Across the world itself many people become parents every second of the day. Their purpose is to have children raise them with pride and be proud of what they become as they grow older. Those are what I call normal parents; they want the best for their children and make sure it happens to the best of their abilities. Not all families and parents are this way. In my case, I didn’t have a normal mother, in any way, the things she would do and say, made my step-father repeat more than, once, some women just should not have children! It’s interesting, when you stop and look at normal families versus the family I grew up in, and see the startling differences there really were. Appearances of course, were always kept up in public or when people visited, but as the old song said, No One Knows, What Goes on Behind Closed Doors! If they did in the family I grew up in, it wouldn’t have been me who was institutionalized it would have been my mother. Sadly, I spent two years in an institution as a child, for reasons stated as my being emotionally disturbed. I was no such thing, I was in fact hyper-active with attention deficit disorder. But I also knew I was the most unwanted child when it came to my mother, I reminded her far too much of my father.
My earliest memory goes back to 1961, the year I first entered Elementary School. It was a September morning after Labor Day Weekend, when my mother woke me up to get ready for school. There was, at the time only two of us, my elder brother and I can clearly remember standing before her in our bedroom, and her dressing me as I fidgeted around and couldn’t hold still. Suddenly to me out of nowhere, I was grabbed, shaken hard, screamed at to hold still, and smacked hard across the face for not holding still. That is my first memory clear in my mind and the look of anger on my mother’s face, as she tied my tie. Then I was ushered off to school with my elder brother leading the way. The small blonde haired, tousled headed boy who was considered unwanted.
I was told the stories of how my first nine months of life were filled with seizures of some sort. My Aunts told me of it all, and how I was held by my mother with my head under running water, and a spoon on my tongue so I wouldn’t choke to death. Those ended for me by accident as I am told, I was sitting in my high chair and my elder brother came along and removed my tray, I tumbled out of the high chair and onto the floor head first. End of seizures and to this day no one can tell why, except for a black spot on the top of my brain in MRIs today. My step-father god bless his soul who took over for my real father when I was nine months old told me how he tied me to the metal radiator in our apartment as a little guy, to keep me from running out the door and falling down the stairs. My mother used to laugh at it and tell me he didn’t know what else to do with me. We were indeed a peculiar family in many ways. Our opinions of our parents even as we sit around and chat today, would be varied and sound crazy to most. My elder brother worshipped the ground my mother walked on and would do anything for her, I faced the truth and realized when I was young what a heartless, cold woman she really was to me.
So, from the youngest age, until my mother’s death in 1991, my memories of her and her ways differ so much from my siblings it is hard to believe. But then again, they were not the one she called a Bastard without a Conscience I was. They were not the one, who she kept telling were like their father a worthless, lazy greasy, penny pitching man. Nope I was. It’s funny how a divorced couple talks about one another after the divorce, to their immediate family and friends. The war never does stop, does it? At least that was the case, with my real parents, right up until my father’s death, Thanksgiving Day 1983 from cancer.
By then, I was full-grown and closing in on 30 years old I was 27 years old. Your younger days make you who you are when you are full-grown for sure. Life it seems is a complex, combination of experiences you live thru as you age that makes you who you are. Each experience has something to do with who we are as adults, and I think any Doctor would say the same. I know looking back, not feeling wanted or cared for, made, me who I am today, a man who can stand alone and not care what anyone says. Not easy to be that way, but I am not evil or bad, just, able to do what is necessary to survive and get by. We all tend to learn to do what one needs to, to survive by natural instinct and my case was the same as most.
Anyway by the time I entered kindergarten, I was looked upon as a troubled child with emotional problems by my parents and the school system. This didn’t make it easy for me at all for sure. The teachers were told to keep a close eye on me and I hated it. I would do things just to spite the teachers and my classmates in kindergarten. I would throw toys at other kids, fight with them, not take naps when told to and I would actually refuse to go to the toilet and do it in my pants. I was of course frowned upon and looked at by the other kids as a loser and a strange kid. By the time my kindergarten year ended, my parents were sent a letter by the school, requesting I repeat kindergarten. Of course my mother would not go for that and it didn’t happen, but it was a close call as I remember it. I did make it to First Grade on time, but, the problems I ran into started to build and would for the next few years. I was not a child who got along with anyone at the time, and I just wanted to be left alone. I have no idea of what, was wrong with me, nor did my parents, the school system or in the end the State Social Workers. I survived it I think through determination and stubbornness.
As the first three years of my schooling went on, so did my attitude grow worse about people in general and the school system? I couldn’t conform to the standards or ways expected to me, I would not buckle down as they say and worry about grades. I firmly believe that if it were not for the fact, that the school system in my home city, was under financial problems for those years, I wouldn’t have advanced at all in school. My advancement to second and then third grade was a matter of force by the school system I attended. The city could not afford teachers, and we were forced to have the same teacher for the first three years. That led to my being pulled along to second than third grade, due to financial matters. My report cards show I failed in all areas to conform or pass any tests and I was a social reject. I would fight with students, fight with teachers and even fight with the Principal and her Secretary. It wasn’t fun in school then and because of those battles in school, and at home during those years, the spring between third and fourth grade became trouble big time. My mother made a decision to call in the State of Connecticut to try to straighten me out, both in school and at home. My rebellion in school was only matched by my rebellion at home, when it came to my mother. I had found pictures of hers in a photo album in the living room closet. Among those pictures were photos of a man, I knew had to be my father, instinct and the obvious differences in skin tone and color told me the man I called Dad was not my real father. My mother caught onto my knowing this because I asked her about it all. The fights started with one question, was that my father in the pictures. And it would not end for two years, after I was institutionalize by the State of Connecticut.
1965, was the year my baby sister was born, and it was also the year I was sent away for two. After her birth that year a couple of things occurred, 1) she came home and my elder brother became the babysitter for his three younger siblings. My elder brother is and will always be a selfish, obnoxious, arrogant person who cared for himself and no one else. I remember the start of my problems by his involvement. He would tease me constantly. One day he stood at the screen door which had a window in it at the time and wouldn’t let me in the house. As I asked him to let me in, he laughed at me and wouldn’t unlock the door. As the argument grew so did my anger, and this went on for a long time.
Finally, after numerous attempts and requests by me to get in the house he just stood there behind the door and laughed at me saying no. I had, had enough of this, so I finally picked up a stone and tossed it through the glass at him. I didn’t realize he was holding our baby sister at the time and the glass shattered all over them. That was the beginning of the end for me. My parents were pissed when they came home and mom had no idea how to handle me. I was punished of course and told by mom that she had, had enough of me, and couldn’t handle me anymore. She then, told me she was calling in the State Of Connecticut and they would be coming by in a week. My problems were about to get deeper now.
I remember that hot July day, when we all were home early in the morning at 8 am, and a small black car, with a State of Connecticut seal on the side drove up. It was the first time I met the Social Worker, Miss Belote and the first meeting of her with our family. It took place in our living room with us all gathered and discussing why I behaved as I did. It was like being grilled by a bunch of strangers I didn’t really know or understand. Sadly these meetings continued, because so did my behavior, my anger was directed at two people, one mostly my elder brother and two my mother. As the meetings continued through July and into August no progress was being seen in my behavior or attitude by the Social Worker or my parents. By Mid- August of 1965, my parents told the State Social Worker they couldn’t handle me anymore and a decision was made to take me out of the home environment and to institutionalize me as an Emotionally Unstable Child, who needed help.
I remember the evening when my mother told me what was coming and how she told me. It was after supper and prior to bed, as she got us all ready. She told me she couldn’t handle me anymore and didn’t know what else to do, so she made arrangements for the State of Connecticut to take me away. As I stood there as a child listening to her, I knew I was in trouble, but never did understand what was happening until it was too late.
I was taken by mom out shopping for clothes and more and then, the night before I was to leave I was told Miss Belote the State Social Worker was coming to get me the next day. It was the evening before and knew what was coming, I never did understand why nor was I given any chance to ask.
The morning of the big event and arrival of The State Social Worker I was gotten up early, and bathed and dressed by mom and a suitcase was packed and put downstairs in the living room. I was dress in pink striped shorts and a white shirt pullover and new sneakers and socks. I was told she was coming for me and she was taking me away. As I awaited, I knew I was in trouble, I knew what was coming and I knew I didn’t want to go. I made a decision, and ran out the door and took off running. As I ran that day, my mother caught on and sent my elder brother and all of the neighborhood kids after me, the chase was on. That day, the chase lasted well over 10 hours before I was caught and returned back home by the Police Department. I escaped my pursuers thru the woods and kept right on running till I reached the next town that night. The woods were indeed my place of safety, but my hunger and being tired were my demise and ultimately the reason why I was caught. I was picked up on a lonely stretch of road over 5 miles away that night by the police who returned me home at about 9 pm. I was cleaned up and fed and then put to bed, the next day I would be picked up earlier and taken away to The Children Center in Hamden, Connecticut on Whalley Avenue that would become my home for the next two years
The Children Center is located on Whalley Avenue in Hamden, Connecticut, it sits across from a reservoir and next to Quinnipiac College. Its black front Gates are always open to the public and the driveway through the center of those gates wide enough for two cars. I remember seeing it for the first time that hot August Day, the front walls that hold the Gates up are brick and around the Center itself is a black wrought iron fence. On the right brick wall is a simple sign that says, Children’s Center. As you drive in to it they take you to the slight right and the main administration Building and process you for your arrival. Your Social Worker now owns you and walks you in to the Administration Building, processes your paperwork and then walks you back out to the State Car for the short ride up the center green to the barracks all the kids stay in. There are a few barracks throughout the compound of course for different aged children of different sexes. There is also a Gymnasium, a School, a Shop Building for shops like carpentry. There is also many trees and a tennis court that also doubles as a basketball court and an ice rink in winter for ice skating. The Children Center is manned by medical and psychiatrist, all barracks have Social Workers on duty to help control the children in shifts around the clock. The rooms are of different sizes and house anywhere from, 8 kids in a room down to 2 to a room. The kids are given allowances based only on what their parents provide. A chow hall is present to eat in also. Showers are wide open like at the YMCA and all use them who live in these barracks. The Children Center was where I was stuck for the next two years of my young life, I was nine years old, I would not get released till well after my eleventh birthday, which is in January, it was July 1967 when I heard I was going back home and August 1967 when I got there.
To explain my stay at The Children Center, you have to first look at my arrival date. I didn’t want to be there that is for sure, they set me up in a room with seven other boys near my age. I felt lost and alone and I was given a bunk bed, one dresser and told to make my bed. I basically lost it and threw a tantrum that was a good one apparently. That tantrum was my only way of trying to beat the odds and go home number one, but secondly it was a full-out, emotional burst of anger and sadness. I threw anything I could get my hands on and went berserk. The Social Worker on duty was a young man, a red-haired one, who came in and told me to stop. When I didn’t he finally said if I didn’t he would have to stop me. Of course I refused, and continued in a mad tantrum to do as I pleased. The next thing I knew I was pinned to the floor by this full-grown man as I yelled and screamed in anger. My rampage and screaming lasted a good 30 minutes, when finally he looked at me and asked me if I was through I was exhausted. He let me up, looked at me, told me to clean up the mess and when done get in bed, for I was done for my first day.
When your nine years old you learn quickly who is in charge of you, if they don’t hesitate to discipline and correct you and they stick to it. I learned in that first hour no tantrum or action on my part was going to change where I was or why I was there so I had better learn to live with it all. I did of course learning to do chores, going to school 5 days a week during school months and monthly meetings with Social Workers. Even learned to make my own bed, and do my own laundry while in the Center. I learned discipline and how to use self-control at all times, they stressed that on us there. But not all was the greatest in The Center there were bad times too and things I should have never happened to me too and others. My first year in the Center, my Step-father and Mother and siblings would come down to see me once a month on the weekends. The visits were only allowed if I behaved, so I must have done well then. Now, many would think a kid in such a place as The Center was placed on drugs of some sort, never happened in my case. I never needed drugs, some kids had Ritalin, some had anti- depressant and other drugs to take. I was never diagnosed with anything that required drugs of any form period. When I questioned the Social Worker on why I was in The Center, her response was simple; I was declared an emotionally disturbed child. As I told her, I told many since, I wasn’t emotionally disturbed, I was hyper active with attention deficit disorder. I was in a mad fight to survive and learn who I was. Plus I did have hyper-activity and attention deficit disorder, but it was the 1960s and no one understood that as of yet. I suffered for it of course but from age nine to 11 years old I out grew it and overcame on my own without medication.
What brought me to this position I found myself in , in 1965 was partly my own refusal to stop asking questions and my mother’s refusal to answer the questions I asked, plus the constant ribbing, poking, teasing and harassing my elder brother did to me. I had spent from five years old to nine years old in constant arguments with both of them. It started at five years old with my mother, because I combed through old photo albums of hers I found in a closet. Upon looking through them I found a photo of a man who looked almost just like me and asked who he was. That started the fight that would last from my fifth birthday to my eighteenth birthday, til I got on a Greyhound bus and went to meet the man myself. The other teasing harassing and poking done by my elder brother would not end until I finally told him, when I was forty years old I would not put up with his shit anymore. So you see, I ended up in the Children Center because I fought back and rebelled against what was being forced upon me. I knew my step-father wasn’t my real father and when I questioned my mother about it the battle began. So, because I wouldn’t stop asking her reactions got louder and more physical and I became more rebellious and we were both stubborn of course. So that said and understood will give you the idea of what kind of kid I was. My Step-father told me at five years old I learned to read music from him, by verbal teachings. I never played a song, but I could read music at the time. Many things I had going for me in my younger days, I lost because I never used them to better myself and I had a low attention span. That is the way it went see, I wasn’t emotionally unstable I was hyper-active, and had the attention span of a gnat so to say.
As my time went on in the Children’s Center, I learned many things some good and some bad so to say. I saw things I had never seen or experienced so far in my life. The Children Center is the place I first heard of sex, kissing, drugs, alcohol and more. It was filled with kids from all walks of life. It was also the place where I learned to play basketball which I suck at, learned to play tennis and ice skate and tried to kiss my first girl. Of all of the above, the only thing I got right was the ice skating.
The first year was spent accumulating myself to the Center it’s rules and ways, being put on schedules for meetings and appointments with my Social Worker, and school. Of course there were the fights with other kids and bullies and the good times of having fun too. We would get a bunch of us together and attempt to imitate singing groups of the 1960s. We were having fun and laughing as we did it and knowing we stunk. It was all kids pretending at the time. I learned to shoot pool, I learned to love reading and I explored the neighborhood around the Center also. I ended up at the lake next to the college catching a monster snapping turtle my first summer there. Another kid and I dragged it back to the Center and dumped it in the Swimming Pool. It died of course from the chemicals and we buried it next to the pool. The following summer we dug it up and studied the skeleton of the turtle. So yes, The Center wasn’t all bad. But it wasn’t all good either. You learned if you were in it, to adjust and adapt to the rules and behave in such a way as the teachers, counselors and Social Workers would leave you alone. It was a matter of pure survival.
1966 to 1967 was my second year in The Children’s Center in Hamden, Connecticut. By that time I had learned to work within the rules and get by without any problems. My Parents would come down to see me on the weekends usually bringing the younger siblings if they could and my elder brother hardly ever showed up. He was always playing some sport or another and didn’t want to bother it seemed.
One weekend, that summer, my parents showed up for their visit. As my mother talked to the counselors, for the barracks, my step-father and I took a walk outside, and, sat on the curb to the green.
As we sat there he asked me if I wanted to be adopted by him and have my name legally changed to his. I looked at him and asked him why he asked. He said he knew, mom had told him I found the photos. He explained to me that the one who plants the seed is not necessarily the one who makes it grow and feeds it properly. He then offered to adopt me and change my name to his. I told him I would think about it and let him know. The following visit from my parents, I told him no thank you and I wanted to keep the name I was born with. He said ok, but no matter what I was still his son and it didn’t matter what my last name was .I admired him for that and all he did for my elder brother and I all our lives. This was a man who married a woman with two boys, and took all of us in and raised us as his own, how else could I think. While he was great in this way, he was also bad in his physical punishment of all of us kids. The beatings we received over the years, before my time in the Children Center and afterwards, would scar all of the boys in the family. Do I blame him for it all, no, I blame both of them, for mom pushed him to do it and he did it to shut her up. It was a matter of who really was in charge and why.
Meetings with the Social Worker were scheduled during my two years in The Center on a monthly basis. I would not attend them all, I would skip them and disappear and that didn’t go over too well with the Center. In the end I surrendered in the spring of 1966, and attended a few with the Social Worker. One day in March of 1966 I was told to report to the Social Workers office she wanted to see me. I walked over from the school that day and into the administrative building and climbed the stairs to the second floor and reported in to the secretary there and waited.
Shortly afterwards as I was waiting I saw my Social Worker go by the office with a young couple in tow heading to her office. I didn’t think much about this of course, but you get feelings of things to happen or coming. As I sat there waiting kind thought something is up, she doesn’t call me in off schedule like this for nothing. I was about to find out what was going on after waiting about 30 minutes.
My Social Worker came down the hall and got me soon and took me to her office. Sitting inside was this young couple, she introduced us and told me they were looking to adopt a son. We chatted a bit and then they left with a look of hope on their faces. As they did I as an eleven year old to be, put it all together, they wanted to adopt me. Then the lights came on in my mind and I knew then that the State or my mother or both thought it would be best if I was adopted by a new family and never sent home. This caused an emotional welling in me that caused my response to all of it. As the Social Worker walked the couple out she left me in her office alone to think it over. During those moments and minutes I found a dictaphone machine and the mic for it and turned it on. I spoke clearly and loudly in the machine and said, I do not want a new family, nor do I need a new family, I want to go home to my own family period. When I finished, I shut off the machine and put down the mic and walked out the door of the office and down the back steps and back to the barracks. That recording ultimately, sent me back home to my real family that August, after it was found and played by the Social Worker. Never a word was ever said to me about it, by the Social Worker or anyone at The Center, I wouldn’t know it was heard until years later when told by my mother. Many things occurred to me in my two years in The Children Center, I fractured both wrists in the summer and ended up in casts that lasted through the first summer I was in. I attempted to kiss my first girl there and failed of course I was too young, girls in the Center taught me tennis and ice skating also. So The Center was not all bad, just a place to be when no one wanted me.
By early August of 1967 it was decided I would be returned home instead of sent to a foster home or adopted by another family. Again I stress the point, the reason was the Social Worker had found and listened to my recording on her machine. That cry in the night as I call it, ultimately made the State of Connecticut send me back to my real family. By the time I returned, that August, the house had new furniture, new carpets, and I was made to take my shoes off to even get in the house. The atmosphere had changed; I noticed subtle changes in the family. My mother was never close to me and that continued to be, I was never close to my elder brother either. The changes were in the way the family interacted and how they accepted me back. As strange as it may sound something was different for sure and it all seemed to work out for us all. I returned to school again in my old school after being gone for two years with only two years to go. Seventh Grade became an easy process for me as did eighth grade the following year. The constant beatings we would receive from my step-father at night seemed to have stopped also, I think either he stopped listening to mom and blew off her bitching or his sisters told him to stop beating us kids. Either way, it stopped for a while and things started to go ok. That though would change, by 1969 when the fifth and final child was born to them. They now had five mouths to feed so to say and dress and care for, it was July 1969. A Decade was ending and another getting ready to begin and by 1970’s summer a move was in store for the family. Late in October 1969 my mother and step-father determined we couldn’t live in a small apartment anymore. They decided to buy a home, in a small neighboring town. To do so though they had to find a way to get a down payment on it, they did, they took it from my elder brother’s saving account!.
By the time I graduated Elementary School in June of 1969, many new decisions were being made by my parents and by me. That summer I decided I wanted to attend a Technical High School instead of a regular one. I applied to the best one in the area in late June of 1969 and my step-father took me down for the entrance exam one day. As he drove me down in his big old Cadillac, all yellow with it’s green roof, he asked me if I was going to pass the test. I looked at him and said, Sure. He said ok and said we shall see.. As I walked into the school that morning at 8 am. I knew I would pass the test, but no one else thought I would. After two hours I finished the entrance exam and called my step-father to pick me up. As I left all the other kids were still working on the test, I had finished first. As I handed in the test and left the tutors, pointed at me and said that was fast, I smiled and just walked out.
I called home that day and asked for Dad to come pick me up, I was 13 about to become 14 in six months that summer. Dad picked me up in his big old Cadillac and on the ride home he asked how I did. I told him I passed the test, he laughed and said sure you did. Never once did he really believe I did of course. That early August the letter came in the mailbox from the school, as I opened it my step-father watched. I read the letter and just smiled and set it down on the counter in our kitchen. Dad picked it up and read it and then called mom, he was happy and his voice was loud, He did it!.
Next the big move in August. I remember dad telling us we were moving and how he introduced us to our next home. It was an early August day, shortly after I got my admittance letter to school. Dad piled the 3 eldest of his kids in his station wagon he now had and drove us to the house located on a hill in a small town called Naugatuck. As I looked at it that summer I knew, work was what we were in store for, for sure. A big, old, dutch, colonial home, it was over grown with weeds and the front yard was a bank. The house was solid of course in structure, but under the weeds in the front was a sign, it was a condemned house they had bought. And guess how we were gonna fix it, three boys and one man is how!. Dad had his plans and it didn’t matter if we boys wanted to do anything else, we had our jobs to do period and that was rebuild with him. Dad and I started the fixing as soon as he was ready that August, we started in the kitchen which was a mess. The walls were old plaster and there were buckling from the slats behind them. To start Dad, measured up the kitchen walls all around the room 5 feet high, above that mark the walls were fine, below damaged and had to go. I was given a chisel and a hammer and shown how to knock the plaster down and cut the line straight. When done we had slats still in the walls and had marked off where all the studs were. We panaled up to the good wall from the floor. Dad then said to wait and we ran out that week and got floor tiles for the flooring and laid it down the next week. Now once the flooring was in more repairs had to be finished.
Our next mission was to fix the plumbing and sink in the kitchen so it didn’t leak on either end, water supply or drains. Dad and I spent a day alone making sure it would never leak again, we removed most of the old copper water supply lines and replaced them with PVC plastic and the drain lines too. We put in a new faucet too.
Dad then determined what to do with the walls we had torn apart. Instead of sheet rocking them brand new, he came up with wall paneling, a dark walnut. We paneled the lower feet of the walls all the way around. Then Dad determined how to close the gap so it would never be seen again, clam shell molding was brought in plain wood of course, three inches wide and measure by dad to fit snuggly all the way around the room. And as Dad worked on the kitchen lighting and checked other things out I was given the job of sanding, staining and shellacked the molding. When he was ready we leveled the molding one piece at a time and I held it in place as he nailed away Dad only owned power saws as needed he never had any other power tools, so he hand nailed it all with a hammer and finishing nails. To this day now in 2011, that kitchen in that old house is still the same and never will be changed. In 1990 when Dad was dying which is another part of this story, later, he went over from cramps from his cancer and was holding the kitchen light in his hand as he did. He yanked it from the ceiling, I know cause mom asked me to put it back, I did.
The fall and winter of 1970 and into the spring of 1971, I spent with Dad, my two brothers and that old house, rebuilding, finishing and making it livable for us all. I never had much time to do much else it seemed to me. I still remember the spring of 1971 clearly, Dad had bought an old 1954 Ford F-100 Pick-up truck, he drove it home one day. The following Saturday it was registered and ready to roll and he let me know about it. He woke me at 8 am on Saturday and made me get dressed and eat, then he dragged me out of the house and into the truck. The next thing I knew we were three towns from home, loading his pick-up truck with field stones. We loaded enough stones that spring to bring home and build the front stone wall up five feet higher and the wall is 75 feet long. We did it though and I mixed the cement as he built the wall side by side with him, and if I complained or moaned or groaned, he would look at me and say stop crying, or I will smack ya with the shovel. That was my first year in Naugatuck, Connecticut our new home.
The Old Dutch Colonial house changed in a years’ time from a condemned property to a nice home, we paneled and paneled walls, dining room living room, laid a slate floor in the front foyer, sanded the stairs ways up three floors and landings too. Even carpeted the Living-room in gold shag rug for looks. Then headed to the second floor where we painted and redid three bedrooms and a bathroom. We redid a bedroom for my sister that year also, we paneled the walls in white paneling then Dad made me paint it all pink for her, we put pink shag rug in and Dad bought his only daughter a new bedroom set, all white with canopy and gold inlays in it. The Princess now had her kingdom. We built a room for the youngest son too, paneled it in walnut, added corner bookshelves, built-in and carpeted it in green and orange carpet squares. I know green and orange right yuck, but it is what he wanted my brother. By the time we had finished off the second floor bedrooms Dad was tired a bit, he took a break for a few weeks. Then it was basement time.
The basement we cleaned out and then we laid forms in the dirt floor that dad made and he opened the cellar exterior doors. I mixed the cement and he poured bucket after bucket after bucket. First one half of that floor then, the other half the following weekend. When done the floor had raised two inches up and was solid as hell. Then Dad got an idea, it was time to stucco the damn stone basement walls. What fun that turned out to be, chicken wired walls and stuccoing cement in. It worked though, for the basement became the laundry and work room. We even ended up building Dad a long work bench that summer with a peg board for holding tools and hooks. Turned out well yes indeed, Dad was happy enough by then with the house he finally quit repairing it for a while. Even as I did all of this with Dad, from yard clearing to wall building, to house repairs, I was never really wanted, my mother and I fought every day we were together. It was never peace and quiet and getting along. That wasn’t the way of my family it seems, everything was a fight or struggle.
Since I felt so unwanted and used I would try to disappear and get away now as much as possible. My elder brother escaped thru sports and then marriage and he never did much anyway at home, he was the wanted one and I the unwanted one. When the third son of the family came about, well, he was god’s gift to his dad till he turned on him and wiped Dad out. The girl was a precious addition and she got her own room, never beaten upon and taken care of by dad, although mom treated her bad.
The baby boy, got spoiled at a young age and then got hit by a car and injured mentally. He was never the same after that, he is normal but his personality changed and he became more of a me, me person then a we person. Our family never was the best family around and if anyone knew it I did, for I was the unwanted one. I was made to babysit, clean, do laundries, feed the younger three and work with dad on projects around the house the rest well, you get the idea. I was like the unwanted sister in Cinderella, used abused and not appreciated until after I left. It was then all the work around the house stopped and it remained that way until I returned after 16 years of service and nothing changed the third floor never, got completed, it remained where I left it when I left for the service. Funny how that all happened, Dad had no one left to do the work for him or help him, so it remained filled with wood.
I was so unwanted my mother gave me away for two years, my step-father beat upon me, my older brother beat upon me and my younger brother who tried to kill his younger siblings tried to beat upon me. I became the target, in the family when young and because of that I overcame as I got older and became a soldier, a sailor and a father of two, myself, before my divorce. I fought and struggled my whole life with being accepted or wanted, from childhood to adulthood and now through two marriages, two kids and more. In the end I never felt wanted and will always feel unwanted because of my mother, my step-father, and my older brother. I don’t think it is something I will ever overcome. I never felt like I belonged or was a member of my own family. This is what it feels like when you’re the unwanted one.
Yet in the end, today after my parents have been gone over 20 years, and I have moved on, I still know I was the unwanted one, but I have outshined all my siblings and still encourage my baby sister who I love the most. My other brothers in turn, the oldest is down south and still to this day has no idea how to talk to people or to his family, especially me. The one who was born in back of me died at a young age in California due to drugs and aids. The baby boy the last lives on his own and trusts no one because it is what he was taught by his father. So in the end I am the only one with my sister who survived the mess of our family and turned out anywhere near normal, and we survive well. Sometimes, it hurts so bad to be the unwanted one and knowing how that went, other times I feel it was necessary for me to learn the survival skills that keep me going daily. Being unwanted teaches you to survive on your own and to reach for what you want and need and make ends meet. So, I shall always be known in my mind as the unwanted son. But why go on, for who wants to hear really from an unwanted one!