Rob Brown gives voice to a little boy who didn’t survive his abusive childhood.
(Trigger warning for childhood violence)
I divulged a very private secret of the Little Boy. Today, I told the therapist that the boy wrote and then hid letters “to those who matter.” The letters told his world who he was, what he loved, what scared him and who would likely take his life—of fears of certain death from the bleeding, beating and pain. He told how much he did not want to be dead, but “in case I am, please read this and please try to know me. Please know I did not want to be like this.
They were not suicide notes by any means. They were a shout-out that he was here. “I was here…this is who I was. These were my favorite stuffed animals. These were my sisters. Let me tell you about my adventures in my woods, my fears and tears. Let me tell you of a life you would never otherwise know, and will likely never understand. You must know why I was the way I you knew me to be. you don’t see the stream in the woods the way I see it…I know for a fact you don’t.”
Little Boy periodically wrote new ones and added them to the hidden collection. He remembers apologizing for being dead, being bad, disappointing his parents and hoped they would never hear what he would do with those older boys, but knew that the doctors would probably figure it out eventually.
He said “goodbye” his dog Lucy, and told others how to care for her now that he’s gone. “Please let her keep my bed and sleep there. She might seem like she hates my favorite stuffed animals, but she just jealous and probably won’t eat them if I’m gone.”
He told of regret for disappointing those who needed him to be a real boy—into sports—to be physically strong, good in school, popular with other kids and not a criminal disappointment to the crystal family. “I hope Dad doesn’t keep hitting people or kicking Lucy. I really tried to make him like me, but then I did that bad thing with the knife. I understand why he thinks I should be in jail.”
I was here, he proclaimed. He was a soul and had real feelings. Mostly, he told of wanting to just be normal, but explained to those important to him why he was not…normal…ever.
The letters were real. They remained hidden for decades. Though the Little Boy faded away forever, he has one (only one) man watching his grave and caring for the stuffed animals. “The letters were sposta be kept secret till we’re gone!!” and stomps his foot at the man. But the man is out of time, and soon, no one will ever know either of them existed.