Memories of war

My earliest memory of war is somewhere between five and eight year old

in my recollection, the city where I was living had been bombed by a foreign aviation

and from what I recall, sirens had started to scream with their screeching voice

and bombs had started to fall with their horrendous bangs

and streaks of light lit the night sky

it was so, so scaring and my parents had come to me and we had gone in the corridor to sleep on mattresses

because corridors are supposed to be the safest places where to be in case a bomb falls near your building and glass shatters or a whole section of a wall is blown out

I barely remember that night, but I still recall the horror I had felt

and later my fear for fireworks and barking dogs at night

any noise that troubled the peace of the night seemed suspicious, worrying

Later when I was fifteen, I lived another, one month war

I wasn’t in a very exposed part of the country

but the few times my village was bombed were traumatizing, and after the first, unexpected bombing

I had started waiting for the bombs to fall at all times, not sleeping because I could hear the war helicopters and airplanes, and worried when the next horrible bang would resonate through my bones

The things that remained impressed in my bones are the sirens horrible noise, even if I heard them only once, the brutal banging of bombs that made me feel each time the world was ending, the rush toward the closest shelter, a corridor or a basement, and the constant buzz of airplanes and helicopters that reminded me any moment a bomb could fall

Why did it traumatize me so much, when other people live sometimes years of war, in much more desperate situations, losing places and people they love, becoming handicapped

do I even have the right to be so sensitive, and so afraid, when other people in the world or past generations of my own family have gone through much more horror?

I believe I do, one night of bombing is enough to traumatize a sensitive child

and it is also enough to open again an old wound, an old memory

did I live during the World War II, and was I killed there, I wonder

did I know and meet such atrocities that my body shivers at the mere sound of sirens, at the echoes of bombs even, at the simple mention of police or army forces

I think I did, because when I write these sentences I want to cry

I want to cry and sob all my soul out

the fears I wrote about were here only to rediscover and feel again and heal all that sadness that has been dormant in my body for so long

a sadness that refuses to go out so deeply entrenched it is, a pain I still fear to entirely feel

a wound I still need to fully understand