Tuesday, July 30, 2013

What Doesn't Kill You, Can Make You Stronger

Many, many things in life shape the people we are to become. Many of them are the good influences like family and friends and the people who are truly positive examples of whom to aspire to be and how to act in life. Unfortunately, I didn't have a lot of those growing up (which isn't to say everyone in my family are bad people). Now, this isn't meant to be a pity party, but in an effort to maintain complete and total truth in the representation of myself on this blog, I would be leaving out a huge chunk of my story if I was to not speak of some of the terrible events that shaped my formative years, no matter how brutal it may be. It’s important to me that I be 100% honest on here because when it comes down to it, I am writing this blog for no one but myself. After all, even the worst events in life make you who you are, and bring you to where you are today.

At 8 years old my parents divorced. That was a damn good thing, although in retrospect, it did cause my mother to often inwardly freaked out and worry that I would blame her for breaking up our family unit. On the contrary, I could not have been happier when the news finally broke. This to me signified the end of brutal fights that often resulted with them destroying one another's property in the most malicious of manners. Many times it would even reach incredibly violent levels, building ultimately to my watching my Father hold a gun to my Mother in the hallway outside my room. He maintains to this day that he was attempting to show her the gun was empty. She maintains that he was holding it to her neck. My young recollection only puts them together with me glancing my father holding a gun pointed in her direction and my beginning to sob uncontrollably. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle of all three accounts.

Upon their divorce concluding, my Dad nearly immediately met a woman and got engaged. Her name was Teresa and she was from the hills of Kentucky. She didn't have a lot of money and she had two kids much older than I, but she seemed nice enough... at first. She even made it a point to tell me she thought I was a good kid and that I must have a good mother. Looking back, she is the reason I am completely untrusting of anyone who immediately fills you full of compliments before seeing who you actually are. This overcompensation usually masks a hidden agenda.

Right before they tied the knot, I noticed a distinct personality change in her as she moved into my house. She began to become cold and extremely judgmental of everything I did. This escalated in the coming months ultimately building toward her openly hating a 9 year old boy without attempting to conceal it in any way. I was very overweight at that point in my life and was a bit of a nerd. I had the highest scores in class and didn't have a lot of friends. And although I wasn't picked on at all, I was most definitely a shut-in.

Her hatred built and eventually culminated in her taking over my bedroom at the house. She took what had been my room (that I only used every other weekend when visiting my father) and stenciled hearts and apples on all of the walls. She decorated the room with creepy as fuck Raggedy Anne and Andy dolls and placed other inanimate antique-toys on the shelves that seemed to to stare at you with a look of rape and torment in their eyes (this bitch even had a stuffed cat in her living room). She threw away my bed and substituted two twin beds located 3 1/2 feet off of the ground so that I may share the room with her mid-20's son when he would come home from college. I eventually resigned myself to spending all of my time in my father’s barn playing around with woodworking tools and watching the Pittsburgh Penguins play hockey on his $3 TV in his "office” that consisted of a vacant desk and an empty refrigerator. I left my sanctuary only to sleep, and upon waking, immediately returned and spent the rest of the day there with my dog Bullet.

It even got worse as the time went on. Eventually I wasn't even allowed to make food in her house. When I would make a sandwich, she would literally walk behind me and throw things away as I placed them next to my plate while vocalizing derogatory comments such as "Who ever left this out must be a worthless fat piece of garbage" in her extreme hillbilly draw. She said this as I was standing next to the plate. I hadn't even left anything out, I was still using it. This treatment eventually got so bad that I started to form depression and by 11 years old I was suicidal. I would carry a serrated steak knife up to my room nightly and hack away at my arm. Why? It’s hard to explain, but physical pain was much easier and more immediately dealt with than the mental pain and instability that I was experiencing. I took great solace in that knife blade and unfortunately I still carry the scars of it to this day.

Whenever I was stuck there, my father would ultimately leave during the days and go to work on the weekends without me, leaving me to the care of a woman who would have been happier if I were dead. She would take money from my father under the guise of taking us to the mall, and upon getting there, give my step-sister $100 to go and spend and leave me with whatever I had in my pocket, which at age 12 was absolutely nothing. I would spend hours sitting in the center of the mall staring at the fountain and wishing I were dead while they walked around with my father’s money and gleefully wasted it while rubbing their purchases in my face.

At age 13 I was finally discovering who I was by being consistently beaten in the face by people I never wished to be. I got into music and guitars, and for the first time in my life I wasn't listening to what my parents told me was good music. I began to wear flannel and listen to early Grunge and Punk. During this time my father would periodically force me to attend dinners with him and his new family on a bi-weekly basis where I was clearly never wanted by anyone but him (and even that was debatable). It got to the point where I refused to eat with them and would pretend I was sick and hide in the truck the entire time while listening to my bootleg tapes of Nirvana on the truck stereo. I'm fully convinced that music is the only thing that actually stopped me from taking my own life during these days, although that did not stop me from attempting to do so.

During this time I was not only discovering music and who I was, I was also discovering drugs and alcohol. After one particularly terrible Christmas at my fathers which ended in the cops coming to break up my father and his wife, I ended up hammered for the first time. In his eternal wisdom, my dad told me that everything would be OK and that I should just have a shot and forget about it. One shot with him turned into five and five shots with my step-sister turned into ten. By the end of the evening I had consumed 13 shots of Jim Beam before passing out in my twin bed and falling flat on my face from the 3 foot fall when the room began to spin.

My early onset alcoholism was made worse when my father purchased a houseboat for his family. When I would attend I was given free reign over the alcohol and I put it to good use. After a day of directly discouraging remarks to my 14 year old face by someone in her 40's, I began to use both drink and drugs heavily as a crutch to get through the day. When I would eventually get hammered enough to get a little sentimental, I would inquire to my father why he would let his only son be treated like that. His answer was simple enough, I needed to grow up and stand up for myself rather than let myself be beaten down. It is because of this that my father is the single biggest influence I've ever had in my life. He is an easily manipulated, self-absorbed, coward of the highest level. Instead of telling his wife to fuck off and treat the only blood he will ever have in this life like they deserve to be, he chose to place the blame on the shoulders of a 14 year old boy. He is an ever shining beacon of all things in my life that I wish to never become.

This all culminated in my attempting to kill myself at age 14. One night, after a girl I was crushing on made it apparent that she did not feel the same way, I ate 50 aspirin and laid down in my bed for what I hoped would be my final time. This was not a spur of the moment decision, this was calculated. I had determined that it was easier to not exist than to live life as I was being forced to. It was a stupid move that only ended up with me eating a hole in my stomach and not able to eat for a week. What's worse yet is that no one noticed that I was not eating as they couldn't have given two shits about me and my mother was busy attending night school after her day job ended.

But the story ultimately has a happy ending, or at least thus-far it does. At age 15 I started doing a heavy introspection of my life and concluded that all of these people were pieces of shit and deserved each other. My father deserved the wife that would fill her Kentucky home with his furniture anytime they chose to separate for a few weeks, and my Father deserved the cold, unloving wife that resembled a frightful troll more than a woman. They all deserved each other and I was better than all of them put together. My life improved noticeably the day that I quit concerning myself with having a family that I deserved, and instead used the pieces of shit surrounding me as anti-role-models of how a human being should conduct affairs in this life.

4 comments:

  1. Wow you are a dude! Just read the rest of your jibberish last night...again wow....some holes in this story of yours Joshy...hmmm....the night (day) it was afternoon actually(you might have forgot you were only 8 remember. Sharlenes dad, your grandfather, called me after Sharlene left his house...stating on the phone that there was a receipt on his table for a gun.....she had turned "your" house upside down....chairs, sofas.mattresses, stole some things, now here comes the important part.....after all this why would your mother want to have anything to do with me? right? While installing a coal conveyor (month long project) 6 years later be inviting me over to her house and spend the night? Most intelligent people would wander if this maybe had something to do with jealousy.....making all this shit up...hell we went to putnambay together......interesting.....might want to patch your holes up in your story, or not drink and write lol...so lets get right to it...hmmm your dads a piece of shit.....then get on with your life get over it doll, your not the first kid that came from shithole father. As I recall later he tried maybe harder than before....taking you out to California, bought you a nice truck (48 ford)that you lost interest in, bought you that convertible truck you spoke of from Steve and Jay...not quite got your facts straight now do you,hell that short bent over lady taught you how to drive,
    do believe she took you to school many times....
    so you have my acceptance on all this my son ....your dad is a piece of shit....always will love you.
    Why did it take you till this year to write all this stuff....hmmm....strange...so congrats on the new wedding hmmm whats it been 2 months since Chelsea said you all were divorcd....I divorced your mom in 91 got married to Teresa in 95 hmmmm......got some holes in this story shit.....that's all I got time for.....you've made me proud....enjoy your life. Next time grow some balls and tell dad to his face. questions comments.

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  2. Well hell I'm on a computer I can type on that can stay up with me lol....there's a lot that went unmentioned and lies that have been said...written in your blog here, I feel sorry for ya, your lovely mother has brainwashed you....she knows all about having a gun pointed at her head, her lovely father would do that regularly in his drunken stooper. I love ya, seems you fell in poppas shoes when you cheated on Chelsea....I kind of remember towards our relationship ending that 99% of the time phone calls from you involved you asking for money.....but why should you be any different......let everything go my son, all this because you wouldn't return a phone call....

    The rants and raves of a piece of shit father.....I'm ok with that.

    See ya

    P.S. Maybe you should go easy on the alcohol...and drugs....seems like it brings out some depression in you.

















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  3. Got me on a role young man.....someone in the family reminded me that your great mother (you know the lying bitch)got upset because I didn't attend the abortion of our child that was "possibly" screwed up because of some chemical balance....I remember this .....it was her first summer with the pool....didn't really want to be pregnant.....funny...god love her....never got to hear the doc tell us it was a baby that needed to be aborted.....or was it not in your mothers plans....again and the last time ....I'm thinkin...oh yah....dad never had a chance with the wicked aunts of the west.....you know the other bitches that tom tom held a gun to....lol

    Sorry ... I guess I might be done now.....tell Tee Tee and Lisa I said hi.....lmao. Hell I still love ya even if ya don't me sonny.

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  4. Hell was going to ad to this but I don't think we can fix this flat tire son......its nice that our laundry has been aired out......out with the old sheets in with the new. Your more than welcome to come to the house any time you might be in town.....I guess all them hugs we shared were just faking it, you remember your last visit to me....still got them pictures on facebook. You did well, your a superb bull shitter

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