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Remembrances of Childhood

August 3, 2013

I must enjoy making a fool of myself or something. What else can a “fool” do but enjoy being a fool? All of my humor, all of my joy, all of my love, all of my everything is cynical and bitter, not bittersweet but sweet in a bitter way. None of it is pure. I am so convoluted at times and lost in this world of strangeness that exists in my mind. I can’t even tell if I am making sense so I figured I’d write it at this time when I am somewhat lucid in my thinking and nearly comprehending myself. I can’t take all the credit though… Listening to some of my favorite Pearl Jam songs, and earlier, Alice in Chains. There’s this lyric that Layne Staley wrote in “Angry Chair:” “I saw my reflection and I cried…” Love it. So simply put and so profound. I know because I have looked into the mirror more than once and wept. The first time was around the age of ten. I think that those early years are when I began to hate myself. I think. But I’m not really sure of anything…

I remember being chastised and punished for what I thought was doing the right thing. I remember once we were on the freeway and on the other side of the freeway a vehicle had flipped. My sister wanted to know if the people were okay and wondered aloud if their eyes were open. I told her that I that they were. Jerilyn, “our” caregiver became very angry with me and asked me how in the world would I know that? Was I Superman or something? I told her that I didn’t know, but I thought that they were. She looked disgusted with me. When we arrived at the market, she told me that I’d be staying in the car while they went shopping. I picked up my notebook and pencil (taking a notebook and pencil with me everywhere I go is a lifelong habit) and began to sketch out a skateboarding scene. She knocked the notebook out of my lap, snatched the pencil from me and stabbed me in the hand with it (it drew blood) and told me that drawing was for people who had a life.

clown

When Jerilyn was enrolling us with some educational center so that she could homeschool us, I missed one question on a math test for which I’d been allowed to utilize a calculator. I thought that she would be pleased with me for only missing one question (I never was great at math and this was a good mark for me), instead she got very angry and disgusted with me and asked how I could get anything less than a perfect mark when using a calculator. I told her that I didn’t know, and she told me it was because I was an idiot. After that my sisters did their schoolwork in the den with Jerilyn there to help them, and I could hear their chatter and laughter as I sat alone, around the corner at the door of the attic where I was told to sit and complete my schoolwork. I wasn’t allowed to ask for help. I was instructed to figure it out.

Over not too long a time, I’d be an idiot, a liar, a manipulator, incorrigible violent, nothing. So far I still have no life, and I am an idiot.

Maybe she just saw it all inside of me before I did. Maybe I just made it up. Maybe I just believed in lies. Maybe she just put them inside of me. I don’t fucking know.

I remember getting the shit beat out of me with a belt over a t-shirt. We were on vacation in Colorado, and Jerilyn had selected a shirt for me to wear. I chose to wear a different shirt. When I came down the stairs, she told me to go back upstairs and change into the shirt she had put out for me. I fussed a little, but turned around and made my way back up the stairs to change for I knew the consequences of fussing. I heard her feet ascending the stairs behind me with angry little thuds.

There was a bunk bed right next to the closet and a belt hanging from the bunk. As I got to the closet to change, she grabbed the belt and began to lash at me. Soon I was on the floor, curled into a ball, suffering lashes to my face, my neck, my back and my arms.

We left the house to do some thrift store shopping and my sister asked if we could stop at a certain store and reply was no. My sister began to fuss, and I whispered for her to stop. Jerilyn said with a smile, “Yeah, you don’t want to end up like big brother back there,” and then she laughed.

Finally, I ran away from “home” and stayed with a buddy from previous years in school. I had told his mother what had happened, and she allowed me to sojourn there for a couple of weeks. The police found me and my buddy’s mother told them what I had told her. Instead of asking me if this was true, they told Jerilyn my allegations against her. She denied them. I guess she’d punched herself in the legs hard enough to leave bruises because, after the cops returned me to her care, she called them back and told them she was afraid of me because I looked angry and I was bigger than her — what a load of bull shit! The cops came back and took me to Polinsky. At Polinsky, I played sports and ran around outside and mingled with a bunch of kids. Something Jerilyn didn’t allow; she kept me locked in my room all the time. All the time. All the fucking time. A few days later, she came to pick me up and all the other kids were happier than I was that I was going “home.” Jerilyn told me that I was lucky she had come to pick me up, but I didn’t feel so lucky.

So much shit she did. I threatened once to call the child abuse hotline, and she smacked me with the phone and told me to go ahead. My sisters and I would end up with a 300 pound guy named Bubba who had a bunch of kids and wouldn’t feed us and maybe would molest me. He’d do a lot worse to me than she did. How would I like that? How would I like that to happen to my sisters?

She hated my fucking guts.

Eventually, she threw me out like trash into the system.

Because I was a loser and a failure and stupid and nothing and a liar and manipulator and violent.

She hated my fucking guts back then. And I hate my fucking guts now for spending the rest of life proving her right.

I’ve become everything I strove not to be… insecure, overbearing, needy, and wasted. Here I am, world. Like it or not, fuck off. It’s nothing personal, so don’t take it personally. I tell it to myself all the time. Stay tuned for my next humiliation. Coming soon….

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From → Art, BLOG

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