The Lost Years

(Continued from previous two posts)

I was stealing by age six, shooting neighborhood animals with BB guns by age ten, and vandalizing by age 15.  I don’t want to imply that these were behaviors that I was always engaged in, but they were present.

I was the smart and golden child in an area blighted by poverty.  Most people growing up in that area would go on to be drug addicts and poverty-stricken adults.  For many growing up around those parts, this was fate.  There was no future that their parents did not already live.

Being the golden child meant that I could get away with a lot, however.  I was never once suspended from school and never found myself in the juvenile system.  I was able to steal, vandalize, and disrupt classes because I was never suspected to be a problem.  With disruption, for instance, the teachers would chalk it up as an anomaly rather than actuality.  I was off everyone’s radar.

By my late adolescent years, it was apparent that I controlled my parents and not the other way around.  Their former behavior of bloody beatings and neglect gave way to deference.  They realized that I was poised to become the first “successful” member of the family and they figured that I knew well enough how to handle myself.

There were spurts of antisocial behavior and delinquency, such as the time the truant officer stopped by because I was chronically “sick” (read: faking illness to stay home) or the time that I blackmailed a teacher into giving me an ‘A’ in a class I was not fit for, but in general times were relatively quiet.  There is only so much an adolescent can accomplish until they are on their own two feet…

On My Own Two Feet
Back to the Start

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