There was never a dull moment in my house. Despite all of that, I have persevered, and I will continue to do so. I have goals that I have reached, and goals that I still want to meet, and despite how I was raised; and all of the negative things I was taught to believe bout myself, I will reach them.
I may have been told I was no good every day of my life, and told that I would never amount to anything, but that does not mean that I have to believe it, and I will succeed despite it. I grew up in Louisville, Ky. Born and raised here, I still live in the same neighborhood as I did as a child. I lived with my parents, and three brothers. I was the third born, and although I was the baby for eight whole years; I was never treated like it. Instead, all I remember about growing up is all of the mental abuse me and my brothers had to go through. Although very beautiful, my mom was extremely men.
She was raised in New York, and is full blooded Italian. Picture a bitter woman with a New York accent. That was my mom. She did not show love to any of her children, not ever. Her dogs were the only things that she had any affection for. They were her real children. My mother showed no love for us, and also no concern. At 5 years old, I was able to stay out until 10, 11, 12 at night, most of the time my parents not even realizing I was gone, or if they did realize, they did not care. While my mom didn’t care because she was just a men woman, my dad didn’t care, because the only thing he cared about was her.
He ate, slept, and breathed her, almost to the point of obsession. The sad thing is that, although he would do absolutely anything for her, I never saw her give anything back to him in return. My mother always did, and still does, only care about herself. She would spend her money on herself, always having to look her best; she would buy the most expensive clothes and etc. ; while her kids ran around in hand-me-down rags. I don’t recall her ever buying me a new outfit at all, not ever. Not even for Christmas did I ever get anything from her. We basically didn’t even celebrate that holiday.
I guess it was because she didn’t want to get us anything. Until I was a grown man, and had a family of my own. I never had a good Christmas. My mom’s whole goal in life seemed to be putting her children down and making them believe they would never become anything useful. If she saw any of us even a little bit happy, it was her job to squash it; and she was great at her job. Growing up, I remember always trying to earn her affection, or get just a minute of positive attention from her. I would give her gifts, flowers, and My Life Page 2
Cards, but none of that ever mattered, and none of that ever worked. To this day she hasn’t told me that she loves me, instead, the only thing I her from her on a regular basis is how she should have never had me and killed me in her womb. Can you imagine how words like that made me feel as a child? I felt that if my own mother didn’t love me, then nobody ever would. It reminds me of Bronfenbrenners ring system, the Microsystem to be more exact. The Microsystem was the one that consisted of things such as our family, and how the way we were treated by them made them the person we are today.
Bronfenbrenner believed that the environment or “systems” in which a person lives influence them to varying degrees. (Bronfenbrenner, 2010, Adult Development and Life Assessment, chap 2) I am living proof that what he believes is correct. Although I was not close to my parents growing up, I was very close to my brother Gary. He was only a couple of years older then me, and we were always together when we were younger. I would get made fun of t school for wearing dirty clothes and being covered in bruises, and he would take up for me, and showed me how to take up for myself.
I loved him, and in a way I think I may have looked to him as a sort of substitute father. We always had a good time together, and because he also lived in the same house as me, and was subject to the same abuse; we understood each others pain. I remember how me and him would go into bars and charge old men to shine their shoes. At one time we had a box full of money, probably close to 15 dollars which was quite a bit of money back then. I came home one day, and went to my box to get some money out for candy or something, and all of our money was gone.
My mother had taken It. Me and Gary were both very upset, we worked hard for that money, and she had no right to take it from us. However, neither one of us said anything to her bout It. We knew that it wouldn’t matter. Why should we confront her and ask her why she did it, when we knew she did it because she could do it. Besides my brother, I also had a lot of friends. When ever my brother 16 he married his girlfriend, so he could get out of the house. That also took him away from me, and we no longer hung round together much anymore. The friends I had were the best.
Since they were not her kids, and they didn’t have to live with her, they loved watching my mom behave badly by yelling and cursing, not just her family, but just about anyone she came into contact with out. The older she got, the meaner she got. My friends would call her the crazy lady. Turns out they were actually right. Years later I would learn that my mother was the way she was, due to a traumatic childhood, and a severe bipolar disorder. However, that never made me feels any better. Anyways, although my friends hardly ever hung out at my house, and they never once spent the night, I would always stay all night at their house.
At one point in time, I basically lived at my friends houses. I would take turns staying from one friend’s house to another, every few days. I My Life Page 3 Loved being around families that unlike mine were “normal. ” Seeing my friends parents showing their children love and affection, showed me that not all parents were like mine, and that things didn’t have to be like they were t my house. All of my friends parents loved having me over, and loved me to death.
I know a lot of the reason they liked me and were so nice to me, was because they knew how mistreated I was at home, however, I like to thing they mostly liked me due to my winning personality. I was always trying to gain my mothers love and attention, and because of that, I always had the need to make everyone like me. It was very important to me that everyone I met liked me. It drove me crazy if I met someone that didn’t, and I would do anything to change their mind. I was that way until a few years go actually. It was only a few years go that I finally realized the only person I needed to worrying bout liking me, was me.
Growing up I never did like myself very much, and it feels good now to finally say that I do. Even though I didn’t have the best parents in the world, I still have some great childhood memories. One of my friends, in fact my very best friend, was a guy named Danny Gross. He was the kind of guy I always wanted to be. Handsome, smart and funny, and he had a huge family that loved and supported him. I loved hanging out with him; we always had a lot of fun together. We did everything together; in fact, we even had our first kiss at the same age, with the same girl.
Both me and Danny paid a girl named Laurie St Claire a dollar to teach us how to kiss. I still look back on that and laugh. Mostly because she wasn’t a very attractive girl. Honestly, she reminded me of an NFL quarterback, and the fact that we both had to pay her a dollar to kiss us, has to tell you something about us. I remember me and Danny use to go everywhere together. By the time I was 13 years old, I knew downtown Louisville like the back of my hand, and that wasn’t close to where we lived. It was actually about ten miles way, which once gain shows how my parents didn’t pay to much attention, nor care, where I went.
One night me and Danny rode our bikes over the Kentucky/Indiana Bridge, and hung out by the river on the Indiana side. I know now that was not very smart. Not only was we to young to be out as late as we were, but we mostly shouldn’t have been so far away from home. We were in another state! We always did things like that. There were a few guys hanging out there as well. They were around 19 or 20, and they came over and started talking to us. For about an hour they hung out with us, and we thought we were so cool. We were out late, far from home, and hanging out with guys older then us.
That lasted for about an hour, until they turned on us and made us believe they were going to kill us. They started talking amongst themselves about throwing our bodies into the river, and exactly what the best way to kill us would be. Me and Danny were terrified, and we were both crying our eyes out. They only laughed at us, and threw our bikes My Life Page 4 Into a thick row of thorn bushes. Finally, I guess they had gotten tired of their game, and told us to get out of their. We were so happy to be allowed to leave, and to not be dead, that we didn’t even care bout our bikes.
Needless to say, because we were so far away from home, it took us forever to get back. We had to end up hitch hiking, and it still was early in the morning before we made it there. Looking back on all of that now, I believe those guys were trying to teach us a lesson, even though it was a pretty messed up way to do it. They wanted us to realize that we weren’t cool being over there that late, and that young, and it was in fact very stupid, and anything could have happened to us. It definitely worked. Me and Danny never did anything like that again.
I know all of that was pretty crazy, and even though it scared me to death at the time, it is still one of my fondest childhood memories. An individual’s personality is relatively stable, if it changes at all; it is only after a very long time, or as the result of traumatic events. (Aswathappa, k. & Reddy, G. Sudarsana, 2009, Organizational Behavior. ) As a teenager, I began to become the person that my mother always tried to make me believe I was. I started cutting school, so much that I cannot believe I ever graduated. I started smoking, getting into fights, and doing drugs.
I guess I kind of figured that if my mom was going to keep saying that I was bad, I was going to play the part. Back then I had the mentality that if you called me a villain, then I would be the villain. Not the smartest way to think. During my teenage years, I was locked up numerous times, mostly for small silly things, such as driving without a license. I remember one time doing LSD and coming home on it, and having such bad trip that I had to be hospitalized. I should have known better then to go round my mother like that. She always was such a buzz kill.
I’ve already written bout how my mother put me in a teen work camp, basically ust because she could Well, being there only taught me how to be even badder I was headed down the wrong path and fast, then I discovered pool I had always played pool growing up, but now I decided to get serious about it I decided that I was going to put my mind to it, and I would be the best pool player around. I practiced morning and night, that’s all I did. I loved it, and eventually I was the best. I would go into pool halls and people knew who I was. I finally proved to myself, if not my mother, that I could achieve something. I traveled from state to state playing in tournaments, and winning them.
Every where I went, people knew who I was, and they loved me. Me, being person that has always wanted people to like me, I loved that I finally felt like they did. I got the love in the pool hall that I never got at home. I had set a goal, and despite my mother I had achieved it. I was very proud of myself. For the next 30 years, pool would be my life. Pool finally gave me confidence, and I finally felt good about myself, so when I met my future wife I had no problem asking her out. Her name was Linda, and she was the most My Life Page 5
Beautiful woman I had ever seen. Normally I never would have asked her out, but being more confident now, I did, as it turned out she liked me to. Shortly afterwards, we married, and had four gorgeous kids. Two boys and two girls. They were all the most precious things I had ever seen, and unlike my parents, I told them so everyday. I always told them that I loved them and that they had my support and could be whatever they wanted to be. They are, and always will be the best thing I ever did, and my greatest achievement. They each have given me the most beautiful grandchildren, and I have 7 all together.
I know that I am a lucky man and I thank God for it every day. Now, in my later years, I have decided to go back to school and earn my degree in Business administration. That is another thing that my mother always said I would never accomplish. A long time ago I would have believed her, but not anymore. Finally I don’t live my life worrying about what she things about me. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have loving mother like most people have. I may be 55 years old, but some times I still act like a kid at heart, and I find myself still desperately wanting my mothers love.
The thing is, that now I don’t let that thought rule my life, and I damn sure will no longer let it affect my life in a negative way. I have always wanted to own my own pool hall and bar, and that is something I will do. I know that I have it in me to do what ever I want to, and what ever I put my mind to. Even though I grew up in a house without much encouragement or support, I have not let that hold me back, and I have grown up to be a happy man with a loving wife, beautiful children, and the best grandkids man can ask for. I have one more goal that I want to accomplish, and I know that I will, despite my mother.