When I was about 10 years old, I was running up the stairs to my bedroom when my ankle rolled and gave way. Over the sound of my body thudding down each and every step, was a very distinctive and sickening “popping” noise that sent chills down my spine and a searing pain up through my leg.
Crumpled at the bottom of the stairs in a heap, I laid there bawling my eyes out. My mother — who had been walking up the stairs in front of me — leaned over the railing from the floor above me and told me to stop crying and get up.
I can’t remember exactly what I said, but I do know that the conversation ended with my mother turning her back on me to go pack (they were going out of town), and me crawling up the rest of the stairs to my room.
You see this wasn’t the first time that I had hurt my ankle, and quite frankly I think that my mother was just tired of me complaining about being hurt. But I did hurt, and I hurt almost all the time. Not even just my ankle, but every single part of me.
This is actually The Girl Child pouting about who even knows what (so dramatic, the little girls!) but this is basically an accurate picture of how I felt most days.
Later that night, my parents dropped me and my brothers off at my grandparent’s house, where we would be staying for the weekend while my parent’s went on a short getaway. As I hobbled through the doorway, my grandpa asked me what was wrong. “Oh you know her” my parents both chided, “always the drama queen that one.”
Choking back tears from both humiliation and pain, I made my way to the living room where I sat down until it was decided by my parents that I just needed to walk it off. And by walk it off, they meant jump rope. I was given a jump rope and all but shoved outside where adult faces were pressed against the window and I was told that I could come back in after I jumped rope for a while. My grandpa, assuming that my parents were right and I just needed to "walk it off," was cheering me on.
So I jumped.