I’ve never really thought about my past much, at least not my childhood. Everything before high school kind of sucked, so I don’t think about it. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t beaten or molested or anything horrible like that, I just didn’t have any friends. Well, I had one friend, but that is it.
I had a “problem” when I was younger that did not make me a very popular guy. I tried to be nice to everyone, but no one could get over my little problem. The only friend I had growing up, Jason, was a true friend. He lived just a few blocks down and we did everything together. He never said anything about my problem, and I loved him for that. Admittedly, very few people ever said anything about it, but then they didn’t say anything to me, at all. Thankfully, my problem went away about the time I entered high school.
My parents probably did they best they could raising me. I was not an easy kid to deal with. I’m sure I was depressed, but never got treated for it. I was angry all the time, hated life, hated school, hated everything. I was violent and never listened to my Mom. I did what I wanted to and she couldn’t do a thing about it. Sure, I was spanked when I was little, but that doesn’t actually bother me. She would try to ground me, but I would just leave anyway. The only thing I really regret about how I was raised is that I never really received any encouragement from my parents. They never really helped me find what I liked or wanted to do.
I guess we never really talked much about serious stuff. That seems to be part of the problem. I don’t blame my mother for this, like I said, I was not an easy kid. We never talked about sex, drinking, drugs or anything like that. We never really discussed what I was into or what I wanted to do with my life. Before high school, I really didn’t have any interests, except one. I loved science. LOVED it. I was really good at it, it came naturally to me. I was good at math too, but who loves basic math? I also liked to write. I had even won a young author award once. My parents either never noticed these interests, or just didn’t encourage me to look more into them or develop them more.
My biggest regret about my childhood was something that no one in the small town I grew up in knew how to recognize, let alone how to deal with it. I was smart. I was really smart. I was always way ahead of the curve in almost every subject, especially science. Problem was, I got bad grades anyway because I didn’t do the assigned homework. I blame my second grade teacher for this. She told me once that homework was for practice, we needed the repetition to learn. “Well,” I thought, “I learned it already, so I don’t need the practice.” For some reason that stuck with me the rest of my life.
My parents and teachers knew I was smart, but wouldn’t apply myself. They had me treated for what is now called ADD. I took some medication that was supposed to calm me down so I could concentrate, probably Ritalin or something like that. It didn’t work. I didn’t have a problem concentrating on something, IF I had something I needed to concentrate on. Problem was, I already knew what I was being taught. I hated that we would cover the same thing for days at a time, sometimes a whole week or more on the same piece of information. I learned this on day one, why are we still doing this? No one figured out, or even really asked me, what was going on. I was simply bored. I wonder where I would be now if someone noticed this, suggested I was advanced, done something to recognize that I was different. It was hard being called stupid and a genius in the same day. All I knew was that something was wrong with me and needed to be fixed. Being smart became a bad thing in my young mind. It wasn’t until high school when that changed.
So I had no friends, no encouragement, and something was wrong with me. Any wonder why I became depressed so young? Not that I think anyone knew it at the time. I don’t remember being treated for it. I did learn later in life that childhood depression would likely turn into something worse later on. Boy did it ever.
But that is a story for another day.