I feel like I've lived at least two full lifetimes. I believe I am at least 10 years older than my stated age. I am definitely a generation off from those in my age group. My parents were born in the 1920's and fought in WWII, my grandparents were born in the 1890's and fought in WWI. I lost my parents at the age of 75 back in the year 2000. I've been 20 years without them now.
My recollections (not so much specific memories, but more like a hindsight overview of large chunks of existence) of early childhood are mixed. I recall happy times being with a mixed group of friends - mostly boys, but from many ethnicities. During this time, as the story is told, my mom kicked my dad out for taking out after my brother with a pipe wrench for some minor infraction. I was around 6 yrs old at that point. I was dreadfully shy. Definitely the odd-one out. Always seemingly behind the times (as I said before, I feel a generation off from my peers). I never understood what my classmates were doing or thinking. As such, I was the one getting teased. I don't recall bullying, as we know it today, but perhaps it was. In Jr. High (between 7th and 8th grade) we moved from California to Washington. That was so very traumatic. I didn't want to leave my school and the friends I had. Nonetheless, what is a kid to do. I moved. New school drama ensued. This of course is the time biology began it's tinkering with my body and mind. Now in addition to being the new kid, already socially awkward, and a shy introvert, I had sexual feelings I didn't understand. By 9th grade I had a few friends that I was close to. Two of them were young men I'd come to have a sexual encounter with.
High School happened, as is always does. I hated it. I was dreadfully depressed. I've never felt suicidal in my life, as in, wanting to do something to kill myself, but I have wished for it to be over so I didn't have to endure anymore. Tenth grade was one of those times. I met a girl in my German class. She wasn't very attractive, but she was friendly. She invited me to attend her church with her. By the way, my family was Mormon at this point. I didn't attend church much, but as far as I knew, my church was the only one worth going to. I agreed to attend with her, thinking that if I did, she'd have to attend with me, and then I'd have her converted! Didn't happen that way. I'll save these details for another time, but suffice it say, I became a Christian. Fast forward a year, she got married to the preachers son, I met his sister at the wedding. We'll call her Abigail, Abby for short. Abby a beautiful woman. Tall, natural blonde, blue eyes. Scandinavian background, and 29 years old. I was 16 at this point. She and I spent a lot of time together. We fell in love with each other. (Ok, yes, I knew I liked boys, but lacked the vocabulary or the maturity to express that, and honestly, I was lonely.) I haven't mentioned yet that she was married and had two children. Sometime in the middle of my junior year of high school, I told my mom to withdraw me from school and get me a one-way ticket from Washington to Sacramento. I was going to live with Abby (and family).
Mom did, and away I went. Within a day or so of being at their home in Sacramento, Abby was in my bed teaching me how to have sex. Her husband worked nights, so it was a pretty easy thing to do. While I was there I took a Nursing Assistant, Home Health Aid course and became certified. This was my introduction to the career I've built over the course of my life. I stayed there for several months, but was home by the beginning of the next school year. That time changed my perspective. I was interested in learning and my 1.64 GPA turned into a 3.5 very quickly. After I graduated from High School, I took a vocational school class in Retail Business Management. During this time, I called Abby out of the blue. We hadn't spoken in quite some time. She told me she was divorcing her husband and moving back to Washington to be near her parents. She asked if I could come down and help her drive up. I did. Big mistake.
Now we were together in the same town, she wasn't married, and I was of legal age. The obvious happened, we got married. I was 19, she was 33. The boys were 11 and 13 years old. There is no way possible I was prepared for that. I've always felt older, more mature than my peers, but this was way outside my comfort zone, although, I couldn't admit it to myself, much less any one else. I did the best I could. It was dreadful. The stress of paying bills and providing for a family at that age, and on a job that paid $400.00 a month (1984) was more than anyone should have to endure. Add on top of that I didn't want to have sex with her. I was attracted to men. I had sexual fantasies about men. When I did have to have sex with her, I closed my eyes and pretended I was with a man. Fast forward 25 years.
I was back in college, learning so many years later what I should have known right out of high school. I found my footing, and discovered my place. This led to the most painful and tragic, yet absolute best thing to happen in my life to date. I left Abby, finished school, met an amazing guy, and finalized a divorce. In that order. There is SO much detail I'd love for you to know. Way too much for this post.