Posts Tagged With: Childhood

Walking Barefoot

Ok, I am a simple person and easily entertained these days.  Earlier today I walked to the mailbox barefooted.  The weather has been perfect for combining shorts and barefeet.  Enjoying the feel of the grass and the cool rocks under my feet reminded me of my country boy days where playing outside in my barefeet was as common as sunshine or rain.

As a child, I remember visiting my friends that lived in town.  We would play video games in their bedrooms.  Video games in this day was “Pong”.  But friends visiting my house were exposed to a completely different world – playing outside.  It was very common for my mother to ban us from coming inside, “I am cleaning, stay outside until your dad gets home.” 

We lived in a rural area on a large piece of land and my friends and I would adventure through woods for acres and acres.  Shoes were always optional.  So playing in barefeet for me was no issue because the bottom of my feet were tougher than shoe leather.  My friends were real examples what a “tender foot” was. Now in the house or at the pool are about the only times I find myself barefooted.

While living in Colombia, I could get a manicure and pedicure for the equivalent of $5 – $10.  Manny & peddies became a routine.  My feet have grown soft.  My barefoot adventure to the mailbox was a flashback to even simpler days.  I even looked at the rocks thinking this was pretty and maybe the right contractor could lay a beautiful shower floor using these rocks.  Cooler weather is coming, so I am glad I found the time to appreciate some barefoot time.

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Innocence Taken

*Warning* – This is the most personal writing I have ever done.  I wanted to challenge myself as a writer to see how I would be able to present the subject.  It is very personal, and unlike my other stories… this one is not presented as entertainment.   This story involves the account of a very personal childhood sexual trauma and its life-long effects… proceed with caution if you are sensitive!  I have tried to be true to the subject and give comprehensive descriptions without ALL of the graphic details!  This post was very difficult for me to write and I could not write it in 1st person… I had to refer to myself as “the boy” as I wrote.  I hope this to be therapeutic for me to write about this topic for the fist time.   I hope people are able to see and  understand there are a lot of kids we never know have secrets and carry pain we may never understand.  It is a tough burden even as I have become an adult.

There was a boy.  A boy who many met and said, “He will either be a politician or a preacher”.  His mother had small suits for him even at age 5 giving him the look of a young politician or preacher.  He wore these suits to church with great pride.  This boy would meet regulars and strangers as the came into the church giving them a warm welcome.  For most, they may not have understood much of what he said because he had his own language due to a hearing issue, but that never slowed him at his mission – make everyone feel welcomed.  He was such a politician that he even would work the room giving the little old ladies kisses.  He was such a politician in that he had a motive with this strategy…. some of the old ladies would give him some gum as a reward.  If the gum had been money… he not doubt would be a U.S. Senator or may even President today!

This trusting and outgoing personality worked against him with one person… a young man.  When this boy was 5, this young man (I will call Mitchel – of course not his real name) was about 15.  Mitchel decided that the young boy was a suitable target.  There were many other young boys in the church, but this boy (now an adult) has no idea why he was chosen.  You may ask want was he chosen for… I can only say the boy was chosen to lose his childhood.

The boy’s mother had bought him a trench coat… no less a London Fog trench coat for a 5-year-old was quite styling in small town Mississippi in 1971.  This was the beginning of forced integration in Mississippi, but this historical event was not the event he remembers from 1971.  This boy remembers being led by his hand by Mitchel to a bathroom in the church.  The boy was confused why he was inside that bathroom with Mitchel, but soon the painful truth was found out.  Mitchel did not need the bathroom…. he needed a locked door and privacy.  This day is what the boy recounts as his very first memory of his life…. nothing before is remembered even as an adult.  He remembers his London Fog trench coat being removed and spread on the floor like a picnic blanket would.  The next action was Mitchel beginning to remove the young boys clothes.  The boy remembers being lain on his trench coat but not as picnic blanket, but as a bed.  Soon the boy saw Mitchel was undressing as well.  The naked boy could not run out without his clothes, what was he to do?

Mitchel was a son of a trusted (and wealthy) neighbor.  The boy relaxed…. this was some kind of game.  But then Mitchel joined the boy on the floor.  The boy had not even seen his father naked that he remembers, so seeing the pubic hair on a male body was also new and confusing.  Soon the boy felt the grip of Mitchel’s hands as he was lifted and laid on top of Mitchel, but not in a position to be told a story because all the boy saw as the private area of Mitchel that was used for peeing.  “Why was hair there?  Why is my face here?” the boy asked himself.  Then another new sensation, the boy felt his “tallywacker” taken inside the mouth of Mitchel.  Then as the boy looked up again he heard, “Kiss it”.  The boy had kissed little old ladies with mustaches and knew this was not worth any piece of gum and refused.  He felt a slap on his small ass that was equal to discipline and not a game and he gave Mitchel’s dick a kiss.  This time it was a simple lips against the dick with no open mouth.  The boy had of course never had an orgasm and could not explain what was happening and reported to Mitchel, “I have to pee.”  But the boy did not know what was happening to him.  Many do not know (I hope) that a child can have an orgasm without ejaculating and there is a pleasurable sensation.  “Do not tell anyone because you did not stop me, you are guilty also.”, the boy heard.  I did say earlier this time… because this story repeats itself over 8 years.  The boy kept the secret out of fear and shame.

The boy began to lose fear about the encounters with Mitchel, because Mitchel refered to the encounters as “the game”.  “Do you want to play the game?”, the boy would hear.  At some point… it had become a game… even the boy found pleasure in “the game”.  The last time was april 16, 1979.  This day is marked for a couple of reasons. Tornadoes were in the area and the boys’ family went to Mitchel’s parents house because they still had power.  Mitchel was away for college and not living at home at this time, but was home for a visit.  The boy knows the exact date as not only the date of his last encounter, but also the day his best friend’s father died.  After “the game” the boy came back into the room with all the adults and saw everyone crying.  GUILT stabbed the boy in the heart.  He thought all the crying was because they knew what he had been doing.  He felt guilt for what he had done, he felt guilt for being more concerned about his situation than his 11 year-old friend who had just lost his Dad, he felt guilt because “the game” was a game that he had grown to enjoy.  That is a lot of guilt for a 12-year old.

There are a lot of ways to cope and the boy’s mechanism was humor.  He became the class clown or at least tried.  At 17 the boy was a good-looking young man himself.  He was tall and thin with a swimmers build.  He had done some modeling that would give most an ego or sense of pride, but not this young man.  This young man was still the boy. The guilt ridden, class clown was now alone at university.  He had few friends to be the clown for and Mtv was new with limited videos to pass his time.  This is when a bottle of pills began to feel comfortable in his hands.  The thought of taking them all at once would pass.  The more times the bottle was held in his hands…. the longer he held them, the more he thought.  The thoughts were only of how to find relief.  The thoughts consumed him even when the bottle of pills was not in his hand.  This continued until that he was not able to set the pills down.  There was a bottle of cherry vodka at his apartment.  He knew when purchasing the vodka that he would want or need some flavor as his plan was to drink all of the bottle with the pills.

The vodka was removed from the freezer and the boy, now a young man, prepared a large glass of ice to pour the freezer cold vodka over.  He drank about 8 ounces before the first pill found its way to his lips.  He sobbed as he placed pill after pill and swallowed the cold vodka.  Once the last pill was placed in his mouth he forgot the glass and killed the remainder of the vodka straight from the bottle.  The boy was dead.  As he felt his stomach heaving, he had no idea his friend was with him.  He woke the next day feeling hung-over and not dead.  He prayed for death as he began to cry again uncontrollably.  The boy was dead… but the young man with A LOT of problems remained.  His friend asked why the young man had drunk so much.  The friend did not know or realize the pills had been in the mix.  But getting sick from drinking too much cherry vodka saved the young man.

The young man wept as he told his friend the story.  It was the first time he had told anyone.  The 3rd grade teacher did not understand why the boy would break into tears explaining why he had not done his homework.  She thought it was because of the guilt of not being a good student, but little did she know about the guilt the boy had.  She missed it!  So did everyone that laughed at the clown.  The family, the friends, the teacher and preachers all missed it.  Actually everyone missed it.  The boy was now a young man with a headache and a friend that knew his deepest secret.  The young man told his family.  He did not become a politician or a preacher!  The healing began …. but as I write this – the scar remains!

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

There Is Something Precious in All of Us!!!

Precious Movie Poster

It is just my opinion…. but I think there a lot of people who carry a deep dark secret from childhood that left a scar that remains sensitive even in adulthood.  Watching the movie Precious, I was reminded of my own scar.  My scar is much smaller than the character Precious’ would be… but none the less a scar.  The feeling of being powerless to change the situation, the guilt carried, the shame felt, the emotional pain; all affect us as children and even as adults haunts us.

My childhood trauma was not known by my family until I was nearly and adult.  I had a very loving and supportive family but carried my open wound unnoticed until the point it infected me.  I cannot imagine what it is like for someone without a family support system like I had. Even with this great and loving support system…. I never told my family until I was suicidal.  I know personally what it feels like to hold a bottle of pills and also a gun with the intention of ending the suffering.  I gave up treading water to keep my head from sinking below the waterline, I tasted the water in my nose as I gasped to prepare to submerge and never breath again.  But, my family reached beneath and pulled me to safety.

In childhood and early adolescence, I became a comedian.  The more I made others laugh, the more I laughed, the more I laughed, the more I felt separated from my ghost.  But even my impressions of Steve Martin doing his “Wild & Crazy Guy” routine grew to be less of a fix and became merely a band-aid.  I am still a comedian in uncomfortable situations, or I try to be anyway.  But to have friends that I do not have to entertain to hide my discomfort is very rare.  Many ask why I cannot get over my ex…. it is simply…. I felt safe and did not have to entertain to be loved.  True I gave more love than was returned, but I felt something secure for myself… even if it was not mutual.  That ex really does not even know the comfort I felt with him and why I miss that so much.

Now I have my purgatory.  I wonder through life convincing myself I am happy, but knowing there is more to come.   I was telling a friend that these issues we have in our lives are like shoes.  Some people have beautiful shoes that are also comfortable.  Some of us have shoes that people ask, “Why don’t you throw those things away?”  But we love our shoes and we know we will get blisters when we wear them, but we just can’t throw them away.  Some are lucky enough to “break in” those shoes and some of us just keep on getting our blisters showing our developmental impairments.

For those lucky enough to have missed out on childhood scaring and are wearing your comfortable shoes…. PLEASE watch where you step… please do not step on the toes of those that try so hard to make the shoes they were given work for them.  My shoes hurt me… but when people look, all they see are some flashy, sharp, well made shoes.  Little do they know how it feels inside those shoes.  I remember Depeche Mode’s “Walking in My Shoes” as a song I find comfort listening to and knowing that there are MANY others with uncomfortable shoes walking through life also.  This movie reminded me of my pain, but also that there are many that were not as blessed as I was with such a great loving family.  I wish it could be as simple as suggesting buying the world new shoes…. but that while not rehabilitate out soles (souls).

We all have one pair of “Precious” feet… Let us try not to step on each others toes! A smile, a pat on the back, a coffee, and phone call, or a simple hug helps more than most know!

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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