Tag Archives: death

Before Recovery: Part 1 – Trauma Legacy

This is the story of my terribly traumatic childhood, the teenage years of self-discovery and chaos, the onset of alcohol abuse in college, my life as a soldier, the years of drug use, the disintegration of my family, and the dark descent that landed me in jail. I wrote this portion of my story as part of a recovery exercise while I was in treatment. What it lacks in detail, it makes up for in the sheer volume of chaos that alcohol wreaked upon my life.

I knew I was different from an early age. I felt somehow different from the other kids. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t make friends. I spent much of my younger years playing alone or wandering the neighboring woods. My childhood was an abysmal world of trauma, loneliness, and abuse. I don’t recall much of my childhood prior to 11 or so. I only remember dramatic moments.

Very early on in my life, around 5 or 6 I believe, there was the sexual abuse by a relative, on and on until I was removed from my home at around 12 years of age. There was 1966, when I was 2 my older sister (by 2 years) died a horrible death of asphyxiation. And then there was Christmas Day, 1975 when, as an 11 year old, I watched my 8 yr. old brother get hit by a car. He died the next day. After his death my world got a whole lot uglier.

I was beaten frequently by my mother, but much more so after my brother’s death in 1975. I was regularly ridiculed and scorned and ignored my entire childhood. My father was an angry alcoholic who, although much less frequently, could inflict serious damage. I often think his psychological torment inflicted the most damage on me over the years.

I started having behavioral issues. I stole things. I broke random things. I experienced periods of disassociation with frequent nightmares and terrible headaches. I would be locked away in my room for months on end. I did develop a passion for reading and marveled at the world that was beyond my captivity though. Reading and trapping the cats in my room sustained me during the worst periods of my young life.

I did very poorly in school. None of the kids would play with me on the playground. I do remember endless days standing apart and watching children play and laugh. My only sense of peace and calm came in the form of the many books I was allowed to read.

And the little time I was allowed out of the home to explore nature, a place which quickly became my solace in a violent, uncaring world. When I wasn’t locked up, or on restriction, I wandered the streets, and woods around my neighborhoods. It was particularly difficult in the winter. My parents would just toss us outside and tell us to play out there all day.

Around the time I was 12 I was put on probation for numerous acts of theft and vandalism. I used to steal my mother’s jewelry and give it to girls I liked. Or I would steal change from my dad’s dresser and buy kids ice cream to try to win their friendship.

After I broke some windows in our neighboring car wash, at age 12 I was put on probation. Age 12 was also the first time I drank alcohol. I drank way too much of it and was violently ill. My father beat me senseless then tried to get me put in jail at the Police Station by my father as a lesson. My mother and older half-brother—my other great tormentor—laughed at me as I wretched into the toilet for hours…to be continued.

Part 2: Wandering Lost

Recovery: I Believe

Just Sayin’: Dust To Dust

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When I die I want my ashes scattered over a pond.  Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.  I’d rather be fish food than worm food.

My Miscellany: You Are Missed John

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My brother John was hit by a car and killed on Christmas morning, 1975.  I was with him.  He was 8 and I was 11.  I found the only picture I have of him.  I wanted to post it up here in his memory as a message of love, not sadness.

Be grateful for who you have in your life this Christmas!  If you don’t have anyone, treasure a stranger!  Treasure a homeless person.  Treasure a Veteran.  Life is too short, we are gone in a moment.

Don’t wait to let someone know you love them!  Let go of petty jealousies, perceived injustices, resentments…Be brave in your love.  Be the bigger man or woman.  Reach out with gratitude and lovingkindess this holiday!  We all know that Christmas is not about Santa Claus, Reindeer, candy canes and Christmas trees.  It’s about love.

This is a message of love for you.  Don’t wait until it’s too late!  That is why I am posting his picture, as a reminder that Christmas isn’t about what you have, it’s who you have in your life.  Gods bless each and every one of you today, tomorrow, Christmas, and beyond.

I think John is 1 or 1 1/2 years old in this photo.  I am 3 or 3 1/2 and my half brother Joey was 6 maybe?

John, Me, Joey

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