When I was about twelve, my whole family together took our first trip to Disneyland. We were one of the greatest spectacles for the tourists. My mom made my dad buy each of us a red sailor cap with our name embroidered on it. This made it easier for her to spot all of us when she wanted to do her quick count check …you know 1,2,3,4,5,6,7..o.k they’re all accounted for. We could have been our very own Mickey Mouse club.
This trip was so much fun. We were all having a blast, until Space Mountain. LG says I can’t tell you Space Mountain until I o.k. it with certain unmentioned family member. Until then, let me just tell you this…it was one of my life’s most traumatizing experiences.
Alright, lucky for you, my family all have the same open-book policy as I do. LG’s family is definitely more reserved, but I honored my husband and got the unnecessary permission from my mom.
So, we all got to Space Mountain. My mom was not in her BEST mental state. She was recently recovering from a mental breakdown and a drug addiction. She was addicted to Valuim for years upon her doctor’s perscription. We thought that Disneyland would be a great celebration, and it was, until Space Mountain.
All of the family waited in line anxiously and we boarded on the Space Car in an orderly fashion. I was the lucky one to board in the back seat next to my mom. She got in first, meaning that when the ride was over, I would have to wait for her to exit to the right before I could make a departure.
If you have never been on Space Mountain, let me inform you. It is building where they have squashed a rollercoaster inside. The coaster is supposed to resemble a ride in Space and it goes very fast and loops up and down and all around. The room is completely dark; the only thing that one can see are the flashing lights (these add to the effect of traveling through space). Throughout the ride, you feel like you had better not reach out with your hands, or you may just lose a limb to a traveling car on another track.
From the get-go, my mom was doomed. She experienced sensory overload of some sort. Ten seconds into the ride, when I should have been like any other kid enjoying the ride, I was quite the opposite. All I wanted was for the ride to be over. My mom was wailing at the top of her lungs. I can’t even describe what she sounded like, but it was something like this, “AHhhhhhhhhhhh, AHHHHHHHHHH, AAAHHHhhhhhhhhhhh, Ahhhhhhh.” over and over again. When I caught a glimpse of her between flashing lights, all I could see was her hands clenched onto the bar for dear life and her face full of real terror.
I kept screaming, “Mom, mom, close your eyes.” “Mom, it is just a rollercoaster.” I tried to comfort her by patting her arm, but this is hard to do when a rollercoaster is traveling at the speed of light. My mom’s screams of terror never stopped throughout the ride. I wanted so badly to make her alright, but I also couldn’t stop thinking, “Why out of the 8 other members of the family, was I the one to sit by my mom on this particular ride?” I was just wishing that Dad would appear magically and switch me places.
Well, the ride was soon over. There is one bonus to Space Mountain. Most people feel it a rip to stand in line so long for a ride that lasts less than 60 seconds. On this day, that 60 seconds seemed like a lifetime. As we slowed down and approached the landing deck, my mom still didn’t stop. She had literally checked out! She was still hanging on for dear life and repeatedly screaming, “ahhhhhh, ahhhhhh, ahhhhh.”
It was as though my mom was possessed.
The people waiting in the line for their turn to board looked perplexed. They couldn’t tell whether or not my mom was joking around. Was she trying to scare them from riding the ride? They were staring. By this point, I had given up on calming my mom down, and I tried not to look all these hundred of linegoers in the eye. I didn’t know what to do.
The family all unboarded, but my mom was not going anywhere. Therefore, I had no choice but to sit and wait for something to be done. Now, everyone knew that my mom wasn’t playing around. All of the potential riders looked at me in pity. The mother of these seven Mickey Mouse club members had truly lost it. My dad shooed the clueless Space Mountain worker to the side. My mom was always teeny (5 feet tall) and my dad big and strong. He leaned over and gathered up my raving mother in his arms. He carried her off to the side. I was finally able to unboard, and was totally immersed by my brothers and sisters wondering what in the world I had done to mom. I explained that she had just lost it. I don’t remember much else after that, except for my dad got my mom a drink and luckily we didn’t have to go home early. My mom came back to her senses at some point.
I know, this story and the last Pomp and Circumstance aren’t funny at all. I have no idea why I am even writing them, except for the fact that out of tragedy can come humor. If you made this incidence into a sitcom, I am sure that people would laugh. I can look back and laugh at both situations. I came out of these scarred, but stronger. And, it is fun to laugh at what life throws your way. My mom experienced a nervous breakdown on Space Mountain, and I was right next to her to witness it…how many people can say that? I bet not one other person in this world.