I used to get so tired of that question being asked — by teachers, pastors, counsellors, friends who didn’t know me when I was a child. The frustration came from not having the childhood everyone else seemed to have. You know, the one with smiles, hugs, affirmations, quiet voices, harmony. I did grow up in a Christian home, although as I tell my story that may seem a bit contradictory. I’ll bet there are some of you who grew up in a similar fashion.
Earliest memories are of living in a very small house with my mom, dad and an older brother who was 14 when I was born. I must have been about three or so at the time. For some reason, I was drawn to this older brother, and as I reflect back it may be that he was the calmer of the two people who seemed to be in charge of me — my mom and this older brother. My dad was in poor health from about the time I was two so he took little part in the day-to-day activities other than making a good faith effort to go to work and come home every day.
It’s funny I now look back on this older brother as a sort of protector. That isn’t to say he wasn’t the brunt of our mother’s temper — he was from time to time. I wish I had known then what I know now about my mom because it would have made life so much easier growing up. But then we aren’t supposed to know everything when we’re 3 or 4 or 30 or even 50, as you’ll see as my story unfolds.
|Mom, me and baby brother|
And then mom began to get pregnant and have miscarriages one right after the other for a total of four between my older brother and me. Then, when I was 8, my younger brother was born. His arrival added to the tension already prevalent in our home, and things didn’t get better. It seemed every day held surprises for each of us.
I hope you’ll come back and read more later . . . maybe our stories will overlap. Maybe they won’t. But I’d love to share mine with you just in case it should help.