vividly remember the events of this dream, and this is weird. Just as I shut the alarm off, my mom walks in
The Doctor’s office
“Just a reminder you have a doctor’s appointment, so you will be missing some of school today”
Great just what I need, first I dream of a doctor’s office then I really have to go to one. Man, I hope that I don’t need any shots today.
As I am eating breakfast, I keep thinking that the doctor is going to stick me with a whole bunch of needles. I’m petrified and literally start shaking so bad that I can’t hold my milk glass. Seeing the terror in my eyes mom stops whatever she was doing and I suddenly feel her hands wrapped around me and I can hear her humming something. Gradually I start to relax and stop my impression of a jackhammer; mom reminds me that we can talk about anything that’s bothering me. I tell mom that I don’t want to go because I don’t want to get any shots. Remembering my fear of needles mom starts to comfort me telling me that she doesn’t think I will be getting any shots today, the doctor just wants to look at my injuries. Calming down a bit, I am able to finish my breakfast, and get ready for the doctor.
Getting dressed with a broken arm turns out to be very difficult, as I can’t hold my shorts or pull my shirt on. Asking mom for help is a bit embarrassing, as mom hasn’t had to dress me since I was three. Knowing that I am having problems mom chose a simple pair of shorts and a loose tee. After getting ready, we head towards the doctor’s office for the follow up appointment with Dr. Goldman.
At the doctor’s office, I found out just how bad my arm really is. Apparently, when I hit the wall I hit it with so much force I caused a radial break of my forearm. Looking at the x-rays you could see the way the bone spiraled as it separated, also you could see where the pin was places to help the bone heal.
Dr. Goldman then took me into a room where there was a low table and a shelf with a bunch of different foil packages. He then asked me what color cast I wanted and pointed to the shelf with what liked like thousands of foil packages arranged by size from 2 ½" to 3" and colors. I chose a close match to royal blue as I could get since it was my favorite color. I won’t go into the details about how the cast was wrapped on my arm as it hurt a lot and I don’t want to bore you. The only strange thing was that the doctor wanted to draw some blood to do some test, so he had a nurse come in with my mom and hand me a cup with this little pill and a glass of water. I took the pill and about a half hour later was so relaxed that seeing the needle didn’t seem to bother me this time. I even watched with curiosity as the nurse stuck my vein and drew three vials of my blood, without screaming or passing out as I usually do. (Later I found out that my mom had talked to the doctor and voiced her concerns that I wasn’t developing, as I should)
All I could think about was how it happened. I didn’t even know the kid who did it to me. However, if I see him again I don’t really know what I’m going to do. Gee, it really sucks to be small, now I am going to be stuck like this for about six weeks. After the six weeks, I have to go back to the doctor, get more X-rays done and maybe I can get the pin removed… maybe.
Mom decided that going to school for an hour would be a waste so we went to the movies. (De-ja-vou, anybody?) I don’t really remember the movie we saw, I think I fell asleep during it. The time spent with mom is what I can remember and it was wonderful. I felt carefree, as nobody could hurt me. Mom was there and everything was peaceful. As the movie ended, I was still nestled into the crook of the chair next to mom using her arm as a pillow. She tried to wake me up but I was out cold, she wound up carrying me to the car and driving home. The drive home was different, I couldn’t seem to wake up fully, and just drifted off letting my mind travel freely wherever it wanted to go.
I remember being gently carried upstairs and placed into bed, surprisingly I can’t remember if I dreamt or not. Surprisingly I slept through the afternoon and woke up for dinner by way of mom brushing my face with a lock of my longish hair. I don’t want to cut it but maybe I should get it trimmed after all it nearly reaches the bottom of my shoulder blades.
Revelations
During dinner, I told mom that I think I really am a girl. I don’t have any friends at school that are boys as I find their actions are truly barbaric and hurtful. The boys at school can’t seem to play with each other without there being some sort of competition between themselves with a winner and a loser. Whereas the girls can get together and have fun with each other, no competition, no winners, no losers, no hurt feelings. I feel better with the girls and they accept me for who I am. I finally break down ant tell mom that I only seem to have very little friends in school and it has been that way since kindergarten. Following this, mom and I sat down for dinner. Dinner consisted of my favorite foods, Corned beef, Cabbage and Boiled potatoes. (I know it is an Irish dish and to my knowledge, I am not Irish, but I still like it) After dinner, we had discussed seeing a special doctor to help me find the truth as to who I was. She then sent me to the living room and called someone on the phone. I tried to tune out the one sided conversation until my name was mentioned, and then I couldn’t help myself.
"Yeah, I just found out that Terry has been having some disturbing dreams… No, I don’t know for how long… Do you know if Jessica is still practicing here or did she finally move…? Really, that’s good… I’ll give her a call in the morning after Terry goes to school… No I don’t think he can hear me, I sent him to the living room to watch TV for a bit’.
Trying to look innocent, I returned to the show that was on, so mom would think I wasn’t overhearing something she didn’t want me to. Walking into the room after her strange phone call mom had made she told me that I could finish the show then I had to go to bed as I had school tomorrow. As the show ended I showered, brushed my teeth and got ready for bed, wondering who was Janet and why did mom want me to see her.
The alarm woke me this morning and strangely enough, I can’t remember having any dreams. It’s been so long that I am curious as to why I didn’t have any dreams last night. Getting dressed for school seemed to take forever and I finally got mom to help me. I really hope that I will learn how to do this soon because I can’t stand, being like this and six months is a somewhat long time.
My friends seemed to know there was something special about me. They started meeting me at the bus, sitting with me during lunch, and during recess, they never left my side. No matter where I was, they seemed to find me. I was starting to wonder if I was ever going to be alone, they even waited for me outside the bathroom.
During class, I kept seeing the empty desk towards the back of class, as I sat in a special desk in the far back of the class, I could see everyone in the classroom. I had never remembered that desk being empty as a blond haired boy sat there… then it hit me like a sack of bricks, the kid that pushed me into the wall sat there! As the class broke for morning recess, I stayed back and asked Ms. Davis who sat at that desk and where was he.
It turns out that the kid’s name was Jacob and he hadn’t been to school for the past three days. Seeing the pale look on my face, the teacher asked if I was ok. She got to the side of her desk in time to catch me as I fell… Darkness surrounds me as I feel the rushing of the wind. Luckily, I don’t feel my head bounce off the desk as Ms. Davis lost her grip on me.
Part Two
The Return Hospital Visit
The smell of a hospital room is the first thing that I am aware of, as I slowly open my eyes I can see that the light is turned down, and mom is sleeping beside me in a chair that looks like it hurts more than this type of bed did on my last visit here. I still don’t want to open my eyes all the way, because I don’t want to see my cast, and the bandages holding my nose in place. Yet now that I am awake, I can feel the extra padding around my head and can see some of the extra bandages on the table. Watching mom sleep is somewhat comforting, and I don’t see the nurse come in. I’m stuck in thought about how all this started.
The nurse seeing that I was semi conscious tried everything to get my attention, however she didn’t realize that I wasn’t quite awake yet and hit the page button for the doctor thinking that I was catatonic. It seems that there was some sort of standing order that should I do anything the doctor should be notified to check on me. I had no clue that I had been out of touch with the world for about three weeks; apparently, I had a weird reaction to the pain pills the ER doctor had prescribed.
The next thing I can remember is this nasty smell under my nose and the nurse’s voice repeatedly begging me to open my eyes. This causes my mom to wake up and stare questioningly at me.
I can see the raw emotions on all the faces of everyone in the room mom, the nurses and Dr. Goldman, as well as another person in the bed next to me whom I don’t know. Looking at everyone here and seeing the concern in his or her eyes made me really worry. As I am pulled into consciousness that nasty smell is replaced with a small straw placed on my lips, with strict instructions to take a small sip before I do anything else.
Wondering what happened and why I am here, I look at the nurse with the question in my eyes. The nurse reminds me to take a small sip from the straw before I can open my mouth to say anything. Realizing that my throat feels like sandpaper I try to take a larger drink after my small sip, but to my dismay, the cup and straw are removed from my reach before I can accomplish that deed.
Doctor Goldman then tells me that I have been out for three weeks the first two I spent in the ICU as I had a severe reaction to the Codine that caused my heart to stop. This really scared me as I had been taking the medication for almost three days and didn’t feel anything that could have been a warning sign. Doctor Goldman, the nurses and Mom all leave to discuss some things without me overhearing them, leaving me to wonder what else I am allergic to…
Looking at the face that I previously didn’t recognize, she starts to smile. I just sat there looking at this beautiful Dark brown haired goddess awestruck that she was actually smiling at me. I know that she is smiling at me, as I am the only other patient in the room as the other beds are empty. I missed her saying her name as I was daydreaming about the fact that she smiled at me. She then cleared her throat, which got my attention, and re-introduced herself as Alicia. Seeing that she’s alone I asked her where her parents are and suddenly the smile is gone. She tells me that her mom and dad died in a plane crash and she had been removed from her family for her safety. She then tells me that she will tell me more about herself later when I am feeling better.
Realizing that she thinks I am a little kid I start to protest but she cuts me off with her saying “I know you are eleven and I refuse to treat you how I was, but you just woke up and I don’t want to scare you too much”. (Wow, here I thought I had it rough) After a few days, she gives me a brief description of the hell she went through. My respect for her when I found out that she had survived that much went through the roof. I mean who would do something so evil to their brother. At least she turned out to be somewhat ok I still see her cringe anytime a woman walks into the room but I hope she will get over that soon as not all women are like that.
As the night came along I noticed a small pain in my stomach, but I just brushed it aside as I thought it was just the stress from recent activities, after all I was out for three weeks because of a drug allergy. {Little did I know that my life was going to be turned upside down in about six hours from that start of that small pain.} During the night I broke out in heavy sweating and a gut wrenching pain, the monitors attached to me started going nuts as the duty nurse came running in. Seeing that I was pale as the sheets I was laying on she reached for the bedside light as my pain intensified again and I passed out again.

I woke up later that week with IVs stuck in both arms and more wires sticking out of my hospital gown. Apparently, I had gotten a severe case of Appendicitis and it ruptured as the surgeon was operating. Now I have this cast on my arm, my nose in a bandage, my head wrapped and three spots on my stomach that have stitches… Just what I wanted, I don’t think I will ever get out of here.

I still am running a fever from the infection and I can’t go home until it is gone. I miss having real food as I can only have liquids for now, the doctor doesn’t want to put too much strain on my stomach.

I looked around and saw that the other beds were still stripped; Alicia and I are still alone in this room. I start to tell her more about myself, but I stop when I get to the dream. I don’t want her to think I am crazy, and I am still too weak from the emergency surgery to do anything.

Being cooped in this hospital bed I start to remember back at my old school one person who didn’t treat me like dirt. Granted we both were seen as easy targets and were picked on daily but Matt and I seemed to get along. We both agreed there must be a “strange attraction to small children” that brings out the worst in big kids and bullies. The worst person was Bartholomew Roberts, or Black Bart as everyone else called him {not to his face}. It seemed that Matt was his favorite target. When he couldn’t find Matt, he used me as a substitute. A few days before I moved I remembered that I had forgotten to tell Matt. I went to his house but he wasn’t there. I had to leave without telling my one true friend from school that I was leaving. Someday I hope to find him and apologize.

Anyways back to the here and now. I am slowly getting better every day, my nose has healed and the bandages come off later this afternoon, soon I will just have this cast and the surgery bandages. I hope that I can go home soon as this hospital is getting boring. I still am weak but I am getting stronger every day.

Alicia is seeing a councilor to help her with her emotional problems and I hear them talking when they think I’m asleep. I know I shouldn’t listen in on their conversation but I can’t really help it.

Knowing what she went through makes me kind-of glad that I am an only child. It also makes me hurt badly inside that someone would do that to their family. I couldn’t stop feeling so bad for Alicia, so I tried to get up out of my bed and walk to her to give her a big hug. Well what I tried to do and what happened were two different things. As soon as I stood up, I felt this burning pain and then I fell over…

ICU Again

I came to in another room. I was alone and scared out of my mind. I had no clue as to where I was, or if anybody knew, I was awake. I couldn’t move again and I could only see the ceiling in my room. I guess I woke up when I heard some familiar voice raised in anger, I couldn’t quite understand what was said but there was a lot of noise then a door closed, I heard snickering and laughter as the sound faded. Eventually I found the call button and managed to press it. The quiet room suddenly burst with activity as a nurse, a doctor and some other people came running in. I found out that I was at Primary Children’s Hospital back in Salt Lake City, and I was back in the ICU.
Apparently, when I had gotten out of bed I ripped the stitches out of my incisions and almost died. I had been transferred to this hospital by helicopter and ambulance {too bad I was unconscious}. The surgeon spent several hours cleaning and suturing the wounds together.

The nurse introduced herself as Marie and then turned to the doctor to await her orders. The doctor never said her name and rattled off something I didn’t catch then left. The door opened again as Marie was raising my bed so I could see something else when I spotted a rather cross-looking woman. The only thing she said was follow me and it wasn’t directed towards me so Marie paled and left with her.
Returns and Reunions
After an unknown amount of time a rather shaken nurse Marie returned saying something about being lucky that Mrs. Covington was suck a kind person. My ears perked up at that and I said aloud “I wonder what Mrs. Covington is doing in Washington?” Nurse Marie then looked at me like I was joking and told me that I was nowhere near Washington, and I was back In Salt Lake where I had been seen before because of my recent trauma. I then asked her to go get Mrs. Covington so she could get a message to Matt for me.

The next thing I know there is this beautiful girl looking in at the doorway holding Mrs. Covington’s hand. Looking at this little girl, I see a remarkable resemblance to Matt, but I also see something that I hoped I would never see, a dark cloud has set over the eyes of this beautiful child as if something terrible has happened. As I still can’t seem to sit up on my own the little girl comes over to my bed and says, “Hi Terry, What are in for?”
Looking shocked at the girl sitting on the side of my bed I manage to croak out a weak “Who are you, and where is Matt?” Instantly the smile is gone replaced by a faraway look as tears start forming in the corners of her eyes, almost as if I had slapped her in the face. I have no clue what I have done but before it get to far out of hand Mrs. Covington reminds her that I had moved before the changes had started.
The girl then introduces herself as Matilda and fills me in on what happened after my move. Shocking doesn’t even begin to describe the events of her life and I wish we had never left as I lost a friend but gained another friend whom I will never forget, I know that Matt is gone now but Matilda is here to stay.
I tried to apologize to Matilda for not telling her I was moving away but before I could she gave me that look that women have perfected, you know the one that makes you suddenly speechless as if your mind just shuts down and does a hard restart. Once I am able to think clearly Matilda reminds me the past is in the past and to leave it there, and that she is not upset that I was unable to tell her that I was moving. Looking relieved, I want to hug her but I can’t sit up let alone get out of bed as I am recovering from my last attempt at getting up too soon.
As if reading my mind Matilda gently leans over me and softly hugs me telling me to get well soon, so I can get the hell out of here. Then like that, she is gone and again I find myself alone.
Thinking back to the dreams I have been having lately I try to see what makes me look like a boy. Remembering how I look in the mirror there is not really anything that screams boy but my haircut. Even with short hair, I constantly hear people calling me a cute girl. I wonder if maybe I was supposed to be a girl but something went wrong. I wonder if this repetitive dream is trying to tell me something, for now I guess that I can wait and try to heal so I can go home, it was nice to meet Matilda for the first time and I really wish I could have seen Matt that last time but things happen for a reason. I have learned that lesson time after time.
After all the excitement of the day is ending, another doctor has entered my room. I look at her and she looks nothing like the ICU, or ER doctors. I’m wondering to myself if she has the right room until she asks me if I am Terry, when I tell her that I am she looks relieved and then tells me that she is a therapist that deals with emotional trauma and she wants to talk to me.
The First thing she does introducing herself as Jessica, was asked me directly if I felt better being called Terry or Terri. I couldn’t answer her. I didn’t know how I felt, or who I really was. I’m tired of hiding from every bully around, and being the smallest person in school. I’m not sure what to make of this new person so I don’t want to tell her of the dreams that I am having.
Apparently, this is the same Jessica that mom was talking about on the phone. I still don’t know if I can trust her as many adults see me as something to be ignored or some sort of freak. I sat there trying to judge where this therapist fell in, but I was having difficulties placing her within the categories I had experienced. Maybe she was truly going to be different from the others, maybe she truly cared about what was going on. I still had my suspicions at this time about her motives and intention, so I wasn’t going to open myself to her just yet.