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The Eyes That Follow

In: English and Literature

Submitted By torres0901
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EN1320: Module 4 Essay
The Eyes That Follow
Jon Torres

Porcelain dolls. Staring at me with unblinking eyes, surrounding me, and I can’t get away. My older sister, standing there laughing at me, a horror movie about killer dolls playing in the background. Me, 5 years old and strapped down to a chair. I still have the fear of dolls that I experienced that day, although it is not quite as severe. My older sister was a firm believer in tough love, and she was always picking on my brothers and me. It isn’t until I sit here, 17 years later, that I realize that it wasn’t just a prank, but her way of trying to toughen me up. I remember that day as one of horror and hurt, but it wasn’t as bad as a 5 year old mind can make it out to be. I woke up expecting the normal life of a kid, playing with toys and watching Tom and Jerry as I waited for my mom to take over with As the World Turns. Little did I know that my older sister was home as well, “sick” with one of those 24 hour stomach bugs. She decided it would be the perfect opportunity to teach her passive-aggressive younger brother to be tough and not cry. Boy did that backfire. She called me into the living room, and the first thing I noticed was the spinning desk chair in the middle of the room. I didn’t see my sister, so I sat down and looked at the television, expecting to see some commercial about a new cleaner or a toy that I would want. Instead, there is an inflated face of a porcelain doll, a movie that had been paused. In the blink of an eye I was tied down with a bright pink jump rope and struggling to break free as my sister tied a blindfold around my eyes. Looking back I would say it lasted a whole 15 to 20 minutes, but it felt like an eternity when I was experiencing it all those years ago. As the blindfold came off and my eyes adjusted, I just remember what at the time looked like hundreds of eyes staring at me, trying to get me. All I remember for a few minutes after that is the spinning, the contortion of the faces, the arms seeming to reach out to try and grab me; of course my sister just stood there and laughed as I was freaking out, crying out for her to help me, but to no avail. I felt betrayed, that I could never trust her again, and for weeks I had nightmares every night about the dolls coming to steal me from my parents. My sister got grounded for a week when my mom got home from the store, but I didn’t think a week was long enough. I ended up hating dolls, and dealing with nightmares every night isn’t easy when you are so young. My parents never took me to a psychiatrist or specialist, but they did help me get through the nightmares, and partially through the fear. It really didn’t help that my mom had a huge collection of porcelain dolls scattered throughout the house, but after about 6 months I was able to walk past them without lashing out. To this day, I will not have any dolls around me. They can be in cases, but that is it. My wife finds it funny, and I can laugh at it too, but the irrational fear of dolls my sister instilled in me that day has stuck ever since. The eyes that they have, always following you around the room, is still creepy to me. Every now and then I may still have a nightmare, but I wake up to find no dolls chasing me so I am able to sleep the rest of the night with ease. I know it is silly for a grown man to be cautious and step lightly around a doll, but it is the biggest traumatic experience I have ever had in my life. It is just those eyes….…...

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