“Looking At You, Kid!”
How are childhood shapes who we are and who we become.
This is my first writing. I don’t really know how to start but what I do know is I need an outlet to vent and figure out if there are people out there that have similar situations or just can empathize with me. I’m 35, and been married for roughly 15 yrs. My relationship with my husband is so complicated. We were so young when we met. I was 21, and he was 19 goin on 20.
We met the good ol’ fashion way, through mutual people that we knew. I had just quit my shitty telemarketing job, and was hanging out with a new fling my friend had just made. She went to work, and he took me to my now husband’s house, but I’m not gonna in this article talk about my relationship that’s for another segment. What I am gonna talk about is what happened to my husband. This was before we were married, and before we met, so to put that into perspective we are talking about when he was about. Well he’ll let me just tell you what kind of life he had growing up. Do remember this is my perspective.
I didn’t grow up with him I just have heard the stories, and dealt with the consequences of his shitty childhood so much that it’s like I was there sometimes. So let’s start from the beginning. He was born in Napa Valley, CA. His parents were in the Navy. He was the first of three children. When he was just a wee toddler his parents got stationed in Spain. Something that his mom always says about him then was that he would translate Spanish for his mom, so she could communicate with his nanny. His parents would work a lot so he practically lived on this farm with his nanny. He remembers she had two boys of her own, but doesn’t remember much past that.
While I’m writing this I wonder how she met this person to begin with, and how she set up the first meeting (ya know, not being able to communicate with her and all). Now that I’m a mother myself, it would make me very nervous to send my toddler away. What if something happened? However I don’t think anything happened. My husband has fond memories of his nanny. During this time his mom had his little brother. His little brother is only 18 months apart from him. After that deployment, I believe they moved back to California, but I could be wrong.
They may of moved to Virginia. During those early formative years he moved around a lot. That was pretty typical of parents in the military. I know that he had a terrible time in school. He would start off the year good then get behind and get demoralized and quit. He tells me stories of living in Virginia when his brother and him were very young, and them getting into neighborhood brawls. Even though his brother and him were so close in age, there were def physical differences between the two. Obviously as they started to grow up it became more apparent, their differences.
I will tell you I’m not a fan of his younger brother. I’m gonna try to not have that reflect in this writing though. So they are moving every two years, basically between California and Virginia. He is doing worse in school, and his brother and him are getting into fights between them and between other kids. His brother gets diagnosed with ODD and some other shit I’m sure after threatening his mother with a knife and being sent to a nut house for kids. My husband gets put on ADHD meds, and meds to put him to sleep at night.
He grew up in the 90’s when giving your kid’s drugs were the thing to do. Some memories that stand out to him were always being picked up late at kindercare.....because his mom work in the military and also had another job, while his dad was studying to gain rank. I don’t really know if that caused them to pick their kids up last or if they were just exhausted from life and needed to breathe. He also remembers getting baby sat by many different types of ppl. Some stole from his mother as well. Once again probably typical for a big city. He says his first sexual encounter was with a neighbor girl.....I think he said she was bit older and was curious.
He did mention, but only once and I didn’t dive deeper, a sleep over that involved him and his lil brother and their friends older brother. I don’t really know the details but I’m sure it wasn’t good or healthy at all. So to bring you up to speed. He had a rough childhood with no stability or structure. He moved around a lot, and had little to no friends for a long period of time. In between the moving and fights his mom has his lil sister who is 6 years younger than him. She required a lot of care at the beginning of her life due to bad ear infections, I believe. However, about two years after his youngest sister was born and he was about eight his parents divorced.
In general when your parents split up it’s shitty but his parents basically sent his brother and him to their grandparents in WV and this was at a time when they were still in California (so it would of been a time when they were off of school for like a six week break.) When they came back their parents had different living arrangements. He says this was very traumatic for his brother. He just always thought two Christmas, and birthdays.
During this time though question about child support started to get brought up. His mom I believed had full-custody at this time. He said he would over-hear his mom talking about his dad not wanting to be responsible for child support for him. It seemed from the stories it didn’t take him to long to figure out why. I guess the man who raised him and who was the father of his sister and brother was not his father. So this brought up a lot of turmoil for him and his brother. He had question who was his father? Well she didn’t know. When I first met him, his mother would tell me that she thought for a long time it was her first husband. Yes that’s right, his mother was married before and divorced.
She said he was abusive and the family was very controlling and she was worried that they would try to get some type of rights to my husband. I don’t think so though because she had been divorced I believe a year before she even got preggars to begin with, if not longer so the time-line doesn’t make sense. The conception of my husband was up in the air for a long time in-fact until he was 15. In my opinion I think it would of just been better for him not to of known. So after his parents divorce they move back to Virginia. They still had the original house that they had before they got stationed in California and at some point during this time the man who raised him, moved his mother in to help with his lil sister. I’m kind of confused because his mom gets his dad in trouble with cos at some point and they have to do therapy and counseling. I think they were going to a therapist and that person felt the man who raised him and was his other two siblings dad was abusive. I mean he was. He disciplined him like the military would with punishment lasting for 15 days sometimes. He would get in trouble for doin poorly in school, and because his dad didn’t really understand what was his problems in school he would make him copy books to gain improvement. Which was torture to him because he has an L.D. that affects his ability to write as fast as he thinks.
My mom was an L.D. Teacher for 25 yrs. I would mentor with her and I met a lot of her students. I was also L.D. as well, well I had a problem with seeing and hearing. So when he is like 10ish I think his mom gets stationed for a year like on some remote island. So lookin back at things it’s probably why they made it clear at the beginning of the divorce who was financially responsible for my husband. Im Sure that it was complicated when she was stationed away from him for a year. I’m gonna stop their for right now.... there is more we haven’t gotten to his teenage years yet, or his military experiences. This was all before he met me, and he was 19 three days before he turned 20 when he met me.