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Sometimes I am terrified and life seems unbearable. As a youngster, I befriended people in the trashy trailer-park where we lived after this man married my mom and took us out of my grandparent's safe, comfortable home. I KNEW that I needed to be very kind and lovable to strangers because they might give me a cookie or something to eat. The people in the trailer park in Meridian, Mississippi were poor too and times for them were bad. I did what I had to do. I feel guilty that as a very young child, I did not think about my mother going without food, until I was a little older and able to see that she was being starved to death.
My mom was too afraid to leave the trailer. She didn't do the things I did to get food. I became an expert at it, but not on purpose nor by choice. Should I have been locked away? Maybe so, but I didn't look at it that way. I didn't think about it being wrong at all. My mom slept a lot then. I know why now. She was escaping reality and didn't think about her grumbling tummy or anything else as long as she could sleep. She was beautiful and that man took advantage of her. He kept her locked away from everyone. When she reached out to her parents after being beaten, yet-again, that man moved us far away from our loved ones.
I was a dirty little boy and at times I did not own a pair of shoes. From afar, my grandparents tried to help us, but only that man could check the mailbox and the cash they sent went into his pockets for beer and cigarettes. When this time of year comes around, my "seasonal" depression returns. I no longer fear it, because I KNOW what it is and I expect it. I don't embrace it, but I am still changing and learning how to deal with it.
I never said that I was perfect in any way, but I learned how to do absolutely everything by myself and in my own way. I spent countless hours in cemeteries, reading volumes of the encyclopedias that my grandparents gave us. I explored the world through those pages. On my outdoor adventures, I took one volume of the encyclopedia with me at a time, as well as a pillow, my brown and yellow stuffed bear from the last time my mom and I went to the fair, before that man came along. I would read as long as there was light. Many nights, I remained in the cemetery to sleep on any randomly chosen slab.
I felt so safe in the cemetery. No one there would harm me. I imagined from the information on tombstones, what the people may have been like and I talked with them with my undiagnosed ADHD overly active, imaginative mind. "They" became my friends because I didn't have any living ones. I was fascinated by the oldest, exquisitely ornate graves, but I respected and acknowledged even the simplest, most basic graves. Those long-deceased people were important to me because I did not feel important to anyone alive.
Do not read this and think that I am asking you for anything. I do not want pity nor sympathy. I simply want to be understood and accepted for the 'me' that I became.
Back then, as now, my future held no promise and I was unable to see an end to the misery of my young existence. I stayed away from home so that I did not have to face that man. I did not want to see or hear him nor the things he would do to my mother.
As bad as it sounds, I found fun things to do and to keep me occupied. I would go home while that man was at work. I would check on my mother, who always pretended that everything was great, while trying to hide her newest bruises from me. I knew. I had been on the receiving end of that man's verbal and physical abuse since five years of age. I would leave home as often as I could even during school nights. I hated sleeping at home, but I had to whenever it was too cold or raining out. But still, I loved the sounds of thunder and lightning and the look of snow-covered surfaces.
I was into bugs and the little creatures that roamed the ground around me. I was always covered from head to toe in bug-bites and poison ivy blisters, but my only sense of home was outside. Glorious OUTSIDE! Where I was free! Where I was unnoticed by anyone. I hid behind tombstones, buildings, cars or whatever obstacles I could blend into when I thought someone was near. It was a game I played. I even derived pleasure from becoming so adept at it. I was a blending-in machine. Who needs a cloak of invisibility!
After becoming a highly accomplished food thief in convenience stores, I also learned that I could "acquire" comic books. Eventually, it progressed to "Tiger Beat" and "Sixteen" magazines, which were designed for young girls. Yep, I was gay! LOL! Why not, on top of everything else that was considered wrong!
I saw the gorgeous celebrities in the magazines, even Rona Barrett's tabloids and I envisioned my life with other people - like them. At times, I did not try to hide and I hope and prayed that someone - anyone might snatch me up and take me away. They never did, which luckily, perhaps, is why I am still here. I saw myself living in California with a beautiful, successful, loving family. I thought I would become a world-famous singer, because it was what I did best. I belted out my best vocals from tombstones as loudly as I wished. But I gave my all to anything I tried, yes, I did. What did I ever have to lose? Some might say I became fearless before I was ten. The only thing I feared was that man and being at home.
School was dreadful in the early years because I was called names, by the adults. I was spanked by teachers because I was used as an example. They didn't know what ADHD was back then in small-town Mississippi. I was fidgety and I knew the answers to everything, thanks to having repeatedly read and re-read those encyclopedias. I was LIVING them. The words and the images gave me LIFE! LOL! I was unclean much of the time and I wore the same clothes day after day. I was the boy that people wanted to avoid. BUT....once you become a victim, you get used to people abusing you. My second grade teacher spanked me almost every day, and I could see the guilt in her eyes afterwards, but for some reason, she couldn't help herself and I knew it. I told her that she had the most beautiful eyes I had ever seen. And she did. They were like the character "Angelique's" eyes on the gothic soap, Dark Shadows. I told her that I knew she did not want to "have to" spank me. But as a response, she simply looked lost.
I didn't do my homework, because that required supplies that I did not have. Workbooks had to be purchased back then, which would require begging, so I didn't have them. A pencil, a notebook....yeah, right! Those were luxuries too that I did not think of "finding" when I was choosing what to eat while out and about "gathering" my dailies in stores. The thing about being dirty and barefooted was that people easily pretended not to see me, because it doesn't fit in with their routine. I took advantage of them looking away to snatch and grab.
I always felt like I knew more than "some" of my teachers. I did not know where this incredible universal knowledge came from. The encyclopedias? Does it matter? I read everything. I immersed myself in written words. I didn't need to hear spoken words! They did not interest me and I always automatically knew how people felt about me, as if I could see deep into their souls. Was it my imagination? Does it matter?
Growing up was tough and every year was worse than the one before but I went with the flow. My own flow. I made all of my choices and chose all of my own options whenever I was outside. Being at home was different though. It was terrifying. I did not want to be there at all. Of course, I took baths and showers but because I spent most of my time outdoors playing with bugs and chatting with dead people, I stayed scruffy looking. I didn't have a comb and my hair was really long. Sometimes strangers thought I was a little girl. That never bothered me. My hair might have been matted, but it was clean - most of the time. Before that man chopped it off, I treasured my long hair. I could pull the ends in front of my face and look at the locks shining in the sun.
Should I be ashamed for who I am? That is entirely up to you to decide, but don't tell me your answer. I don't want to know and I don't want to be judged by anyone about anything that I did or said before I became an adult. I don't judge you. I feel shame when I point out something that seems off to me or if I gasp when I see something I don't understand. Now, and for many years, I have been a magnet for damaged people, different people, odd, strange people, avant-garde peeps, outliers. Nonetheless, I tried to fit in, in the real world, as best a loner could.
I made a lot of mistakes and bad choices in my youth, as my frontal lobe was not fully developed. I only knew what I knew and rarely had anyone to tell me otherwise until I was able to move back in with my grandparents. That time passed by so quickly and I was actually a happier person within their comforts. I didn't always stay in place though. I worried about my mother.
What am I doing? I had been sharing daily videos of my collections until all but a few people lost interests and stopped watching them. I quit, like a person with ADHD tends to do. My c-PTSD peeks in daily and we shake hands and then try to go our separate ways. So now, I am back to writing. Sometimes, I want nothing more than to be alone and other times I feel desperate for attention.
As a l'il kiddo, I never "hooked" for food or money, but it never came to that. I didn't drink, smoke or do drugs. I didn't need to. My mind was always currently occupied. I could sew, create and build things and READ! Do you want to know more, or did you pretend I am not here? Either way, I remain and I will likely keep writing. My life is FASCINATING as Hell, which I don't believe in, and even I know that it is astounding! How could I not?