Finding Self

Where is self?

The pain, emotional and physical,
has shown demanding intolerance,
there will be no denying its existance,
pain’s presence invokes omnipresence.

Aroursed to fight… or flee,
loosed demons that betray,
voices, internal dialogue,
unvanquished torment!

Survival’s demanding sources,
doling out more pain… persistant
tolls on body and mindfulness,
dampened soul, like deadened sound.

The silence hurts beyond limits,
hurling to our body memories,
flashbacks, dissociations
intended survival, walls to self.

Where is “self” hidden now?
In what room of the fortress?
Will doors be opened upon request?
Go seeking, a journey, a quest to self.

Doing the hard work of looking at me.

3/14/2018
I’m teary eyed, and there’s so much work to do. I feel daunted, but hope the Welbutin kicks in this week? Then the new therapy I have been working on, maybe I can keep doing it at home. My T said I can try that, she believes what I do with one type is Ok for home. I cried so hard though, the tears just go and go…

I had looked at me, I found the very sad me, I looked at him, he at me. I sat in the orange chair, he across the living room on the couch. He related gratitude I know him, have not forgotten him. We could barely manage this. Then… my 3 year old self, he had hugged me and I him a few weeks ago… We did it again, in front of me, me on the couch. That’s when I couldn’t stop crying… I cried so hard… I am now too… So, will I be Ok at home to do this? I’m told the old me who didn’t cry, didn’t feel, that boy me on the couch and decades of that, we/he/me now feel like the feelings demand me to feel.

When I got sober, it was me looking at the feelings and saying to myself, OK, that’s got to be good, I can feel now. But, now? It’s now, feeling these feelings that my body knows the score and it’s not happy. Not happy at all.

I feel the rape again too, too many days I relive it now… I must be close that boy in me needing his voice… the others have been getting their chance and now… I don’t know? I’ve written my story… I’ve written so much, but have I given him a voice or just told his story???

Me (56) Now just (A): Can we talk?
Me (15) Now just (B): About what?
A: What did you think and feel living through 14 to the beginning of 16? But, if that’s not the timeframe… please pick yours, I’m not here to influence, please express you as you?
B: That’s a tough question for me, I don’t think anyone ever asked me how I feel? Maybe in that therapy, that one session where the guy made a threatening comment “why are you smiling?!”, demanding that it evoked me thinking the situation is funny, when I was scared and used my smile to ameliorate my feelings and in a way to de-escalate what I feared. That’s also part of my story, so getting to how I feel is really difficult. The story wants the attention and the inner me… Is what?
A) I get you, that resonates with me to this day, though, I now do have access to expressing my feelings. My hope is you can see some of what’s been your future, and draw from me to express yourself?
B) My gut wrenches to consider feelings.
A) Yes, I’m sorry.
B) Well, I think the loneliness made me very sad, maybe untreated depression? Sad will have to describe it. Then the anxiety about my body and not being like the other boys, the fear that was so intense, I really needed not to feel.
A) I understand.
B) Ok, so there’s sadness and fear with anxiety. I sort of think some happiness was in there? Music made me happy just like it does you.
A) Yes, that’s true.
B) I felt awkward, and unable to talk about it or having no one to talk about it to made me feel worse. What’s a worse feeling than sad?
A) Dejected and despondent?
B) I supposed dejected fits. I had a lot of anxiety, it was fear of my difference, my awkwardness, and not knowing what I was supposed to know. I found out I didn’t know so much? I’ll explain some other time. It’s that dejected, and it’s depression really, that the core of me was off, I didn’t fit in anywhere, and it felt overwhelming. I was always sad, and lonely, left out and afraid.
A) Yes, those fit for me too, I understand you. Does relating this to me help at all?
B) Sort of, you, being me, is safe for me to talk to, you’ll not judge me, and I can tell you know everything I’m saying, so it’s Ok. What do we get out of this?
A) I think this moment is a bond for us. I am seeing the emotions we felt then and that I know them today. I’m still awkward about them, but sense that I’m working to deal with managing them. Do you see that?
B) Yes I do, and that’s why I’m not crying… maybe that and it’s not cool.

 

End.

I’m not sure how to end this, so, that’s all for now.

 

Thinking out loud 2…

There are many people who inspire me. @thefawz for standing up for a kid being bullied in a restaurant (staged), @contrapoints for her honest channel, wit, intellect and live stream, rserven because she mentored me toward my narrative voice (not knowing it), and others. It’s obvious my life is now being on the edge of a community of Trans People, and perhaps LGB issues, I have been following Trans issues. Does reading, advocating, and watching their considerations encourage me to be myself? I also have a very strong connection to an online community of survivors (now grown to 2), where the first community validated me.

 

What started my narrative online is validation. I have a nagging doubt that men who are unexposed to nuanced humanity will evolve their rigid biases over time. To me, that’s why we have Trump (arggghhh, enough of him!) That group of online men has kept me stable in validation, and that vital role in being connected like that, is everything!

 

Jumping back to Trans Women, I saw the movie “A Fantastic Woman” yesterday, it came to a nearby venue. The movie is an emotional rollercoaster, a drama where Marina and Orlando open the film with their love, and Marina carries on to the end. Her resilience reminds me of how each of us move through our own drama, and seek help or solace in our way. The character Marina played by Daniela Vega draws us into her most intimate experiences:

 

I went to the movie alone, I do too many things alone. My interests are humanity, and evolving self determination, and I ponder a great many things. I’ve stated I have a bad memory, and having such a busy mind, I write this note of that being contradictory. I may reconcile what that means in time, perhaps dissociations have devolved my memory? How, odd, I can write for days about my life, and experiences, I can give more detail, I recall so much, but, to recall someone’s name, or any name of something when I need to, often fails me. I could never remember equations either, nor code, nor some rules of grammar and spelling. Sigh…. Ok, boring you!!

 

When I started reading rserven is when I could see more about being myself. I have suffered body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), it’s untreated, and undiagnosed, even to this day. I don’t want to talk about. Then why am I writing about it? It’s what I do, I write. There’s no specific connection to being Transgender and BDD, because Gender Dysphoria (GD) isn’t a mental illness, BDD is. There are mental health issues that can manifest for someone with GD, and they’re no different than many other people. Depression, anxiety, ADD, OCD, and other. Anyone can find something to be concerned about their mental health at some point in their life. Whether they’re in tune with themselves to know it, that’s always in question.

 

I’ve been fortunate to have online access since around 1997, and I’ve learned a great deal. I’ve also remained sober since March 20, 2000. When I consider the humanity I embrace it’s evolved with learning and sobriety,  but I see some conflict moving forward. I have very few friends I talk to, and no acquaintances whom I visit unless they’re at some friends dinner party. I’ve not been to one of those for many years now. I’m not seeking connections (though think about it all the time), so to remain isolated doesn’t seem conducive to moving forward toward whatever that means.

Ok, maybe next time I’ll ponder what “moving forward” means?

I’m going to be crying while I type this… This… this is the rape.

Feelings and physical manifestations: Constricted throat, intense pressures in my head, especially behind my eyes. Tears. Shaky hands, and f’ing determination to tell my story!!

 

My sister had decided she also wanted to move down with dad and brothers. She showed up, and space wasn’t going her way. I was with my brother at first, but felt awkward. I moved into a closet under the stairs… Harry Potter was 2nd!! She and my younger brother figured out how to share the large bedroom, my dad in the spare. I think it was about a month or so and she  found a boyfriend in Urbana Ill.

I had gotten my drivers license the end of 10th grade, age 16. I drove to Champaign to see Star Wars during this time, it was late summer 1977. Not long after, maybe just before Sept., My sister invited me once to go have pizza with her and boyfriend Mohammed. I enjoyed myself. At their apartment I was given a beer and we listened to music with Mohammed’s, roommate and my sister.

The next visit I discovered the roommate had pot. I hadn’t had any for a very long time and really wanted some. They obliged and I also had some beer. Unfortunately I had some bad food and too many beers with the pot. The mix caused me to throw up. My sister was nice about it though.

Then the next and last time I visited, I was not as welcome, and I really wanted pot again. Really badly. I accepted an invite to some party the roommate was going. When we got to the apartment a small weak joint was passed around, and a few beers were available. It was a party for the Arab men to relax and some seemed to want sex with each other. I was very uncomfortable, but had never judged others. Two guys made out on the far side of the room, in front of everyone. I pretended not to notice.

Late and by now, and I had lost track of the roommate, it was too late to get back to join my sister and Mohammed, I felt it necessary to ask to stay the night. The two guys didn’t see a problem with that. I had been 16 for not quite two months?

TRIGGER WARNING:
It was sometime in the deep night that I became aware of a presence. Tense, afraid, confused and in shock, I felt a touch, and the person made an effort to lay on top of me. It was what I had seen the two men do when they were making out. I was desperate, and imagined my voice seemed panicked, but I tried to talk, awkwardly I ask “what do you want”? The response was to join him in his bed. Now I really panicked, I resisted not moving and sat silent for a bit; then asking if I could just stay and sleep, leave me alone. “No”, he insisted, I had slept over, it was right I go with him.

I was that skinny weakling, and this man began to pull my arm, and proceeded to pull me to his room. He then insisted I undress and lay on my belly. He made his way on top of me, and worked at penetrating me, while I worked at pushing my buttocks together when I could. He had smeared something on his penis, and he slide in me a short way, then I would I try harder to tighten my buttocks. I don’t know how long this went on, I was in shock, stunned at my predicament, and thinking of what I could do to leave/escape?

I got up after he left for a bathroom trip, and I went myself, and tried to stay in there. He knocked and kept insisting I return. Soon he was replaced by the second man. He said he wanted me now, it was his turn. Trapped, naked, in shock having been raped, I didn’t know what to do? I didn’t know what all this meant. I gave up after much knocking, fearing it could provoke something, and went with the other man.

He wanted oral sex, and I didn’t know what to do, panic had me forget that one other time? He put my hand on him and showed me how he wanted to be rubbed, then pushed my head down and told me to try putting my mouth on it. I don’t have much more memory of this , that was about when I went blank. I thought writing would bring the memory back, and it does to some degree, but then that blank spot has remained blank. It’s said that in survival mode, we dissociate and forget the trauma.

I’m not sure If I slept, I’m not sure when they left. When I got up from that second room, I found my clothes, dressed and searched for money to get home. I thought I might find a taxi, or bus? I eventually made it home, but can’t recall how. I ignored what happened and tried to do whatever else there was to do. I don’t recall having to explain where I was, and I didn’t bring up the topic. I suppressed it, though acted out badly, most of the next 9+ months of my 16th year on earth.

Continues later…

 

The story of my childhood continues:

It turned out I would be evaluated for about 2 months. During which I was very lonely, and I tried to be friendly with other kids.  We all had classes, free time and cafeteria time. Then we had some times to meet with the therapist, group or relaxation. I had a roommate that masturbated loudly in the night. He was a bit older than I, possibly 3 years older?

The therapist or psychiatrist would ask a lot of questions and then tell me I would receive medicine. I didn’t care, maybe it would get me high? It didn’t, but the doc. kept asking me if I felt anything, and I always said no. He kept upping the dosage.

Well, I don’t recall what it was called, but it had something like “pro…” as a prefix and the 2nd drug seemed to have “co…” as a prefix and “…gentine” as a suffix? I had a very severe reaction to the first drug, and the 2nd was supposed to ameliorate the first’s effects. I ended up with muscle paralysis and other side effects.

I lost control of my muscles, and my feet would splay out, I walked on my ankles. I had no leg, body or arm strength. My neck and eyes were weak too. I had a very hard time with bowel movements. The worst effects stayed with me for about 2 weeks and gradually reduced over the next 3 months. During the end of that two weeks paralysis, my mom took me on an outing. She told me my dad had an interest in coming up to get me and asked whether I would live with him. It was presented that I had no choice, it would be what happens. The outing was to someone’s house around Lake Minnetonka. I laid on a lounger the whole time, I don’t recall eating, and probably only drank some water.

Dad Begins:

I think it was about a week and I was picked up by my dad. He laid me out on blankets in the back of his station wagon for the long drive from central Minnesota to central Illinois. He stopped somewhere and I couldn’t get up. I asked to stay in the car because I was drenched in sweat and felt awful. To this day he explains that drive like I was afraid to meet those people, that’s why I asked to stay in the car (No). Is it that he wanted to hide my side effects and appearance from that bad drug? I don’t know? I was being taken to another school, in a small town, where I knew nobody. It’s what people call a fresh start yippy skippy.

I liked his townhouse, and I had my own room. I had to start school though, and I still had some residual from the drug side effects. I had a very hard time with bowel movements. I went to regular classes for a week and asked to speak to the counselor. I broke down and cried. I told them I had been through a tough time, moved from my mom’s in Minnesota to my dad’s there. They chose to let me spend most of my classes in a Special Needs class, and only Biology with the regular population.

The Special Class was stupid. We learned nothing. It was a babysitting operation for excluded kids in that school. I thought of myself as a loser, worthless and nobody, and it seemed fitting to isolate me. I stayed in that class for a few months, eventually asking to get back in the regular population.

During all this, my dad would have dates with a nice lady. She would stop by or we would go to her house on rare occasions. Eventually I met her son, a nice kid about my age. Also during this timeframe my brother moved down. So, now my tormentor brother was with me again. He had always been a source of severe trouble for me, teasing and fighting me for tv time. I wanted to watch comedies, movies or some shows, and he wanted to watch sports, I hated sports because of him; that and I had no physique for it. Having a bit of an aptitude for it didn’t compensate for weakness of muscles.

By 7th grade I hated sports on tv I never wanted to watch again. However, my brother insisted he had the choice by permission of our mom, and would argue until I got furious. He would just walk up and change the channel, not asking, but telling me it was his turn and my shows were stupid. Tv was about all I had left for control, and him usurping me caused me to get very angry. It was always him getting what he wanted for his sports and I’m the disappointment. So, here he was again (side note: as adults, he claims I wrote him to join me? My memory of that fails). Soon, he was also being a good friend with this boy, my dad’s girlfriend’s son. They became better friends than I, I was timid, and so it goes. No more Pizza shop, nor bike rides, or boomerang throwing.

During school, my brother again got into sports at school, and I isolated by finding a job as a dishwasher/pizza cook-helper at a local restaurant. I was good at that job and kept at it for many months. I eventually earned enough to buy a bike and stereo. I wanted some fun. I also had a few hundred in the bank.

My dad found out I had that savings! He asked to borrow it to pay some emergency? I didn’t know any detail, but he seemed desperate, and I felt sorry for him, so I gave him all the money. I even returned my stereo to give him that extra money. It was over $500, maybe closer to $600? I think I recall it was a loan, but I never got a hint of it back, nor any remorse for him taking it.

Late during this time, my dad soon left his long-time girlfriend. This is also the timeframe I had a horrible nightmare, and my rape occurred.

The nightmare was this: One late morning I awoke to the sight of creepy hands, having long freaky fingers, and then the appearance of long, stretchy horrid arms that crept up from the footboard of my bed. They went up a few feet then started to arch and stretch toward me. I was terrified, panicked, it was a vision, in semi-darkness. It seemed I was awake with this happening. To this day it seemed to me that the vivid action of those horrid hands and arms were seen in real time?

I got up screaming, and ran to the hall which adjoined the 3 rooms of the upstairs. I ended up knocking on the door I thought my dad was in? Noise was coming from the room, and later I realized it was my dad having sex with his girlfriend. It was a horrid experience to try to explain, while they were both terse with me for interrupting their sex. I really didn’t know at the time. It was later that I put the event together.

The story will continue…

 

My Story continued:

7th-8th grade, 8th school?:

Those two grades, in my mind, I label as living hell. There is some good, and I’ll visit that, but, besides earliest neglect, deeper trauma begins. I am bullied horribly. Told I’m a faggot in the shower-room for gym class, and elsewhere. That is a deep part of what’s been lifelong trauma. It reflected back to me, the rejection I saw all around me. It was targeted hate and derision and a peak of embarrassment.

The lifelong traumatic voice in my head, telling me how my body is worthless, I’m not a sexual being, I’m weak, a scapegoat for privileged bullies. It’s kept me wary, anxious and isolated. I have experienced rage at perceived slight, real or misinterpreted/imagined, manipulation, verbal attack, derision, etc…. Exclusion is very painful, and I’ve not managed to form self reliant self-worth to manage feeling left out. I’m working on it.

I was also physically bullied and hit, pushed, and tripped, punched and excluded (picked last). Each episode fixated others that I’m a faggot. They not only meant I was marginalized, but to know that I’m worthless and useless, The hardest part, is that it’s stuck up to the present! That voice hasn’t changed much all these decades. This is a severe degradation of my life. Causing me to refuse to do things that potentially expose me to enjoyment, an excuse not to date or seek intimacy, nor fun things like swimming, or whatever I feared/fear would expose me to embarrassment. A lifetime of fear, hiding and self derision.

A lifetime!

Now I have to mention being molested. In 7th, I was molested by a 9th grade acquaintence. I had tried to befriend him after I discovered pot. He had some and shared. At some point I was sitting in bed, and he wanted to lay down, he made his move and soon ejaculated on my back. I think there were 3 times this kind of thing occurred and some other various. But, as I grew older, I noted others labeled things like that as experimental, not molestation? I didn’t recognize it is molestation until a short term group, sharing with other male survivors, and a lot of research.  I had no experiences with sex of any kind prior to what that boy was doing to me. It didn’t mean anything particular, except confusion? Why wasn’t I good enough, what was this supposed to mean? Not until I woke to my rape trauma the summer of 2016, after 39 years, did the significance of this molestation become a concern.

I’ve not processed any of the sexual trauma yet, and this is Spring 2018, it takes a lot of work to get to that point. That molestation, and later my rape sexualized me with men. The experience of fellatio was first experienced during that molestation, and then (unconfirmed memory) during my rape. I don’t recall it being done to me, I tried doing it to him. I didn’t know what the experiences did to me? We grew apart after those few times. I will note, I had some experiences with girls during my childhood/youth. I kissed a girl in 3rd grade, and I had two make out sessions when I was 14 or 15.

During that 7th grade timeframe, I was introduced to the organizagtion Big Brothers. An example of a loving couple that I only knew from my Grand Parents and an Aunt and Uncle all of whom I rarely saw. I rarely saw extended relatives. Grandma and Grandpa’s from mom or dad were special visits. That older aunt and uncle we visited the most, and very rarely my mom’s youngest sister, husband and 3 kids up in Grand Marais, Mn.

His marriage exampled the only experience of a couple behaving as one together. they made me very welcome, and they tried to expose me to culture, fishing, boating and cabin life. I learned to mow grass, garden, some carpentry and was exposed to mechanics and engineering. They liked orchestra music, movies and museums too, and we had quite a few dinners together. He liked to take me to the local A&W or Arthur Treachers restaurants. I loved them and those times.

I repeated 8th grade at a 9th school. I expanded my pot smoking and tried acid for the first time. I did fairly well there, but hid my body exposure as much as possible. I had to shower with others, but somehow at this school being name-called only happened a couple times. I don’t recall physical bullying at that school either. I skipped some school though. This was the year that I had to call my Big Brother and tell him I now had a dad (my 3rd) and we couldn’t be together anymore. I was devistated. He was the first and last stabilizing presence in my life.

9th grade was another school so I’ll say my 10th. This was again a very traumatic school. I tried to smoke pot often, I skipped school and got angry a lot. I did some bad things too. I stole money from my mom, and vandalized a bit. School was intolerable. One event at gym was the worst. We were playing flag football and I ran patterns as a receiver. I kept getting open and mentioned it to the quarterback. However, for some reason that pissed him off and out of the blue, a no warning punch to my jaw, an uppercut knocked me on my ass. Stunned I just listened to him retort I had it coming for being an idiot!

I became very withdrawn, and I had been very isolated already. Only acquaintences. By March or so I had skipped maybe 35 days. One day some school official stopped by the house and I hid while he searched the house. He didn’t find me.

That weekend I had an argument with my brother, he and my sister on the couch. My mom in her bedroom. I was so mad I wanted to be dramatic and make an assertion of my anger; a desire that I be noticed for how much pain and rage I had. They sure took notice. The dull steak knife I grabbed for the effect of drama, and threw on the floor at my brothers feet stirred all against me. It wasn’t a knife throw, just a hard plop at his feet, flat. My sister got up in my face and went to tell our mom. I retreated to my bedroom.

I was probably told to go to my room. I realized I was in trouble, and since it gave my mom power to make new rules, because of their grave reaction to my drama, I tried to be good. I went to school that Monday. The last time I would live with my mom as a kid/teen. I was 14 in early 1976, so I must have been 14 at that time, I turned 15 later that year.

That Monday in school I was called to the school office. I was told to go into the inner office, where I was met by my mom and two men. Apparently I was such a threat that two large men were needed to assure the safety of all present. I was a docile, fearful, a weak boy, and terrified of what they were about to do to me? I was taken to a place where kids/teens awaited there next destination. I was told I would be waiting for a place for drug treatment.

In about 3 weeks I was taken to a treatment wing in St. Paul, Mn. I spent about 4 weeks there. I lied about how much I used and focused on how my life was lonely. It was, but I certainly smoked a lot of pot for a young teen. At least I think I did? When the treatment was done, I was told I would go back to the same place that I waited for treatment. I was told I would end up going to some place that did evaluations. Eventually learning it was emotional and mental evaluation.

I need to stop, so if you’ve read all this, you’re getting a picture of me. I’ve written a lot, so, there’s more.
Thank you.

Preparing for Trauma-Informed Healing, EMDR therapy and my story.

Where does one begin? Researching revealed to me, there are conflicts about the efficacy of EMDR. Where does that leave a survivor of childhood sexual trauma? The pro is that EMDR lessens, or helps the Frontal Cortex process what’s been hidden in the Amygdala region. The con is that EMDR inhibits some more than it helps. I’m a father, actually quite into the other side of middle age, and I woke to my full onset cptsd from being raped age 16, the summer of 2016. That was 39 years after the fact. I need help, and my research weighs toward trying EMDR. I’ll eventually discuss it further, I have a story to tell first. Preparing for EMDR is best done by writing one’s narrative. I’ve got a lot to share.
The awakening manifested from being a prolific reader of blogs and news. There was so much in recent years about Jacob Wetterling. They had a lead, were following it and when I finally read something that sparked my woken state, his murderer was convicted! At the time, I hadn’t seen the correlation, other than, there it was, ongoing news of childhood molestation! A trigger!
I awaken:
One day, I read a blog post from a father. He recounted how eventually his instincts as a father led him to act upon suspicion his daughter was being sexually abused. He and his wife were separated or divorced, but his awareness, his sensitivity, his love and compassion to act upon his daughter’s trauma cues; that affected me viscerally. I had not had that, a protector, though living with one or the other of my divorced parents, neither noticed how distraught I was. How I changed. I guess, I didn’t change enough?! My story might help me figure myself out as well as prepare for EMDR and other therapies.
The past is what it is, my history is more than half played out. I have been married longer than before I married and I have one grown, and one 13 year old child, by the same partner. When I woke, with visceral emotion to my rape, it was 39 years after the fact, it hit me with a mind storm, wracking emotional upheaval, and dread. Part of my first word to describe it were “the two perpetrators were foreign students, and long since gone”. I didn’t know their names. Most of that is now processed, what’s not processed are the things introduced to me about healing. Those include Dissociation, compartmentalization, physical memory, sensorimotor therapy, parts of self or stored memory, survival mode, etc…. I’m editing this post from a previous post, and since that time, I have learned a great deal more about those topics.

EMDR:
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy, is best explained by those in the field. Read this link: http://www.emdr.com/
What I’ve begun to do, after reading what to do to prepare, is start writing. This is about having a level playing field in my thoughts, to process deep emotional distractions and impediments. I’ve decided to work on it in public. This will be the third place I’m doing this. I think it can trigger some survivors and sensitive people. I also think it might seem an invitation to those who perceive a weakness in someone, to behave oddly. That will be discerned and the person will be ignored, thoroughly!
This beginning is the prehistory of my story. It’s parts of my story that relate how I perceive myself growing up. It’s just facts, I’m not working on emotions with this, that is done with EMDR. This is a story is as early as I can recall, to just before I recount ages 12–13. I stop before the real trauma enters my life. I will post Part II when I’m ready.
Thank you.
Part I:

Getting started I’ll need to be specific to recall the memories I have about parts of me. I want to list all the possibly difficult memories I can recall

  • Staring into a large mirror, while standing on a couch. I was alone, I looked at myself and the reflections of the room behind me. I was 3. This is 1964.
  • Another age 3 memory, is laying in bed for a nap at my grand parents. The headboard had a lamp with a pull chain. I would make it sway, and sometimes pull it on and off. I was careful with it, I didn’t want to hurt it.
  • My earliest Spanking memory is with a belt, age 4–5 yrs old, 1965–66.
  • I would often go off on my own for a walk through a bog near my house. I might also stay in the basement looking around, or hang out in the back yard. I had two siblings, but my memories are few about playing with them.
  • Those same years, I recall seeing my dad hit my mom in the kitchen. It appeared he was beating her on the back? I was about 5 yrs old and that means about 1966-67.
  • We moved to Mpls., Mn, and may have moved twice before that(?). I recall being afraid after seeing 2 women inside a smashed car. They hit, or were hit by a garbage truck. There was blood all over them, and I’m pretty sure I saw bone. I was walking by, probably from school. I happened to be there, and looked into the car. I was probably 6. At least 3 schools by now.
  • What I recall at about age 7–8 is a very bad fever for about 2 weeks. I stayed home and took care of myself. I made soup or a sandwich. I took aspirin. I watched some t.v. and laid on the couch or bed.
  • Not long after that, I had a bad reaction to something and my legs locked up one morning. A neighbor lady looked after me that day.
  • During this same time-frame, and this is a memory and reflection of what and why I did this, I tried to do things that made me a good boy? I stayed up and cleaned after my 2 siblings went to bed. My mom went out (a lot), apparently to play piano for pay? I organized a large end table that had two large drawers. I then organized the piano bench sheet music and I wiped the bathroom sink. this would still be around age 7. Probably 5 schools thus far.
  • There is a nightmare that started around this time too. The nightmare recurred at least a decade. I would be walking on the sidewalk away from the house to the street sidewalk. A hole would suddenly open up and I would fall in. It was just narrow enough in diameter that I could put my arms out to stop my fall. But, unseen hands started grabbing my ankles and pulling me down. I would awake before being dragged down, but never saw myself taken out of that hole.
  • 3rd grade, the 6th school, has quite a few memories. The first is probably where my dad showed up and I didn’t get to see him, he talked to mom outside. I watched through the window! I hadn’t seen him for about 3 years. I really didn’t know why he was gone?
  • Note: I did get to watch the Moon launch, and later the Moon Walk video from the summer of ’69.
  • Soon after my dad’s visit, my mom was gone for about a week in the hospital and my grandma took care of us. It was confusion, because at the time we didn’t know why she went, nor that it was certain she was coming back. I see now, that neglect was a pattern, and the idea of care giver in my family was the presence of an adult, being fed, clothed and housed.
  • During this time I made a few friends. It seemed there was a small amount of positive this year. However, I also have 2 bad memories.                                                 1) I wasn’t allowed to get up from class to use the bathroom and peed myself. I     walked home, or to the babysitter, I don’t recall? I know I was very embarrassed.
    2) I think this used to be a stronger memory, but has faded. I was molested, part of a small group that participated with some guy. I think he did things to himself, but we were in various stages of nakedness? I have no clear memory of any of this. It’s been a vague memory now, for many decades.
  • 4–6th grades, is the longest stay at one school, it’s the 7th school. During this time I became isolationist. I did make a few friends, and had a fairly easy going pattern of doing things, but was alone more than not. I played some sports and seemed to enjoy it. I tried to do well in school. I recall how I needed reassurance from the teachers that I was doing things right. I also recall that I tried to explain I was doing good things. A reflection about this extended stay in one school, is why don’t I recall names of more than two classmates? Why don’t I recall any teacher? In me, the reflection leads to an idea that I didn’t believe in permanence. Things are always transitory, don’t get too close.
  • 7th-8th grade, 8th school(?), are two years I label a living hell.
    To be continued –